Community College: what are you paying for?

By Maya Chari - Newbury Park High School, Kavita Rai - Newbury park High School, Kate Wasson - Mater Dei High School, Graham Metzker - Long Beach Poly High School, and Connor Schwengel - Woodbridge High School

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The three things an incoming college freshman frets about are eating right, sleeping right, and paying right— paying right being the number one concern for most students, especially at Long Beach City College.

“I chose LBCC because it’s close to home. And it’s cheaper,” said Dylan Roberts, 18. Roberts even looked at four year colleges, but chose to go to LBCC expecting it to be at “low cost.” He said that financial aid covered part of his tuition, but the other part he pays for with the help of his parents, and by babysitting. He said that he wants to enjoy his education without being worried about being able to afford it.

Mirtha Lopez, 25, is trying to transfer to LBCC from Pasadena City College. Having not qualified for financial aid at her previous college, she is hoping that because she supports herself now she will receive aid. Lopez expressed a fear that her tuition won’t be covered, because “two classes already cost $400.”

“I want to be in the RN program— for nursing, which is really expensive,” said Lopez.

FRESHMAN STEFAN CHAN discusses his experience with the Long Beach City CollegeFinancial Aid system.

Connor Schwengel
FRESHMAN STEFAN CHAN discusses his experience with the Long Beach City College Financial Aid system.

The financial aid system, as Mario Fabian said, can be “pretty picky”. He added that, “a lot of people need it but can’t get it because their parents make ‘too much’.”

Steven Piper, 28, has his B.A., and came to LBCC to get his prerequisites done so he can get his masters and become a physician’s assistant. Having only part of his tuition paid for, Piper, who works at the Memorial Hospital, said that life is pretty difficult and that life would be different if he didn’t have to stress about paying for school.

These students have encountered many obstacles involving their education and financial aid. Varying from different ages, and different backgrounds, all have the same question: how do I pay for my education?

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