Student Voices {Support Public Higher Education}

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Kate's Voice


How have increased tuition fees impacted you and your family?:
Coming from a family of three children, two in college and one in High School, with my single mother's Kindergarten salary, I knew I would have to work hard to get through college the day I packed my bags for San Francisco State; however, I never dreamed that soon enough the dreams that I thought were so attainable would be washed away slowly due to outrageous tuition fees and living expenses. My Freshman year at SFSU I got a part-time job at a local coffee shop near campus right away, knowing my financial aid was enough to cover tuition fees, books, and almost all of my rent, but not enough for food, etc. As a Biology major hoping to attend medical school for veterinary science after I graduate from SFSU, you can imagine my worries of work interfering with my studies. It was never a problem that year though, as I worked roughly fifteen hours a week, just enough to get me by. Little did I know that I would be in the position that I am in now, as a Junior Biology major working forty hours during the week at a grocery store, with shifts lasting until midnight after class all day, just so I can afford to pay for books and rent, let alone food and other living costs. As the fees increase, so do my working hours, which in return cause my hours of sleep and study time to decrease drastically. Financial aid is barely enough to cover tuition these days. I want so badly to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine someday, which means I must get excellent grades now, but how am I supposed to study and excel in my classes without working as much as I do so that I can afford school? This semester I received a check for ninety-six dollars after tuition was paid, with the reality of my Spring semester book and lab fees weighing in at a total of five hundred and sixty-two dollars. Outrageous. Now this is pretty bad already, but I haven't even mentioned the fact that I'm a semester behind because classes have been cut in half and the only way to get into a biology or chemistry course without being a Senior is to fight your way to the front of the forty other people in line to get on a wait list that promises you nothing. So, that's my story of frustration. A twenty-one year old Biology: Concentration in Zoology Junior, working forty hours a week to pay for a tuition that promises you of getting into at least one class per semester that you need, if you're lucky, maybe two.


What are you studying at SF State and what do you hope to do once you graduate?:
I'm a third-year Biology major with a concentration in Zoology and I want nothing more than to attend medical school after I graduate to become a veterinarian.


Kate E., 21 Madera, Ca



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