I pay for the majority of my tuition through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and I have to pay out of pocket for the rest of my tuition and other costs which these programs don’t cover. In addition, since TAP takes an excessively long time to process for me, I sometimes have to pay, on average, about $1,500, up front. This is to ensure that my classes do not get dropped in the beginning of the semester. Some semesters my classes do get dropped, without my knowledge, or any warning that there was a standing balance. This is a huge problem, because due to limited class availability, seats fill up in classes very quickly.
I always expect TAP to not process properly for me, so I work during the summer to try to avoid this. Because I have to work long hours to make money in the summer, I lose the opportunity to pursue internships related to my career goals. My only challenge should be learning new material, not dealing with all the hassles of getting into classes. Not to mention, high tuition is not the only challenging cost that I am faced with. Books, transportation, and food are also costly and finding money for these expenses is equally difficult. This strain is not only taking a toll on my finances, but also on my health. The panic of finding out that my classes are dropped, that it might be too late to re-register, being forced to take a semester off, and struggling to afford all of these costs, has taken a toll on my mind and body.