My freshman year was my best year of college. I had many scholarships, grants and loans. The financial aid staff at State was very helpful until I got older.
My first and second semesters of my sophomore and junior years were my most difficult experiences of my college career. I often had to choose: Go to class or go to work so I could pay the bills.
Unfortunately, I had to stay out of college for two years. I could not pay my tuition and afford to live on campus at the same time. Because of my out-of-state status, I was not given much financial assistance.
Here are some of the cons of being an out-of-state student at West Virginia State University:
- No state grants or scholarships
- The state of West Virginia offers eligible students scholarships or grants for staying in state to attend college. When students attend a college in a different state, they cannot take advantage of the free money to help them pay for college.
- Some state schools, like WVSU, will give merit scholarships to out-of-state students. However, the scholarships are not enough to cover the cost of attendance.
- Many students who attend state schools at an institution in another state will have to pay much of the tuition bill themselves.
In my second and third years at college, I realized what my high-school self could not have imagined: Go to class or be able to afford to eat. That is what many students face if they come from families that are not able to help.
I think attending college is more difficult for low-income students because they cannot afford to work unpaid internships. I did not necessarily come from a low-income family, but my family already had a ton of responsibilities, and those made it impossible to contribute toward my education. Sometimes I would hope my professors would understand when I had to miss class so I can go to work. Unfortunately, that was never the case.
There is a popular belief that the younger generation is lazy and entitled, but I do not think that people understand the amount of pressure college students are under. We are overworked and underpaid while trying to make ends meet. I would love for State to recognize our hard work and meet us halfway so we can achieve our dreams.