I am a graduate student with a full-time job as well as a freelance side gig. Last week I learned that I can graduate in 2023 if I take a required course as an independent study this summer. The cost of the tuition and fees would be approximately $4,000. I have been living beyond my means for a long time (my job doesn’t cover all of my expenses but has given me the flexibility I’ve needed to work toward my degree) and if I can graduate in May 2023, I find a new position that pays more and receive and send the book proposal I’m working on out to publishers and hopefully receive an advance to write it in 2024. My situation became complicated in August 2020 when my mother had a debilitating stroke that left her with aphasia and receptive aphasia. One-third of her brain wasn’t recoverable because she wasn’t found soon enough for it to be reversed. It was always me and my mom — she was always my biggest supporter and confidante. Not pursuing this path would disappoint her and make her sad because she worked so hard for me to have opportunities growing up and I learned my work ethic from her. Unfortunately, I also found out this spring that she’s received a breast cancer diagnosis within the past week and I know it’s getting worse, so I am worried that prolonging my degree program could put me in a position where I may need to prolong it even further if something happens to my mom and I need to take bereavement time. Despite my depression, I have found ways to excel in school and my job. But money has continued to be a source of desperation and anxiety. If this didn’t happen to my mom, she would be able to help me. Most of the money I earn goes to my amazing therapist who is helping me process my enormous grief. However, that is not the case anymore. I have no other family to turn to. I have applied for grants and scholarships and fellowships without any luck so far. This funding would go a long way to helping me get on a better financial path. I attend an R1 research institute and have a 3.95 GPA. I would be forever grateful for any assistance during this difficult time.