I am a 21-year-old second-year student with a 3.96 GPA studying Acting and Content Creation in a college in Los Angeles, California. While I am living and studying in America, I am originally from Toronto, Canada, and I am in a severe financial crisis. I need to urgently collect $13,000 US for tuition plus $6000 for rent and groceries, because if I don’t, I will have to drop out of my school, lose my place of residence, and as a result, I will also have to give up on my main aspiration in life. My family and I do not make a rule to resort to begging for financial help, but we left this as a last resort if our problems became truly unmanageable. However, this past year has been absolutely brutal to us, and it has completely ruined my family’s financial state. My mother even had to put up our family house for sale. Unfortunately, a miracle didn’t happen, we didn’t win the lottery, our house did not get sold yet, and my mother’s work and health predicament did not at all improve. Therefore, we had to use this desparate strategy. Let me explain everything that is going on in great detail:
Since my early childhood it was my dream to become an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. We were well aware that studying and living in Los Angeles was going to be more expensive than in Toronto. Nevertheless, my mom supported my dedication to acting and writing as well as my decision to go to Hollywood to study in the center of the industry. Our decision relied on the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) which we thought would completely cover all of the tuition and living expenses I would face during my time in Los Angeles. It was a huge disappointment to find out that while this financial assistance is available for Canadian students studying abroad, it only covers 25% of all of the tuition payments, and there is nothing left over to cover housing expenses and food. To avoid crushing my dream, my mom took a loan against the equity of our house to pay for tuition. To make matters worse, we had to rent an apartment as the dorms at my school were in poor condition. There were foul-smelling carpets which nearly caused my nose to run faster than my legs out of the rooms, the windows and the walls were broken to the point where I wondered if someone took out anger on them, and finally, the walls along the beds looked like they were painted by an eco-friendly modern Picasso who used mucus and feces as paint. The most insane part is that living in these conditions would have cost me $1200 per month. The rooms were so small to hold even two students, and it looked as if I would pretty much be paying just for a bed. Right before my first year started, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which made it dangerous for my health for me to be present in such spaces even for a little while. Taking all of this into consideration, and the fact that one of the dorms was actually closed down by the Los Angeles health authorities a year before this situation, my mom had to rent an apartment in an area close to the college and pay 14 months worth of rent and a damage deposit up front because, as Canadian citizens, we had no U.S. credit history and/or place of employment to show. We were not that disappointed because it made much more sense to take this option rather than pay $1200 just for a bed in a tiny and dirty room, especially since I planned to find myself a responsible roommate, and it would’ve cost each of us less than $1000 including utilities and internet to live in a spacious and clean one-bedroom apartment in a decent area within Hollywood. I was faced with yet another surprise as my attempt to get a roommate failed, since the superintendent informed me that it’s against the building’s company policy to have a roommate. Therefore, my mother ended up paying a much greater amount than she expected to pay for tuition and my accommodations. As I mentioned earlier, she covered 75% of my tuition costs and 14 months of my rent during my first year from taking a loan from our house equity. As for the second year, while she planned to take more money out of our house plus some savings to pay for my education and living expenses, I planned to make my own financial contributions by working at my campus which is only allowed after you reach your second year as a student. Unfortunately, all of these plans were shattered as well. Last year’s economical situation and the real estate market caused house prices to go down significantly to the point that there was not enough equity in our house for us to qualify for an equity loan. Prices for essentials (groceries and utilities) skyrocketed causing our savings to disappear. The situation became so bad and unmanageable that my mother had to put the house up for sale. The high interest rates made the mortgage payments impossible for my mother to handle.
I have tried countless times to apply for on-campus jobs at my school (which all pay minimum wage), but there were very few positions to choose from and I didn’t get the ones that I applied for. After failing to get a job at my school, I would’ve turned to job opportunities outside of my school to help me pay for college and for my overall survival in Los Angeles, except I couldn’t do that because I first have to submit multiple forms explaining how my financial situation has gotten worse in order to gain permission to work in America as a non-citizen. I had permission to work in my school since I was a student, and it didn’t matter that I was from a different country. However, finding a job outside of a college in America is not something I’m allowed to do at the moment since I have not yet filed for a work permit as a nonresident. What makes this issue more complicated is that I also have to pay a $410.00 fee to successfully file one of those required work permit forms. So now I’m in a situation where I don’t have money to pay for this application in the first place, but I still need to somehow do this for the sake of finding work in America. If I’m being perfectly honest, even if I found employment in America, the pay would most likely be very small, and I would have to dedicate a lot of hours to it which I don’t have since my school’s gruelling artistic program and subsequent homework assignments prevent me from having any sort of free time (even on weekends) to focus on some other important task.
To make at least some money, I have been taking advantage of scholarship opportunities that my school has told me about. I managed to get $1,000 from one of the contests, and I used it to pay for phone, internet, and elecricity bills, as well as other utilities and groceries. After all of that was taken care of, I was back to my original desperate financial situation.
In conclusion, I would like to once again emphasize that if I don’t gather the money to pay for my studies now, I will have to leave the college and the country altogether. The required amount I previously mentioned in the first paragraph is not the full amount required for the entire academic year. This is just to cover 30% of my tuition and 2 months of rent and groceries because my mother and I believe that our issues related to work load, health, and housing will soon be resolved.
While I have fallen on very hard times, I am not ashamed to admit that that is the case because I know that things like this happen to the best of us. I plan to become an artist in the fields of acting, directing, and screenwriting in the future, and that is why I look at problems like the one I am currently facing as nothing more than an instance of things becoming a lot worse before they get better. I would greatly appreciate any sort of donation from anyone kind enough to help me and my mother so that we can escape our inconvenient financial predicament and get to work on building better lives! By helping me out in this moment, you are not only doing a favor for a stranger, but you are also supporting that stranger’s journey to one day become something bigger than himself and to change the world of popular culture forever. I promise to return the favor to anyone who chooses to be generous towards me now by helping out other struggling actors and students in need the same way I was helped on this site!
Thank you very much for your assistance and generosity!