Exploring ways to pay
December 7, 2009 —
SVSU students have faced rising financial problems because of both the economy and cuts in the state budget.
With the due date last week for Winter 2010 tuition, students have used a combination of jobs, loans, and family help to pay for tuition. Recent cuts of government-supported scholarships have led many to branch out in how they pay.
Meghan St. Germaine, an elementary education sophomore who is transferring to SVSU for the winter semester, says she came up with the tuition money herself.
“I have two part-time jobs while I go to school full time, and I’m in the process of receiving my loans right now, too. I didn’t have to ask for help from my parents this semester, though,” she said.
Other students have used help from their families to avoid debt.
Stacey Gruss, a nursing sophomore, said she obtained most of her tuition money from grants and her family to avoid massive debt.
“My parents and I are really striving to find money every other place but student loans so I don’t get into a huge amount of debt before I even get to graduate school or into my career,” she said.
Gruss added that she has a part-time job as referee for volleyball games, but she is looking for a job that will help her move closer to earning her nursing license.
Many students continue to face tougher situations due to cuts made to higher education funding by the state. Gruss was one affected.
“Last semester, I had money from both the Michigan Promise and the Michigan Competitive scholarships,” Gruss said.
“With this semester, I’m really depending on aid from SVSU and Pell Grants. I won’t lie though, it’s been tough to come up with the money that I would’ve gotten from those scholarships. But, I’m lucky with what I have because I’ll be able finish to school without [the scholarships].”
Gruss said that she has faced challenges in paying tuition, and she realizes all students have work to do to make it through the rest of their college careers.
“My guess is that a lot of people are taking out more loans and getting into a lot of debt looking for more money, and I’m sure more people are asking for help from their parents and families, too,” Gruss said.
“It’s tough to get through school these days, but it’s not impossible if you know where to look for that money, no matter what amount is available, because every little bit helps,” she added.
St. Germaine agreed she’s had some difficulties paying for college, but she’s confident that her work ethic isn’t unique.
“You have to keep trying to work hard for everything, but you have to save everything that you possibly can, too. Working hard is most important though. It’s the work that will get you through the tough times in college.”