By Quinn Pender |
Several of the seniors in the class of 2016 had abrupt changes in their college plans for financial reasons. 2016 graduates Julia Hornyak, Kayla Burt, and Michael Fiorillo all changed their plans over the summer. 2016 graduate Julia Hornyak said,”my heart was set on Uconn, but I got waitlisted.” Julia decided to go to Eastern for a year until she could transfer to Uconn, but she is now attending Middlesex Community College. 2016 graduate Kayla Burt enrolled in Salve Regina’s Nursing Program, but when the school changed her financial aid package, she decided to go to Central Connecticut State University. Michael originally committed to High Point in North Carolina, but he said, ” I can’t afford to pay $30.000 a year.”He is now enrolled at Central in the honors program where he is getting free tuition if he maintains a 3.5 in his honors and regular classes.”
Julia is happy with her decision that she didn’t enroll in Eastern. She said, “It made me more financially aware of my decisions and realizing whatever I do now will affect my future greatly.” Instead, she is attending Middlesex for the next two years then going to Uconn. She said her “heart was set on Uconn, but [she] got waitlisted until late May and got into Avery point.” Julia said, “I didn’t want to go if it wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. So then I thought I would go to Eastern for a year then transfer and realized how much of a waste of money that was… I could get the same credits just for a cheaper price at the community college.” She said she also realized that she would not have been able to afford UConn even if she was admitted. Julia said, “I can now work and go to school at the same time, and with all the money I’ve been saving, I can already pay off both years at Middlesex all by myself.
I’ll continue to work throughout my two years there in order to pay for wherever I want to go after my two years is up at Middlesex. I’m actually currently looking at Uconn and Sacred Heart, but it’s nice I have two years to make a decision with what I want in my life instead of having to make one right out of high school, and I’ll also be in a good financial state wherever I graduate from since I decided to go to community college my first two years and will most likely have little to no debt at all!” Julia is pleased with her decision. “It doesn’t matter where you started as long as you get a degree, and in my case, I’ll just be getting mine for cheaper!
Kayla Burt said, “I originally was going to attend Salve Regina University as a nursing major. I committed on May 1st (spent $750 on a commitment fee). I went to orientation in June, picked out a roommate, and I was so ready and excited to start school in September.” She reconsidered, however after she found out in “mid-June/July-ish” that Salve re
duced her original financial aid package. “I was supposed to be paying about $14,000 a year.” When she realized she would be paying $20,000 per year, she spent more than two weeks trying to get more aid. “After a lot of meltdowns and tears, I had to accept the fact that they couldn’t do anything more for me. Sadly, I had to withdrawal from the school.”
Once she could not afford Salve, Kayla called schools to find out where she could enroll at such a late date. Central enrolled her. Kayla said, I’m here at Central, paying about $6500 a year. I was pretty bitter about coming here and super salty about the whole situation, but I do really like it here. The people are great, I enjoy my classes, and overall it is a great place to be even if it’s “just central.” I was so caught up in the big mansions and the beautiful views that I didn’t even realize that I would have $80,000 in student loan debt after my four years of school which is RIDICULOUS.” Kayla shared this advice for seniors, “DO NOT get caught up in the pretty, expensive, prestigious schools. Go somewhere affordable and make a good financial decision for your life NOW. Wh
en you get older you’re going to want to travel and go places. Save money now so you can do what you want later. where you go you are going to get the same degree. I wish the current seniors the best of luck with applying to college, but please please please make a good financial decision for yourself now. Don’t get caught up in student loan debt. Don’t get caught up in your “#1 school.”
Michael Fiorillo’s goal is to become a teacher. Michael believes,”Connecticut has the best teaching certification programs.” He explained that he changed his mind about High Point and decided to enroll at Central on graduation day in June. He said,”I realized I can’t afford to pay 30.000 a year with a scholarship.” As a student in the honors program at Central, he will not pay tuition as long as he maintains a 3.5 gpa in my honors and regular classes.