Posts Tagged ‘tuition’

Ren Fox, Purchase College

My parents have been generous enough to pay for my tuition thus far—even though they have to pay for two mortgages, their cars plus mine, utility bills, and more. It’s making our already unstable financial situation worse. My mom is going to have to sell her house and move to an apartment in a less expensive city once my brother turns 18.

My parents make “too much” in salary, as high school teachers, for me or my brother to qualify for financial aid from FAFSA or need-based scholarships. In reality, we’re struggling financially.

I have transferred between colleges multiple times, between an out-of-state public college, a SUNY community college, CUNY 4-year school, and finally a SUNY 4-year school. When transferring into CUNY, I had difficulty communicating with an advisor, and they did nothing to help me get into the major I wanted. Then, once I transferred here, the first advisor I spoke to had me take two classes that I ended up not needing with my transfer credits.

If I had taken literature classes for my major instead of those unnecessary classes, I probably wouldn’t be cramming all my major requirements (as well as a gym requirement) into my last two semesters.

Josefa Sotelo, Buffalo State College

I am a freshman at Buffalo State. I am a political science major from Queens, NY. I came to Buffalo State planning on majoring in political science because I’ve always been interested in politics and watch the news a lot, though it was comedy shows like the Daily Show that first got me into politics. I want to go to law school so I can practice public interest law, serving clients who can’t afford a lawyer. This means, of all my siblings, I will be the odd one out—the only non-accountant!

I went to the High School of Environmental Studies in Manhattan, where the emphasis was on environmental science. That got me interested in environmental studies. I decided on Buffalo State because I definitely didn’t want to stay in the city for college and wanted a change of scenery so I could focus on studying.

As a freshman, textbooks have been a concern because, even though rentals are sometimes an inexpensive options, it’s first come first served. The bookstore is almost always out of rentals when I go to buy them, which means I have to pay full price. Luckily this term, I managed to get a few rentals for $130, but many classes have multiple books that are hardly ever used. You can’t really tell what books you’re actually going to need, and it becomes an expensive guessing game.

I am not working at the moment because, even though I qualify for federal work-study, there aren’t nearly enough on-campus jobs for all the students who qualify. That means I have to look for off-campus jobs. Given Buffalo weather and not having a car, my choices are limited. It’s important to have a job because of how expensive college life is.

With TAP and all the scholarships I received, I still pay about $5000 toward tuition per semester. My family is paying these costs out of pocket, and I currently can’t register because I haven’t paid for the previous term. I can’t even look at my GPA if I wanted to transfer because everything is frozen until I pay. Courses for my major could get filled before I have time to pay up and register. Financial aid advising needs to be clearer so students know where they stand.

Omar Andron, City College of NY

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I’m a senior majoring in political science. After graduating, I want to work in public policy. I’m graduating on time because I cannot afford not to. Because I’m a transfer student from Russia, I don’t have any financial aid and have to pay more than the average student. My FAFSA application was not accepted because I already have a degree from Syria.

Compared to private schools, CUNY is cheaper but a diploma from a private college comes with prestige. I’m the first person in my family to go to college and the first to not work a blue-collar job. I pay for school, rent, food, transportation, books, and support my family back home in Turkey.

I’m currently in debt over $28,000 because I needed help to pay for everything because I can’t work a full-time job since I have been in school for the past 7 years. I receive Medicare from the State of New York, but the process itself is very difficult and tedious.

We need a fully funded and free CUNY because all public universities should be truly public. The moment you put a price tag on a public service, it’s no longer for everyone. It’s now only for those who can afford it!

Also, the rising tuition should be alarming to students. In other countries, once the government tries to raise the price of tuition, students protest. Here we are simply not. If we don’t raise our voices against the status quo and stand for what we all deserve, it’ll get worse and worse!

Amanuel, City College of NY

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I’m double majoring in anthropology and Political Science. After graduating, I plan on getting a master’s in International Relations and hopefully working for a nonprofit organization.

I receive the Pell Grant, but it doesn’t cover my full tuition so I have to work and pay the rest out of pocket. I also pay for books, transportation, and food. Working while being a full-time student is stressful because it’s hard to balance school and work.

My biggest challenge as a CUNY student has been getting to class on time because living in New Jersey and commuting to New York is really hard. I would appreciate work-study and have made an appeal on my application but haven’t heard back.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because I know a lot of students who have children and have nowhere to leave them while they’re in school.  

CUNY should be free and fully funded because a lot of students struggle financially, and education should be a right for everyone to access. It shouldn’t be limited by your financial situations. 

Maliha Khan, City College of NY

I’m a junior majoring in international studies, and I’m minoring in English and Economics. After graduation, I would love to work with a nonprofit organization and hopefully one day I will be able to work with the UN!

I receive TAP and the Pell grant. I’m part of SEEK, which has helped me tremendously because they have provided me with a very helpful advisor, financial help, and an amazing environment for me to be in. I use the money that I get as a refund after my tuition to pay transportation, food, and books.

I’m currently looking for a part-time job and an internship with a nonprofit organization, but because of my busy schedule at school, it’s very difficult. I’ve also applied for federal work-study, but because financial aid covers my tuition, my application isn’t a priority.

I would appreciate a child care center on campus because I have many classmates that bring their children into the classes, and although they don’t often disrupt the class, they are a distraction to their moms because they have to pay attention to the children instead of paying attention to the class.

Time management has been my biggest challenge at a CUNY student.  I’m very concerned about graduating on time because I have changed majors. It has become very stressful because I am taking six classes next semester. If I didn’t receive financial aid, my parents would have to take out loans to help pay for tuition which would be really hard because I would have to work in order to support myself as well.

We need a fully funded CUNY because many plan on pursuing a master’s or a doctorate degree after college, and if students no longer had to worry about paying for their bachelor’s degree, they could save for furthering their educations. Also, it becomes very hard for a student to maintain a high GPA if they have to work to pay for their tuition, books, and food.

Daniel Reischer, SUNY Cortland

I’m currently a sophomore at SUNY Cortland majoring in Political Science. At this point, my plan is to attend graduate school after graduation.

As far as paying for school, I rely on taking out loans, using the financial aid I receive, and having my parents pay some tuition out-of-pocket. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant, which allow me to pay for school each semester. I don’t work, so I need financial aid to pay my tuition and to pay for textbooks.

If I didn’t receive financial aid, in all likelihood, I would not be able to attend college. So many people struggle to pay for college, which is a large part of why SUNY needs to be fully funded. If SUNY was better funded, those who can’t afford college would be able to go, and middle-class families that have more than one child would have the ability to send all of their children to school.

The biggest challenge that I have faced as a SUNY student is dealing with the stress of not knowing how my parents will pay for my sister to go to college in two years and worrying about paying off my student debt.

Courtney Hines, SUNY Cortland

I’m a senior at SUNY Cortland majoring in philosophy. After I graduate, I plan on working for a nonprofit organization. I pay for school with both financial aid and loans.

I receive TAP and the Pell Grant, and I also have a part-time job during the semester.

When it comes to textbooks, I usually don’t buy them because I can’t afford them. I try to find an online PDF version of the textbook, but if I can’t find that, then I have no option but to not have the book for class. For food, my financial aid covers the cost. I use it to buy groceries.

I depend on my financial aid, and this year I didn’t receive as much as previous semesters. My financial aid went from $4,000 to $400 because my sister moved out so my parents were expected to have that extra money to pay for my tuition. My mom had no choice but to take out a loan to help cover the costs of school.

We need a fully funded SUNY system so that all students have the opportunity to attend college, and they won’t be worried about paying for it. My biggest challenge as a SUNY student has been paying for school and worrying about how my parents are going to help me pay for it. A student’s main focus should not be paying for school; they should be focused on pursuing their education.

Hannah Falk, SUNY Cortland

I’m currently a senior studying international studies and political science at SUNY Cortland. After graduation, I plan to work abroad, specifically in the Australian government.

In order to pay for school, I use financial aid as well as out of pocket payments. I receive both TAP and the Pell Grant to help cover the costs of school, but I also work part-time on campus for 20 hours a week on top of taking 19 credits. I use the money I make working to help pay for groceries, but I also use the student food cupboard on campus.

I pay for textbooks out of pocket with money from working. They’re expensive every semester, and I’m concerned that I won’t graduate on time and will have to pay for even more books all over again. There are classes that I’m required to take that are only offered at specific times, and I still haven’t been able to take them.

College should be accessible to everyone, and by making SUNY fully funded, it will be. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend college and financial aid doesn’t always cover everything, so students are left responsible to pay for the remaining costs. As students, our concern shouldn’t be having enough to eat. We should be focused on our education.

The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as a SUNY student is trying to afford both housing and food. My financial aid doesn’t cover housing because it is all spent on paying for my tuition, so I have to find ways to pay for it myself.

Andi Bruce, SUNY Cortland

I’m a freshman at SUNY Cortland studying English and philosophy with minors in women, gender, and sexuality studies, and in economics. At this point, I don’t have a definite plan for after graduation.

I pay for school with scholarships, financial aid, and loans. I receive TAP and the Pell Grant, and I also work through the work-study program as a part of my financial aid. I use my aid to pay for some of my tuition and textbooks, and I have a meal plan. Like many other students, if I didn’t receive financial aid I would not be able to attend college.

My biggest challenge as a student has been thinking about the future. The Excelsior scholarship was not clear about how they deduct Pell and TAP grants, so my parents had to take out an extra loan right before the tuition bill was due so I could afford to go here. I’m going to have all this debt to pay off when I leave college, and that’s stressful to think about.

We need fully funded colleges because in this economy you can’t rise up without a college education, and preventing someone from receiving such an education is depriving them of equal opportunity and a chance at the life they want and deserve. I think college should be free for everyone, everywhere. Education should be a right, not a privilege. 

Stephanie Appau, Borough of Manhattan Community College

I am a Business Management Major at BMCC. I am expected to graduate in the fall of 2020, once I pass all of my classes. It was fortunate for me to be accepted into the ASAP program at BMCC. The program covers my tuition and transportation fees. Without the ASAP program I wouldn’t be able to take winter or summer courses. Without these courses I would not be able to graduate on time. After I obtain my degrees I would like to open a vet and animal daycare in New York. I have a part time job that helps me pay for my rent and other bills outside of school. One of my main academic goals is to graduate with a high grade point average. To achieve this goal I’m pushing myself to be a better student. To give myself time to study so I could achieve my academic goals.