By: Krystle Crossman
Getting into an Ivy League school is tough. Not only do you need the grades and the extra-curricular credits, but you need money. Kids who have been accepted to Ivy League schools with the promise of a full scholarship still find that they are spending a lot of money that they most likely do not have to spend while getting their education. They are finding out that it is hard to go through college as a lot income student even when they are not paying for their tuition. Continuously having to worry about money while trying to focus on classes can greatly hurt a student’s academic success.
Columbia University Lizzette Delgadillo states that being in New York City is great but it is expensive, especially if you want to get out and do things with your friends after classes are done for the day. Food costs a lot of money. Going out to a bar and having a drink or two is expensive. Public transportation can become costly as well. Delgadillo was not able to go home during Thanksgiving break one year and had to stay on campus. She found that all of the college cafeterias were closed during this time and she could not use her meal plan card for restaurants that were not on campus. She found it very hard to find something to eat during this time.
Students still have to buy books for school. There are services that allow college students to rent books for the semester or even buy them at a much lower cost than the school campus offers. This only works if the books are available through these sites however. If not students have to find a way to pay full price for them at the book store. Many classes take trips out and about in the city to learn more about culture and history. Some students are not able to take trips due to the cost and then they miss out on the lessons that are taught during the trip. Certain schools have dropped student loans from their financial aid packages. They have the students pay a lump sum every year, $2,400 for the first year for example for Columbia that they say the students can make during summer jobs while they are on break. This amount rises every year.
Groups of students at the eight Ivy League schools are trying to come together to make the schools aware that while having a diverse student body is great they need to be aware of the financial challenges that come with a great education. Student sometimes have to skip meals or eat less healthy foods due to costs which does not help when they are trying to study or pay attention in class. Some schools are adopting programs to help students. Harvard gives students meal vouchers that they can use during vacations. There is still a long way to go but for now the harsh reality of what it is like to be a low-income student in a prestigious school affects many.
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