I am the eldest daughter of two awesome parents-a disabled Marine Corps vet and a lovely, witty, hardworking woman. It means a lot to me to be the oldest child and I try to set an example for my sister by working hard and staying on top of my school work. I started college in the fall of 2011 and while money was extremely tight, my parents scrounged up everything they could to send me to a private university. The federal student loans I received covered a big part the bill that my parents chose to take on for me.
Now, this year, with my mother also going to school full time (and a little sister starting next year), extra money is more scarce than ever. Our estimated family contribution is just a fifth of what it was last year. I have a very small state scholarship, but to be frank, I need my Pell grant to get through school. Combined with my state scholarship, the Pell grant pays for everything I need except for books. My mom received one that pays her full tuition at community college and we couldn’t have been more relieved that a little bit of the burden was taken off our shoulders.
I work, she works, and together we use all of our craft and ingenuity to make ends meet. These federal loans and grants are keeping me in school right now- without them I would be working 9-5 every day and picking up a few credits a semester every now and then.
Times are very tight, but without having to worry about working to pay next month’s tuition bill, I’m on track to graduate a year early and able to focus on my plans for graduate school.