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I am a young college student at University at Buffalo and with only two semesters, here the school has put me in more debt than I ever have been in my life in the period of just two semester

I come from Ghanaian descent both my parent being born in Ghana and coming to America for a better life. They pursued this life in the huge city of NYC starting a family of four in the Bronx borough in a two-bedroom apartment. Therefore, it was four kids sleeping in one room it seems impossible now that I think of it but it was normal for us. As a child, I never viewed myself as a child in poverty even though I was, but growing up in a community where everyone is just like you poor or not it made me feel as if the life I was living was normal and just as everyone else’s. Being the youngest of the four I grew accustomed to the lifestyle I lived; I knew that I would get two pairs of sneakers for the year; one for school and the other for personal activities. I was perfectly okay with that which explains the non-materialistic lifestyle I live now.

I knew being on sports teams was not possible for me since my parents would not be able to come up with the funds. Therefore, my only option was school, which was free well at least until you reached college. School in my family meant the opportunity to a better life neither of my parents completing high school it was my motivation to do as best as I could so I did. I topped my classes growing up and appeared to my parents as the one who would make it big. Saving my dad from working his long taxi shift and saving my mom from her overnight nursing home job that paid her little to clean elderly people's bowel movement.

As a child, I saw my mom taking any all-risk to pursue a better life for her children. She started a business, which started with just transporting yams from Ghana and selling them out of our apartment. Each box of yams weighing out to 60 pounds per box; our apartment would be stocked with yams and luckily, we only lived on the second floor so carrying them up the stairs was not as difficult as it could have been in our elevator-less building. My mom hated to see me carrying these boxes of yams but as a child, I was motivated to help to know that this was what put food in my stomach. Every Sunday my brother and I would load up 4-5 boxes of yams in a shopping cart and go help our mom distribute it to a local church. The shopping cart was broken after a couple uses but we did our best to maintain what was left of it knowing that purchasing another one was out of the question.

After several years of doing this, my mom quickly rose to the top of the food chain gaining an insane amount clientele. So she decided to open an African market 2000 miles away in Denver Colorado in pursue to start a better life. With her and my dad parting ways, I was not ever completely sure where I would end up but I did not want to leave the place I grew up. My brother and I being the only two kids left to go to college it was very difficult for our parents to decide whether to leave us in the hard lifestyle we were accustomed to or move us to place where we'd live a better life with better opportunity.

My brother and I eventually ended up in Denver Colorado a place we both very much did not like. Everything was so different we had lost our culture and were in a state we did not fit in. I remember being unhappy in the state, just about every day but my living condition was 1000 times better. Being in a state that I did not feel comfortable in I lost motivation for just about everything in life. Constantly on my mind was going back home to the culture filled Bronx borough. Therefore, my number one goal was to graduate high school and return to school in NY. Which I did, in fact, I graduated a year early, I really had an urge to leave the state. I felt as if the state was breaking me down I turned from a constantly happy energetic social butterfly to an angry quick-tempered person.

Therefore, I graduated and eventually left the state following my dreams to be a civil engineer at the state university at buffalo. Eager to come here I fulfilled all necessary requirement and would be considered as an in-state resident since my father still lived in NYC and my mother was still technically an NYC resident. I applied for financial aid under my father name and received NY State grants and other NY State perks from financial aid. A couple weeks before starting at the State University at Buffalo I was told I was not considered a resident because of the high school I graduated from and that I would have to prove my residency or be charged out of state tuition because they made a mistake. Following this all, the financial aid I received from NY State was taken away because I was not a "resident."

Therefore, I quickly went and got the necessary document that I needed to prove my residency and sent it to the school, hoping that once the semester began I would be classified as a resident. After they received the documents I was told I needed an NY State id to also prove my residency so I went and got a NY state id and turned in my interim id as proof till I received the actual id. Even after doing this I was told that they did not receive a document that I had turned in and document were missing so I would have to wait until the next year to apply for in-state residency because they lost my document. Frustrated as a student I calmly completed the semester and was charged 14000 for one semester of school which is after the loans I accepted that I still have to pay, I’ve never even seen 14000 in my life and am also left in debt from loans.

My mom managed to scramble 14000 so I could proceed to the next semester, which I honestly wish she did not since she is still recovering from that setback now. Therefore, the semester ended and I turned in the necessary paperwork I needed to prove my residency 3 times. Each time I was told something was missing, I would turn in the missing document and another document goes missing. I just did not understand why the school wanted to continue to charge me out of state because of a mistake they made from the beginning. So once again, I was in another semester as an out of state tuition, losing all my NY State financial aid. I did not understand how I could receive NY state financial aid but because my school did not consider me a resident, I would lose it. With all occurring, I slowly started to lose motivation it just did not make sense to me why I was attending a money laundering school as a minority.

Once again, the semester ended and I am left with another 10000-dollar tuition excluding housing because I moved off campus and excluding the loans I received. I refuse to make this payment and feel that I need to be reimbursed for the previous and this semester because I was wrongly charged. I am an NY state resident because residency is based on where your parents reside and both my parents are NY state residents. My older brother attends SUNY Oswego and receive instate tuition and he graduated from the same high school as I; so the problem lies in the school or the people handling my paper work



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