Victims of La Crisis: College Students

~ My desk at school ~

For the longest time I was watching the ramifications of La Crisis from the outside and not feeling it directly, but now that the new year has started, La Crisis smacked me upside the head and took my money. I have a “job” and since the new year started, things are dead out in the streets. No one is spending money anymore, it’s always like this after the holidays, but this year things are the worse state they’ve been for as long as I can remember. I’m thankful in a way that growing up “under privilaged” I have the skills to survive anything that can come my way. Hell I’m curretnyl crashing at my friends house and living the “startving artist” life style. But lately, the ramifications of me not having money means that I’m questioning my ability to continue going to school. At ELAC I pay $20 a unit, which I’m extremelty greatful for, but with the way things are the College is in talks of raising tuition prices to $30 by fall. At the sametime Universities are also cuting back in the number of students they’re accepting as La Crisis continues. I was struggling as it was and now things are getting to the point that education may have to take a back seat to just making ends meat. If I’m feeling it at the community college level, my friend on the other hand is in the same boat as I am but she’s at Cal State Long Beach, I’ll be joining her soon 😀 When we hang out now we don’t catch up, we talk about how damn broke we are and how maybe going back to Mexico isn’t such a bad idea anymore.     

18 thoughts on “Victims of La Crisis: College Students

  1. Yeah don’t give up now – no matter how bad things get you will always have your education if you finish. When things get better (they always do) having a degree will position you nicely to take advantage of new opportunities.

    Besides, being in school right now is better than worrying about losing your job or looking for one.

  2. speaking of Elac, I could sure go for a slice of Rios pizza right about now. Hey do they still have Tekken 4 in that activity room place, next to the bookstore at elac?

    If so, check out the top scores.

  3. They can take many things away from you, but they can’t take away your degree. You will be surprised how many doors it opens and also surprised how many it doesn’t, but the important thing is that it DOES open doors.

    Here is the web site to apply for financial aid, at the end of the application they give you options to apply for scholarships, many of them you just need to write an essay and submit it. When I helped my nephew apply, he wrote an essay on how milk has been a part of his life and got $1,000.00. He initially thought it was dumb, but when the check came in it wasn’t so dumb. Good luck and don’t give up! Education is a very strong weapon!

    Preparing for college takes planning and organization.

    Paying for college takes financial aid.

    FAFSA4caster will help you get an early start on the financial aid process by providing you with an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid.

    In addition, FAFSA4caster will increase your knowledge of the financial aid process and provide information about other sources of aid.


  4. El Random Hero,

    don’t come up with that excuse to give up college… in a semester if you take 16 units that $160 extra which is not that many extra hours of work considering it is the differential for the whole semester. And to point it a bit different from Life in LA — when you don’t have a degree you will notice how many doors are closed, and trust me, it will be a bunch of them. I’ve been through it. Student loans as last resort, but figure this — how many hours will you have to work as a student to pay off say $10,000 as opposed to having a degree and a good paying job? Think about it. Actually, with this recession, it is more encouraging to stay in school and not go out there to compete for a job without a degree. I remember after I graduated from high school in 1990 how tough it was to get work — recession — I filled out at least 18 applications that summer and got nothing!!! I figured a different way — I went door to door and convinced people that I knew how to paint and ended up painting 3 houses. I made a bit of money for my books. 😉

  5. Giving up on school is not something I’m going to do anytime soon. If worse comes to worse then missing one semester to get back on my feet is what I would do, but things won’t have to come down to that. Before getting my ass back in school I bounced around for three years working mindless go no where jobs that even though were a HUGE waste of my time, I learned the importance of an education and got my life in order. I haven’t looked back since then. Loans are THEE ultimate last resort, right before I go to my parents for dinero, but without even a B.A. you can’t get people to consider you for a job, specially with the type of work I’m going into.

  6. I remember at Cal Poly pomona we had a class where the older teacher discussed working in factories in his early twenties. He noted “nothing makes you run back to college quicker than working at a factory for a year” and I began laughing, turned and smiled at the 3 other mexicans and 1 working class white guy from Illinois who were smiling right back at me with that “no shit” look.

  7. Speaking from the other side of the desk, teachers are fearing that we might not be getting paid, getting IOU checks and straight out getting fired because they cut so many classes and reduced enrollments.

    When will govt. tax the rich and fully fund the necessities of life: education and health care?

  8. If you calculate it out, it’s better to get the degree(s) as quickly as possible, even if you go into debt a little. It’s because you can get a job faster, make more money faster, and save it for retirement faster. This applies not only for younger people, but also middle aged people.

    Also, if your grades are pretty solid, consider going to UC or an Ivy or a private college, where you might get more aid money.

  9. As a student mmyself i dread having to take out loans to pay for school. I am currently at cal poly, but working a part time job i would never make enough to pay for it out of pocket. $20 a unit would be a breeze to pay for as compared to the 1200 a quarter plus books. Anyway i agree with alienation, its best to get ur degree, get out and get a job. Its easier to payback student loans earning earning 20+ an hour, version trying to pay tuition out of pocket earning minimum wage.

  10. This is kinda funny to see how we think, I went to college and worked my way through it, got financial aid the first year and after that I no longer qualified because I had a $6.00 an hour job, and I too did not take outloans because my father always warned us about getting into debt. I have learned from my white friends, as Alienation stated, that they took out loans and finished much quicker then I did and easily paid off the loans with a well paying job. I work with them now and get paid well, but they are younger then me because it took me longer (but I caught up!) I started working for the County when I graduated and if I would have started earlier I would be retiring earlier. The degree has made it much easier to promote to better paying jobs. The right loans are good for you.

  11. Urbanista, I finished February last year, Urban Planning in bldg 7. But judging from the time you went to Schurr you might have attended with my compadre’s older brother Richard Mata.

    Yeah, the financial aid/loans combo is the best bet if you are non-rich. I got out of school with only $8k in loans, which works out to around $100 bucks a month in sallie mae payments.

    Like rob and p3000 I am also perplexed by our governator’s willingness to balance the budget on the shoudlers of the poor in order to avoid taxing the rich, is that why all those wealthy WASPs voted him in? I actually would be able to stomach all the fees and whatnot if there was SOME kind of burden put on the wealthy like the rest of us. I remember PCC/ELAC (alumni represent) units being $12 a unit, personally watched it jump a few times while in JC while classes diminished (which caused me to lose 1.5 years waiting for math classes I needed, this is important) as well as at Cal Poly Pomona. Another interesting thing was my financial aid would significantly diminish as the years went by, despite my earning not significantly rising. The last 2 years at Cal Poly my income rose about 25% each year, while my financial aid was slashed in half several times; I had initially recieved $1200 a quarter which was reduced to a little over $200 by the end of my schooling. How that worked out economically is still a mystery to me and I never got a straight answer from financial aid (beyond rightfully blaiming the governator), but I have to say that balancing the budget in the manner he has is ridiculously irresponsible and reprehensible to our future generations.

    Funny thing is all these old white conservative Ahnuhld backers who support cuts to everything but their personal income/assets are the same crowd bitching about mexicans ruing the state, causing all the crime and not getting educations, how ironic.

    PS regarding my lost 1.5 years:
    I had been basically attending PCC because I liked the classes better, but because of the crush loads for GE classes such as math and english, I re-enrolled at ELAC (original JC I went to) for the last 2 math classes I needed. Now this crush on GE classes was beyond my control but one BIG thing was my fault: not taking GE classes early on to get them out of the way.

    Take my advice on that one if you havent already. Take your major GE classes first, in doses not too heavy, so that you can have some flexibility and fun with the sociology and art classes later. You dont want to end up like I had, stuck with 1 or 2 math classes left but no open slots at any local colleges, especially considering classese might be reduced. I ended up taking a night math class (was it stat?) in the ELAC swimming pool gym where we’d have to end early because a door was the only seperation between us and swim competitions.

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