Edye Benedict

My family was hit hard by the recession, my mom has been unemployed for years, and we are running out of money. Because of a tricky financial situation, I don't qualify for as much financial aid as I need. I took a gap year to work 40 hours a week and save up, but in the spring I had to withdraw from UMass, my dream school, and decided on community college. I was lucky enough to apply and receive two different scholarships, which covered most of the costs of my first year there (not counting living expenses). My parents won't co-sign loans and I have no fallback support from my relatives, most of whom are deceased or less well off than we are. I don't have scholarships for my second year at community college, which is even still ridiculously expensive considering it's a community college, and I still have two years (junior and senior year) of much higher prices once I transfer to UMass for my bachelor's – particularly considering that prices rise every year. I'm constantly holding myself accountable for my future, and though I may be covered right now, I will still struggle to afford the second half of my secondary education. Also, I run the studyblr and blog academla.com, which in addition to providing resources for students in the form of study inspiration and masterposts with studying tips aims to spread positivity and promote self confidence/self esteem around the community via various positivity-focused projects.

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