By ENRIQUE MARTINEZ-GUERERRO, Ranger reporter:
For Amarillo College art major Carly Stewart, news of any increase in college costs is scary.
“It’s really hard to pay the tuition since I don’t have a job and my parents are the ones who bring the money to the house, but they also have to pay for my brother and sister’s school,” Stewart said.
The 19 year old is the oldest of three siblings and soon her sister will also be taking college classes. “The increased cost of tuition is really going to affect us,” she said.
Stewart said that paying for college classes is already a struggle. She uses Amarillo College’s payment plan option to pay for her classes so she doesn’t have to come up with the full cost of tuition all at once. “I don’t know why Amarillo College decided to increase the cost of tuition, but in my case it is not going to be easy to pay for it,” said Stewart. “I don’t have a job right now because I use my time to do my homework and study for my tests. Now I’m probably going to have to find a job and possibly take fewer classes next semester,” she said.
Currently Stewart is completing her second semester at AC and taking three classes. She is also the president of the Art Collective Club and a member of the AC Film Club, both of which meet weekly. She said she is considering cutting back on her extracurricular activities so that she has time to get a job. “I really enjoy my art meetings because I like art and because the people here are great–plus it’s a great stress reliever,” Stewart said, noting that she does not like the idea of quitting her school clubs.
Another option is to cut down on her course load. Stewart said she anticipates other students soon will have to consider the same choice. “Now that summer enrollment is around the corner, many students could be affected,” she said. “If students were planning on attending full time classes, they are probably going to have to do part time school and get a job since they will have to pay more than expected.”
Stewart is also exploring the possibility of applying for scholarships. “That way I can concentrate in my classes,” she said.