Ask Val

Hey it’s Val! School literally just started and it is already midterms! Am I the only one feeling this way, or is it the whole student body? As paper deadlines approach, so do payment plan deadlines. Which brings me to today’s question, from an individual asking: “I’m having financial problems, what can I do to pay for school?”

School education, as much as it’s a basic human right, is really treated like a privilege. But you have a right to be here, you have the right to education, and you have the right to take control of your future.

There is this amazing gem at WCC, and I am going to shed light on it because it shouldn’t be hidden. It is called the Benefits Access Center (BAC), it is located in the Student Center on the 2nd floor, room 224. The BAC was created just for students like you, who are struggling financially.

Through the BAC, there is the Westchester Community College Foundation Emergency Aid Program. A quote from the school’s website states, “The Westchester Community College Foundation Emergency Aid Program was established to assist students who have unforeseen financial hardships that occur during the semester and endanger their continued enrollment.”

This type of aid takes care of you immediately, and it is separate from the financial aid office or the scholarship office. There is usually a 72-hour turnaround time from once you submit your application. But also, for future planning, when you are applying for the next semester, apply for scholarships, this school has over a million dollars to give to students, and there isn’t a certain gpa requirement for many scholarships, some are just focused on need based, just visit the school’s website and apply to enter yourself into the general pool.

You never know, a nice surprise might come your way. Also, if your financial income has changed, you should make a visit to the Financial Aid office located on the first floor of the Admissions building, they can help you update your financial record, to help you gain more aid. They can also help you figure out loan options, which you wouldn’t have to pay off until you finish school in its entirety and start getting your 6-figure paycheck.

The fact that you asked me this question, shows me that your education is important to you. It shows me that you are taking the initiative to figure out “how” to solve the problem, and not dwelling on the, “why” you are in this situation.

Life happens, and life will continue to happen, but as a WCC Viking Warrior, you will conquer life, and I’ll be here by your side, shouting, “Victory is yours!”  As always, you are not alone. I would love to hear from you all, send me emails with all your questions, and concerns, and I will continue answering them here in the paper. Completely anonymous. Remember, Write me, don’t skype me. It’s Val!

To get in touch with Val, write to Always 100% anonymous & confidential

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