For Cassidy Lunney, half of her life seemed picture perfect, while the other half seemed like it was falling out of the frame in the months leading up to college. Everything she was used to was about to change. Her parents were separating and the thought of going to college and growing up felt like a thunderstorm on the first day of summer vacation.
On one hand she was living the teenage dream by dating her first boyfriend and was just months away from going to fashion school. At the same time, she was crying constantly, having panic attacks every day, worrying about the future and struggling with how to deal with her emotions. Paying for nearly every college expense on her own, including tuition and a new MacBook was a daunting responsibility for the junior fashion studies student.
“I have to take out loans because I’m the only person with good credit in my family, and I will probably have to pay them back myself,” Lunney said. “My family isn’t in a good financial position to help me that much [and] I don’t get a lot of financial aid either for some reason, but every little bit that I do counts.”
Lunney is not alone in her struggles. She is just one of the many college students dealing with mental health issues because of money. At the Board of Trustees meeting last week, a handful of students showed up to voice their concerns about the possibility of tuition rising. One student in particular, junior international justice studies major named Heather Francis, spoke about the financial burden placed on students trying to pay for their education.