When one imagines college they immediately think of the opportunity to progress their academic career while basking in the fruitful social environment that can be found on college campuses around the nation. Even though it is easy to be caught up in the infatuating thoughts of what college is like, it is extremely hard to ignore the financial cloud that hovers over many students.
The biggest worry for most college students is not exams, scheduling or any other academic obligation. It is the overwhelming amount of money needed to stay afloat on a daily basis. Whether it is how they will pay for their next meal, rent, school as well as many other factors that are vital to maintaining an adequate college lifestyle, students are suffering on campuses across the nation.
Statistics show that 23 percent of full-time undergraduates, who are 24 or younger work 20 or more hours a week.
Many college students are first generation, which means that some students attend college without financial assistance from their family. This leads to students taking out loans and drowning in debt after graduation.
Financial stress in college could promote poor performance, which increase dropout rates.
Jenise Adams, a former Tallahassee Community College student, said, “After not receiving financial aid it became extremely hard to pay for classes, so I had to assert all of my energy to a full-time job causing me to step away from school.”
Bills are also one of the major culprits students face while in college. Most students who reside off campus have monthly obligations that they have to treat with a great deal of importance. It can range from rent, car payments, phone bills and many more.
“Being a college student is my top priority but it is hard to maintain good grades, and work a part-time job to pay for my monthly finances,” said Centeria Lee, a fourth-year cardiopulmonary science student at FAMU.
There are other hurdles some students must face: imagine being a college student with children. Statistics show that 26 percent of the total college population is a parent.
College students who have children face a lot of financial problems. Not only do they have monthly obligations with school and bills, but also daily finances for their children.
Patrice Campbell, a single mom and full-time student at Florida A&M University said, “I worked two jobs for two years to help with paying my expenses. It has definitely been a struggle, but I have been blessed to meet people here at FAMU that has helped me with my son.”
College is already a battle within itself, so adding financial stress does nothing but drop a weight on the backs of students who are already carrying a load that seems like too much to bear.