Posts Tagged ‘tuition’

Savas Apsilos, Purchase College

I am a sophomore and Language and Culture major, and I believe that higher education can benefit from being free given the high costs of essentials like food, care products, opportunities like study abroad programs and classes with certain fees, such as Art + Design courses. My decision to attend Purchase rested significantly on its close proximity to New York City, and I feel like that convenience can be greatly expanded on with more affordable higher education. This way, more students can discover their potential without financial barriers. Secondary education should be a right, not a privilege.

Marihana Heloany Reis, Purchase College

I am a sophomore Political Sciences Major. After graduating I want to get a master’s and a PHD to become a professor. The price of tuition was one of the obstacles that I faced to go back to school. For me, as an immigrant being here by myself, the dream of achieving higher education had to be on hold for more than 4 years, so I could save enough money to be able to afford it, since I could not apply for financial aid. This situation affects many of the population, but especially Latinos and African Americans. If the education was free and funded, I could have already graduated and become one step forward to following my dream. Unaffordable higher education hurts the racialized and marginalized population, a lot of times keeping us in the poverty cycle. I believe in a high quality and free higher education for all.

Maurysha Cuttino, SUNY Cortland

I am Maurysha Cuttino. I am a senior at Suny Cortland hoping to pursue my degree in Professional Writing. I am from Tully NY, and my Assembly Member is John Lemondes and my Senator is Rachel May. I chose a SUNY school for many reasons, mostly for cost and distance. 

Though SUNY schools are cheaper they are still a lot of money and put people in a lot of debt. I am a future step-parent, and do help take care of my significant other’s kids. I am always worrying about money problems from school and other costs. I even ran into an issue this semester involving a single class and the possibility I may have to come out of pocket for it. I want to obtain my degree in hopes to develop a better career for myself as well as live my dream. I wish schools were free for those with less money or no family help. I know I could do so much better within classes and school without having to worry about if I’ll have enough money for coal, or if I need to miss a day of class to work an extra shift.

Because of costs and financial concerns, I never got the true college experience that most have in movies. I never got the sports or club experience due to the fact I had to make a living. I work full time overnights in addition to being a student. I think people don’t realize that there is a lot of money going into attending school, such as gas, rent and other priorities. Even food is expensive and when you spend all day on campus without a meal plan since you need to figure out how to eat and maintain your health. People need help and it would be nice to have more of that help.     

Brittaney Thomson, Hunter College

My name is Brittaney Thompson, and I am a junior at Hunter College. I major in Psychology and Studio Art. As a student who does not receive financial aid, I have to pay for my education out of pocket. I have to work early in the mornings before attending class. There were times when I could not afford to pay my tuition and I had a hold on my account. This hold prevented me from registering for my classes on time and by the time I got  the hold off, the classes I needed were either all full or waitlisted. I usually have to settle for hard classes I did not want to take or classes at late hours.This one semester I had a hold on my account and struggled to get it off in time so I had to miss school. I had to go through the hassle of readmitting to Hunter and that process broke me. My experience with fighting to stay in school was hard, but I could not give up. Thankfully, I am still here.  I love attending school but it is hard to enjoy my time because I have to be working tirelessly to be able to afford it. Working before classes not just drains me but also affects my performance. My college experience so far has really scarred me and I hope in the future tuition can be free or at least more affordable.

Amirah Alwagih, City College of NY

I’m a psychology major. I’m a junior here at City College, and I think CUNY should be free because cost of living in New York City is notorious for being so high, and between that, tuition, and MTA fares, there’s not really space for you to use that money for anything that you need or anything for you to move around financially, and it’s becoming really depressing, people are moving out of New York City and people are not enjoying New York City and hustle culture as toxic as it is.

Justin Yulo, City College of NY

I’m student here at City College New York and I think I can benefit from a free CUNY and more importantly other students can benefit from a free CUNY because the cost of going to university here, while CUNY is an affordable university, it is still pretty expensive for some, especially low income families. In my case I still have to take out student loans, in the 10,000s attending here, and even right now I still have to take a part time job just to pay for some of the expenses like the transport and travel with my metrocard and overall I think a free CUNY builds an important part of our society which is the next generation coming up and learning in such a prestigious university that boosts communities.

Andy Huang, Hunter College

I am a senior studying chemistry at Hunter College. I chose to attend a CUNY because it was much more affordable than a SUNY or private college. I live with my parents as dorming would be too expensive. I am lucky to receive the Pell Grant and TAP, both of which help cover my tuition fees. I also receive a scholarship per semester that helps fund my transportation, school materials, and food. While I rely on financial aid, I have come close to losing it during several semesters. This semester specifically, I was stressed about financial aid because I lost TAP. I couldn’t receive it because I was not taking enough eligible credits (the classes I needed to take were locked to the spring semester). I hope to see TAP’s eligibility expand in the future so that it accepts all the classes that students take. Attending college and getting a degree should not be blocked by tuition fees. Students need to be able to focus more on studying instead of stressing about working part-time/full-time to attend their classes.

Emma Gutowski, SUNY Cortland

I attend SUNY Cortland as a full time student. I am currently a senior but have been attending school here since I was a freshman. I am from Corfu, New York. When I started considering colleges and going through my options I made sure to keep my parents in the loop as they are the ones who pay for my schooling. I first considered two private schools in different states but as time passed I realized that the tuition cost would be far too much so I began to focus on SUNY schools. When the time came, I ultimately chose Cortland. It felt right and once I heard about their Professional Writing major, I was sold. Once Covid-19 hit, all of my classes were online except for one science lab but I was already on campus so I couldn’t do much to change it. The second semester of my freshman/sophomore year (I am graduating early so it gets a bit complicated) I stayed at home and did all of my classes virtually. Although that first year was tough, it was helpful to my family as we didn’t have to pay the living on campus fees and we received a lot of refunds since I wasn’t using the campus amenities. That semester at home was also the hardest for me grades wise. I began to work while taking these classes and strained myself too much. Ever since then my grades have improved massively and I’ve continuously made the dean’s list. I will say that the toughest part about going to college is the tuition and figuring out how these student loans will affect me in the future. I usually have a discussion with my mom before I move back to school about how we are going to pay for school and although she always figures it out, it’s still a very stressful situation. There should be changes to tuition and what fees are included. I was never a fan of dining hall food so having to pay for a meal plan I barely used felt ridiculous to my family. The amount for a parking pass should also be lowered due to the fact that they will sell way over how many actual parking spots there are on campus. My experience here has been great and I will miss it when I graduate in the spring. 

Nicholas Suresh, Queens College

I am a sophomore at Queens College, majoring in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. After college, I would like to be an elementary school teacher in New York City or another part of the state. I am involved in the community as I volunteer to feed the homeless and tutor children in an afterschool program. 

Not too long ago, I was in a darker place, however. During the pandemic I transferred from the Von College of Aeronautics and Technology. Many professors at this institution assume that incoming freshmen are proficient in math to a certain level, regardless of their educational background. This model didn’t work for me, as I struggled with math in high school. As a result, I had a nervous breakdown when faced with tough physics and math classes in college.  I experienced intense anxiety and insomnia, and couldn’t see an end in sight. Eventually I decided to transfer to Queens College. This entailed hefty paperwork and planning.  I knew this was the right decision for me, but it was extremely difficult to put myself together while breaking apart every day from mental health issues. 

At this time, I also felt restricted by my parents and by circumstance.  As a first generation college student, it is hard for my parents to understand what I go through in college. They are also cautious about my safety, which made it hard for me to make friends and explore the city during high school.  My parents are paying out of pocket for my college education, which I am grateful for. At the same time, it comes with a tradeoff of sacrificing my freedom for my education. 

Upon transferring to Queens College, things started to look a bit brighter. I immediately met with my advisor at QC, who is a friendly and warm individual. She guided me to the best courses for me and in the right sequence. I also applied for a job at a local after school tutoring program at this time. Now I serve as a counselor and tutor for middle school students. I love my job and it is the driving force that keeps me focused on my schoolwork. My job also gives me more financial independence from my parents, so that I can cover some of my expenses. With my earnings, I ride public transportation around the city. Riding buses and the subway makes me feel like I have more freedom.  At QC my job, my advisor, and my major have made a world of difference in my life. 

Although my life has turned around over the past year or so, the public higher education system still needs improvement. For instance, institutions should offer more mental health and tutoring services for students struggling with courses and all students should have access to helpful advisors. We need more funding for higher education to bring these essential services to students.

Amanda Argueta, Nassau Community College

I am a freshman at Nassau Community College. Currently, I’m a Liberal Arts Major, but I’m thinking of switching into the Nursing program. My parents and I pay for school out-of-pocket. I work a lot to help pay for my part. Usually, I work about 25 hours a week, doing five hour shifts five days a week. I used to work less, but I’ve had to increase my hours because of tuition. Now it’s harder to make time for my schoolwork.

As a DACA student, I can’t get any federal aid. I had to look for other scholarships, but it’s been hard because I’m the first person in my family to go to college, so no one could really help me at home. What made things more difficult was that I was almost charged out-of-state tuition. NCC said that since I was not a resident, I did not qualify for in-state tuition. I had to jump through a lot of hoops and send them a lot of extra documents to finally get in-state tuition.