I am not sure how everyone’s story goes, but I understand that everyone has their own unique story. As for mine, it started a little further back in 2016 when I first thought of my future college plans. I fully knew that I will not be supported by my parents to go to college and that I did not want to serve the military just to be able to afford to get myself a degree in Chemical Engineering. All I knew was that I needed a good GPA in high school to be able to get a scholarship and rely on Free Application For Federal Aid (FAFSA) – a government, need-based scholarship – on paying the remaining amount that was not covered by the merit scholarship. In addition to this, I also understood that I would have to work in addition to preparing my own meals, studying for all of my classes, and commute to school.
Moving on to 2017, I started to transition from high school to college when I entered a state school with (what I thought was) a considerable amount for a scholarship of $4,000/year and $6,000/year from fafsa. The only thing I missed was how ridiculously expensive college classes are per credit, living expense, transportation, and food are. Due to how much I have to work to cover living expenses, I take the minimum of 12 credits/semester to not completely overwork myself to the point I will not be able to do both. It turns out that even with the subsidized federal loan of $6,000/year, I am barely making ends meet with my credit card of $500 limit. Here is a little bit of my math:
Expenditure: School: $21,000/year | Rent: $750/month | Food + Transportation: $300/month
Income: Working in the library (40hrs/week): $1,800/month (Before taxes)
Which allows me to save approximately: ~$600/month (after taxes) but my school fees adds up ($10,500 (school cost/semester) – $2,000 (merit scholarship) – $3,000 (Fafsa) – $3,000 (Fafsa Loan) = $2,500) Needing to save every month to only realize that I am usually still short a few hundred dollars to pay off the school fees, I usually use my credit card and have little to work with when it comes to buying food.
I really did not want to resort to this, but I still have at least 2 more years of school and I don’t want to give up my dream to be a chemical engineer and to see all my efforts for the past two years disappear to thin air. If you have read through this far, I really appreciate all the reading you have done and I completely understand if you are unable to help. But getting this off my chest with the thought of the possibility that a kind soul might help out a struggling college student relieves a little bit of pressure from all the stress that I have to face every day at work and at school.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and donate if you do.