So my name is Simone and I just graduated from Campbell High School’s International Baccalaureate Program (woot woot)! Now, after four years of rigorous coursework and being involved in several clubs and activities (including two years of French Club, two years of marching band, and four years of Varsity Basketball), I have both my high school and diploma with honor and my International Baccalaureate Diploma! After applying to multiple universities, I was admitted into my number one choice, Furman University. The issue that I’ve come across is that tuition at Furman University is $56,085 and my expected family contribution is $0. Luckily, I have received a great amount of financial aid, but I still do not have enough money to pay the amount owed to the school, $6000 a semester.
Though this amount is much less than the cost of tuition, my personal situation makes my goal seem impossible to achieve. I live with my mother Vicky and my sister Sydney as my father has been a fleeting presence in my life since I was born. In addition to having to maintain a single parent household to the best of her ability, my mother has been faced with extreme adversity when searching for a job, even though she is a licensed practitioner of Criminal/Civil law. A few years ago my mother had surgery on her cervix, and recently was informed that she has cervical cancer. Though my mother rarely talks about her medical needs, this is not the only medical problem that she has encountered. She often focuses on the needs of me and my sister, while her medical issues are put on hold often due to financial and circumstantial obstacles.
I have recently taken on the responsibility of handling my own phone bill and many of my sisters needs to take some of the financial burden off of my mother, but this has prevented me from saving money for my college education. I have considered taking out loans to cover this remaining cost, but that option was short lived after being informed that my mother’s credit is so bad that she cannot cosign on my college loan. In addition to all of these things, my mother is trying to keep a roof over our heads, which is quickly caving in (literally). Our plumbing is shot, the siding of our house is falling off, there is a hole in the side of our house that allows birds to come to and fro in the house, and the downstairs ceiling is falling. The problems with the plumbing and ceiling have caused mildew to form in our kitchen, which creates a new area of medical concern due to the constant exposure. Because of this accumulation of bad occurrences, our house is pretty much worthless on the market, and we live according to what we can afford.
I continue to be optimistic, look for scholarships, and pray that my situation improves, but at this point I am concerned about the security of my future education, my family’s health, and our well-being. Taking one more burden off of my mother’s shoulders would reassure me and my sister that her efforts were not in vain.
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