The struggle is real for most college students. Managing employment as a student working on or off-campus while maintaining good grades in multiple classes can be more than overwhelming for many. College may present itself to be especially challenging in the case of a low-income student, especially a transfer/commuter full-time student with two jobs such as myself. I'm sure many can relate.
I believe college would bring upon less heartache if students had access to more financial stability. As an international student, I was forced to find a place to reside that was both close to the university's campus and still affordable. As all commuters know, however, the closer one wishes to live to the campus, the more expensive (also dorming/housing on campus is a dreadful $6,000 minimum per semester). As of now I stay in an Airbnb and monthly costs are a bit lower in lieu of residing at an apartment complex or on campus. Every penny counts.
Just stressing about a living situation while I attend the school has given me enough grey hairs. I also have a constant concern of my enrollment at the school; I’m only able to study at this university because I'm enrolled on grants, loans and scholarships--some I may not receive next school year if im not careful with my grades. So failing a class, unlike many students who can simply retake the class, can cost me my entire education at the facility. It's a very thin line I balance myself on every time I turn in an assignment.
My mental state in the hands of such stress is a fragile one. Understanding my financial situation and my position at this school coerces me think rationally, react reasonably, be prepared and ahead of my classes, and most of all mature at a quick rate. Living in a single-parent household from a very young age with a one-parent income to care for four children has taught me to be diligent and responsible in almost everything I do. This is why I believe the school would be helping low-income students during their stay at the University if they offered cheaper housing options, cheaper meal plans, and more accessible scholarships for low income students.
Of course I’m more than grateful to the University of Miami for granting me the funds to attend the school in the first place. However, it’s still a challenge. It's harder everyday to go to a school I can't even afford to live near. Of course, college affects all students differently, in bad ways and in good, by my experience, low-income students have the struggle the worst of all. I hope UM and all private institutions with a costly attendance price make attendance and matriculation a little bit easier.