Cash, check or charge?

College: where the funds are low and the stakes are high

Many students are expected to pay for various in-class expenses after tuition, but expenses can burden some students without the help of family members or sometimes the help of professors themselves.

Ferris pre-pharmacy junior Connor Fellows and Ferris construction management sophomore Logan Rathburn are two students who have chosen to save their earnings for their education after devoting their summers to full-time jobs.

Goggles, utility belts and online passcodes are just a few expenses that professors require in the classroom. While financial aid covers textbooks, some extra necessities are not directly covered.

“While I can usually buy textbooks for rather cheap on websites like Amazon, these access codes can really only be found through the website, which raises the cost immensely,” Fellows said.

Not being able to directly apply their financial aid or use other websites to purchase these access codes causes many Ferris students to be unable to afford this method of teaching, an issue instructors are aware of.

According to a professor in the Language and Literature department, foreign language classes are taking student finances into consideration. This has resulted in $200 to $300 textbooks being used for not one semester but two, allowing students to get their money’s worth. Another solution the department has been considering is converting to online textbooks with access codes.

Although instructors are aware that most students are not fans of access codes, they’re encouraged to take into consideration what will benefit the most students.

While some students appreciate their professors’ concerns, others have a different perspective.

“I think professors should stay out of the financial side of my education,” Rathburn said. “It’s cool when they try and help us out by letting us buy the cheaper book. But they should teach the class the way it’s designed to be taught.”

Trying to find a balance between the greater good and students’ wallets is something professors are looking into because being short on money is a struggle many college students endure.

Fortunately for some students, they have family members who can pitch in. Ferris music industry management sophomore Olivia Martin is one of these students.

“My parents do help me with school, thank God,” Martin said. “I am so thankful for their help. I wouldn’t be able to afford school without them.”

Martin’s parents offered her a certain amount of money each year; however, once that money ran out, Martin, like Fellows, discovered tips to lower daily costs.

Martin likes to save on groceries by shopping at Aldi or Wal-Mart while Fellows decided on a 75-meal plan as opposed to the unlimited plan he had his freshman year.

Fellows cut out other unnecessary expenses and learned some lifelong advice.

“While it is important to take care of finances, students must also remember that college years can become some of the most enjoyable years of one’s life,” Fellows said. “Invest into your finances, but also invest into your classes and the people around you.”