Hey everyone! I recently just started my senior year of my undergraduate education at Miami University in Oxford, OH, and it is off to a great start. Everyone looks forward to their senior year of college and receiving that diploma at the end of those four years of hard work and dedication you have put into that degree. I would love the chance to be able to see graduation day. We all also know that college is not cheap.
My tuition bill was due August 9th. I have received financial aid, but not nearly enough to cover me for the year, so I resorted to applying for a private loan to help bridge the gap in what I have in financial aid and what I still owe. It was not until that Tuesday before the deadline that I found out the loan did not get approved. I frantically tried to apply for a few more loans immediately after I found out this news, but ended up getting denied by all of them. I tried having my father cosign for me, but each company we have communicated with said he did not have a high enough income to qualify. This began to make me really stressed out and upset, because this has never happened before, and of all the years for this to happen, it had to be my senior year. I was suppose to make the trip back to Miami on August 12th (classes did not start until the 20th, but I received a promotion to be a Student Manager second semester of my Junior year at the dining hall I work at and we had training all week from August 13th-17th). That morning when I woke up, it took me a half hour to get out of bed because I was deciding on whether or not it was even worth it to go back to school if I did not even have a plan as to how I was going to pay. Having packed the car the night before, I woke up and unpacked the car, because I made the decision that I was not going back because I did not think that there was anything I could do, nor did I have hope that anything would turn around. However, I still had a few belongings back at school that I had left at a friend's house over the summer. So, my mother and I made the trip down there anyways to pick them up. The entire 5 hour car ride was filled with anguish, tears, and convincing myself that all I was going to do was pick up my stuff, and make the 5 hour trip back home to Chicago. This ended up not being the case. We arrived in Oxford at my friend's house, packed the car, and I stayed for a little bit to explain to her my situation and what was going on. After an hour of talking to her, I started to realize that I can still figure something out, since classes don't start for another week. So I decided to stay and see if there was anything I could do to fix this dilemma. My parent's have tried to find people to cosign for me so I could apply for another loan, but either people have said no, or we have attempted to fill out more loan applications and the cosigner ended up getting denied. This has been a very stressful situation for me, but I have not stopped fighting because I know there is a way or someone out there who is willing to help. The problem is, I'm running out of time on trying to figure out a solution as my classes will be dropped if I don't pay my tuition bill in full by August 30th.
Now, you are probably thinking, "Well, you shouldn't have gone to such an expensive school". Yes, I realize that, but I have already invested in three successful years at this university and for me to have quit now is a pretty devestating thought. Why does it matter that I stay here? Because I want to be here, and I have been offered many great opportunities at this school, especially this year. If I just leave now, I lose it all.
I am not your average college student who has the chance to party on the weekends or even during the week. I am a Division 1 student-athlete (not on scholarship), a student-employee (now a student-manager), and above all, a student. Now, you tell me how a student who has dedicated 13-18 credit hours each semester, trains 20 hours/week with my synchronized skating team and travels nationally and internationally to compete for days at a time (if you are curious as to what that is, youtube it), and works nearly 15 hours/week is able to succeed in school. I have a cummulative GPA of a 3.22, which may not seem very high, but it is higher than most, and every semester since my first semester of freshman year, my GPA has always gone up, which must mean I am doing something right. I work hard in working towards my degree as an exercise science major, because I want to be able to go on to graduate school and become a Physical Therapist. I work hard as an employee year-round because I want to be able to pay off the current loans that I have so that I will not have to leave the burden to my parents to pay. I work hard as a skater because I love the sport and want to help my team succeed, in practice and in competition. I work hard in all of these aspects because it matters to me. I deserve to be at this school just as much as everyone else who's moms and dads are paying for their education, and I definitely do not deserve to be written off just because I can't pay for school. I don't give up very easily, which is why I am still fighting to get to the bottom of this. I know that there are generous people out there in the world who are willing to help. Any amount would be greatly appreciated, so I hope you will find it in your heart to help me out. Thank you for taking the time to read this!