I attend SUNY Cortland as a full-time student. I’ve been here for two years and attended SUNY Broome my freshman and sophomore year. When applying for college I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I knew that I didn’t want to be that far from home. That’s why I decided on Broome because it’s about 30 minutes from home. I was able to live off campus and not commute so I was able to get a real college experience. After two years there I decided to go to Cortland because it was far from my home where I am able to be independent, but still close enough to go home if I need to. I am able to go to Cortland without having to have student loans because my parents can pay for it in full. That is a reason why I chose Cortland because I wouldn’t have student debt. Cortland comes with a lot of expenses though whether it’s parking, the price of textbooks (which I don’t always need), or materials teachers make us get outside of the classroom. My major is important to me so I will do whatever it takes to obtain my degree, but the price for many things have gotten out of control and I believe all SUNYs need to look at their finances and think about their students.
Posts Tagged ‘textbooks’
Caroline Scott, SUNY Cortland
Ines Schmitt, Hunter College
I am a senior at Hunter College and a Psychology major. I am a mother of three going back to school now my children are grown up and would like to help young people since when I was young I didn’t have that support. I was at BMCC my first two years and I got my associate’s degree. It was really nice because I didn’t have to worry about the burden of paying for my tuition books and transportation since I had ASAP with an unlimited metrocard and I had an excellent adviser. Unfortunately when I transferred to Hunter I didn’t have the same experience with the advisement. They made me take a class that I already took in BMCC and I felt that the adviser didn’t take me seriously. I had to take that class online with 300 other students and I didn’t learn anything since the professor couldn’t take the time to explain. I think one of the changes that CUNY could benefit from is extending ASAP since it is a great program to hire more advisers that care about students instead of making it more difficult. Fixing the heating system since sometimes the professor had to let us leave because it was too hot and there wasn’t anybody to put the heating down. I think going to university shouldn’t be a struggle and administration should help us to navigate the system.
Maya Ranot, Purchase College
I am currently a Junior at Purchase College. I am a communications major with a minor in Psychology. I decided to major in communications because Purchase is a Performing Arts college so there wasn’t much for me, especially not much that I was interested in here.
I personally don’t pay for college, Foster Youth pays for my education and I am grateful for that. TAP is very helpful, however I feel like they can help out students more. My older brother was the first one in my family to go to college, however he didn’t get the chance to finish because he had to help pay bills. I will be graduating with my Bachelors in 2024. I luckily haven’t had any big challenges with paying for college because of Foster Youth. The financial aid awards I’ve gotten pays my tuition and food but not my daily living and other expenses such as money for textbooks. Textbooks are very expensive and sometimes I can’t afford them. Some professors also aren’t understanding of that and it can be frustrating. I live on campus however since I graduated high school in 2020, and that was the peak of COVID therefore we were the first ones affected by COVID first hand. I came to live on campus the second semester of my Sophomore year, like others in my class of 2024. I used to work Freshmen and sophomore year to cover expenses because I was living at home however once I got to campus I stopped to focus on school more and make it my priority. The only issues I’ve run into while registering for classes is not having many options and therefore having to settle for certain courses.
I personally feel like we need more of a variety because I’m not an art student here at SUNY Purchase College and this is a performing arts school. Advising for classes and navigating my way through college has been easy because I’m an EOP student therefore I get a-lot of help from my counselor every semester. I am very thankful for that and I have come to realize that students don’t have the support system in college and they all deserve to have that. College is not easy, especially when you have no support system.
Elianny Duarte, SUNY Cortland
I am a full time student at SUNY Cortland. I am a senior majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and a minor in Spanish. I am from the East side Bronx, NY. I come from a single-parent family of 4. When applying for college, I was accepted in different schools and I had different options. However, I was only able to apply to SUNY or CUNY schools because that was all my mom was able to afford and barely. I always wanted to go away for college and one day my high school took us on a school trip to come visit SUNY Cortland and ever since then I started seeing it as an option. I fell in love with the Student Life Center and the peaceful environment at SUNY
Cortland so I decided to commit it to the school. I pay for tuition through the help of financial aid and student loans. Most of my tuition is paid through financial aid, which is helpful, but it is still not enough. Being able to pay my student loans is something that concerns me the most. I used to have two jobs. During the summer and winter breaks, I work almost every day to help pay for my personal expenses, and I also have a part-time job at school, but it’s not nearly enough to save for my student loans. My mom tries her best to help but there is so much she can do as a caregiver of a single family. I believe college should be free for low income families. Since attending college is almost required in today’s culture in order to secure a well-paying career, I don’t think it’s fair that tuition is so expensive. Students must also pay for their textbooks each semester in addition to tuition. I firmly believe that textbooks should be covered by tuition even if they may cost several hundred dollars.
My family and I experienced some difficulty during the epidemic. My mother sadly lost her job during COVID-19. The amount of government assistance we received to support our family of four was not enough. It was challenging for a while, and there was even a point when I believed I would have to return home to finish my education. I believed that I would never be able to go to school since money was so tight. I used the majority of my funds to assist my mother with her bill-paying. Nevertheless, I was able to get a job online and assist my mother for the rest of the year.
Having a college degree is very important for me because it won’t only allow me to have better paying jobs, but it would also allow me to help my family get out of poverty. One of my biggest concerns is having to pay student loans for the rest of my life. I am hoping that one day everyone is able to attend college without having to worry about money.
Mary Avella, Hunter College
I am a junior at Hunter College from Staten Island. I constantly have to walk up flights of stairs to meet with professors for office hours because the elevators don’t work. I can’t buy textbooks on the Hunter website because they are so expensive. Hunter doesn’t have enough funding for adequate COVID testing and coming back to school was terrible. The online classes were terrible. We don’t have enough options for disabled people. After many years of fighting, we are finally just able to get an elevator in the subway. While I pay out of pocket for school, I know others who are struggling and in need of help.
Rafael Fonseca, Borough of Manhattan Community College
I am a Business Management student. This is my last semester at BMCC. I will continue my education to get my bachelor’s degree. I live off campus with my parents. I have received FAFSA and TAP before. It helped me to pay for tuition and books. But I wish that college was free because it’s too expensive. Tuition, textbooks, and transportation makes it expensive. With all these expenses not everyone can afford it. If you were to take less than 4 classes, you don’t get financial aid. I would like FAFSA and TAP to change that so part time students can be eligible for financial aid. The non-eligible for part time students affected me. This semester I took 3 classes to finish my associate degree. I didn’t get FAFSA or TAP to cover the tuition, textbooks, and transportation. I had to pay out of my pocket which was hard for me. As a result of this, I was tight on money. If FAFSA and TAP were provided for part time student. I could have been stress free.
Melissa Hernandez, SUNY Cortland
My name is Melissa Hernandez and I attend SUNY Cortland full time. I am a senior and have been here since freshman year. I am from Long Island, and my Senate District is 3 and my Assembly District is 16. When I was applying to college my first choice was University of Tampa but unfortunately I did not get enough financial aid to afford it and began to look at SUNY and CUNY schools. Out of all the SUNY and CUNY schools I applied to, I felt that SUNY Cortland was the best fit for me. I had toured many schools previously and although I toured Tampa and fell in love, SUNY Cortland also gave me the same feeling I felt when I toured Tampa. I knew a few people who had gone to Cortland and heard all their great memories which made me feel more comfortable and excited to come. I am majoring in political science and I do really enjoy this major. I am taking a year off before applying to graduate school to focus on myself and future opportunities.
I pay my tuition through the help of my parents and financial aid. I am fortunate enough that my tuition has been paid through financial aid. I work almost everyday over the summer to help pay sometimes my rent at school and other personal spending I might have. I am the first child in my family to go to college and understood that my parents would not be able to pay full tuition without getting some financial help, however, before I began my college career I always had the impression that going to a SUNY or CUNY school would be considered to be less than nothing in terms of tuition. I think that since tuition has risen over the decade it is very unfortunate for many, myself included. It is not fair that society places this idea that college is a stepping stone for an individual to get a good job and make it in today’s world. Not only is tuition an expense at college but textbooks are another cost for students. Textbooks depending on the class vary but still add up and can be very expensive. Textbooks should not be an extra expense for students.
The pandemic was a hard time for my family because my mom is diabetic which meant she was at a high risk, which then made it difficult for my dad to continue to work. My mom is a nanny and my dad has a painting service. My dad is an independent company which already makes it hard enough, and then when the pandemic hit it made it harder for him. During this time, I had recovered from unemployment and later began working again in July which allowed me to save enough money to pay my rent junior year without the help of my parents because of how tight money was.
I personally always wanted to go to college because of the promise that going to college means I would have a good job. I want to finish my degree to have a comfortable life and be able to support myself. I think that although school does cost a lot I would still be at school, however, I would have prepared myself financially before I attended.
Lorna Duran, Hunter College
My name is Lorna Duran and I am a Junior at Hunter. I don’t receive any financial aid, so my tuition is covered by my parents who pay out of pocket. I have consistently applied for federal tuition help, but I never meet the requirements. My father, a teacher, makes slightly more than NYS Taxable Income Limit and because of this, I have never been eligible for TAP. The reality is that I am part of a single-income family in one of the most expensive cities around the world, I cannot truly afford tuition. On top of the thousands of dollars spent on tuition, every semester I spend about $500-$800 on expensive textbooks and access codes. Additionally, I also have to pay for my commuting expenses which come out to a couple of hundred dollars a year.
Every semester when I get that email that tuition is due, I stress out because I know my parents will have to find that money one way or another. If my family has an emergency towards the end of the semester, my father has to carefully consider how he will pay my $3,465 dollar tuition. I wish that there were more funding opportunities for students like me. I shouldn’t have to worry about paying for tuition, and how I will afford my textbooks.
Isabelle Pastore, SUNY Cortland
My name is Isabelle Pastore and I attend SUNY Cortland full time. I am a senior now, but I have been here since freshman year. I am from Stony Brook, Long Island. I decided to go to SUNY Cortland because my parents only allowed me to apply to SUNY schools. Cortland seemed like a good choice because I absolutely loved it when I visited. I toured a couple of other schools, but Cortland truly felt like home. A few of my friends were going to Cortland too, so I knew I would be comfortable here. I am majoring in Communications and I love it, but I’m not really sure what I want to do in the future. I pay for tuition through the help of my parents and student loans. Most of my tuition is paid through financial aid but I am very worried about having to pay back my student loans. I work 15 hours a week over summer and winter break to help pay for my personal spendings, but it’s not nearly enough to pay my student loans. I think college should cost substantially less than it does. When my parents went to school, it cost much less and attending college was less common. I don’t think it’s fair that tuition costs so much because in today’s society, it is expected that people attend college in order to get a well paying job. I don’t like how we need to pay thousands of dollars in order to make good money. I think college should be more of a choice than a requirement. On top of tuition, students need to purchase textbooks each semester. Textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars and I truly think they should be included in tuition.
The pandemic was a difficult time for me and my family. During COVID-19, my Dad unfortunately lost his job. Fortunately, my Mom also works so we still had an income, but it wasn’t enough for all of our everyday costs. It was hard for a while and there was even a time where I thought I would have to transfer home to attend school there. We didn’t even get Christmas presents that year. My parents wanted me to drop my sorority solely because we weren’t sure if we could afford it anymore. Thankfully, my Dad was able to get another job about a year later.
Getting a college degree is important to me because it’s required in order to get a well paying job. I want to get my degree because I want to be able to support myself and live a fulfilling life. It upsets me that I will have to spend a good portion of my life paying back my student loans. I definitely think college should be way more affordable and less expected than it is and I hope that in the future, college is way more affordable for everyone.
Angela Shin, Hunter College
I am a senior attending Hunter College. Thankfully, I was eligible for FAFSA and TAP which paid for my college tuition as well as provided me with money for transportation and book fees. However, not everyone is lucky enough to get their tuition paid for. I remember hearing the sad news about people around me not being able to go to their dream college or college at all due to the expensive and constantly rising tuition that could not be easily paid. Not everyone had parents who saved up money for their children’s tuition or had extra money to pay for college. To some students and families, it was already hard to pay rent, phone bills, Wi-Fi bills, or buy food to feed their families. Some of these students could not do loans to create more debt which will burden them more or were not eligible for tuition assistance. I find it so sad that there are people out there that had to give up their dreams, passions, and education due to the cost of tuition. People should not be expected to pay to learn and if they were to pay, it should not cost this much. It is unbelievable that one of the highest debts in America is from student loans.
Although I am grateful to get tuition assistance, I worry that one mistake will take away my financial aid such as not doing well in school, failing a class, or in this case, an error made by the system. I remember being a freshman in college and not knowing how college and financial aid worked. I had filled out FAFSA and TAP but I did not receive my financial aid until the end of the semester. After repeatedly going to the Financial aid and Bursar offices at my school, I found out that due to a mistake made by the system, I could not receive my financial aid. They had never informed me of this issue and it was not until I fixed it that I received financial aid. Due to my tuition being paid late that semester, I had to pay a few hundred dollars out of my own pocket to pay for late fees, textbooks, transportation costs, and etc. I wish there were more things being done to help students feel at ease when receiving financial aid. I think of the many students out there that must have gone through the same problem as me.
Like many of the students, I also help pay for phone bills, water bills, Wi-Fi bills, and etc. Tuition, textbook fees, and transportation are not the only things being paid for with the help of financial aid. To make it worse, transportation fees cost a lot and with things being a one tap system, I cannot save money on transportation fees. I worry that the MTA will increase the price again one day which will become very troubling to me. I want to continue studying psychology so I can one day use my knowledge to help people out. To do so, I will be staying in college for a few more semesters to study. I worry about the cost of tuition as financial aid will not cover me the whole time. I am looking for jobs and have been applying to scholarships to help with my tuition. Therefore, I wish the people in charge of higher education realize that many students out there are worrying about paying for their tuition on top of working hard to study. I hope that they can work more on the funding and make it more accessible to other people who wish to have the opportunity to go to college.