The Broke College Student

the mid-section of a man holding out his empty jeans pockets

Many college students complain about money. Well, their lack of money to be exact. A job is what students desperately want, but have a hard time finding.

But did you know CUNY offers numerous job opportunities? Listed below are some that are being offered for those interested.

The CUNY 311 Project is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication, and the City University of New York. It provides qualified CUNY students with the opportunity to work as part time Call Center Representatives, within New York City’s Customer Service Center, for $10.98 an hour. 311 provides New Yorkers with one easy to remember number to access all City agencies and services. Workers will be required to answer incoming calls in a professional and courteous manner. They must also be available 18 hours per week for three 6 hour shifts, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and be at least a second year freshman.

The Poll-Worker Initiative recruits and trains hundreds of students to serve as poll workers with the Board of Elections. They are looking for students who can work as Inspectors or Interpreters on Election Day. After a four hour training session for potential workers, a compensation of $200.00 per day for working in the primary election and the general election is awarded.

CUNY Service Corps is another excellent opportunity.  Service placements last 24 weeks, for over two semesters, and you are placed in positions of your interest. Participants work 12 hours per week, are paid $12 an hour, and in some instances earn college credit.

Any of these opportunities pique your interest? Then head on over to the Cuny website and learn more about them, and apply.

I Stand With Ahmed Mohamed

a young man by a computer and a computer chip

“I’m the person who built a clock and got in a lot of trouble for it,” the ninth-grader said during a press conference outside of his home after his arrest became national news.

Fourteen year old Muslim high-schooler, Ahmed Mohamed, made headlines this past week, after he was arrested in Texas, for bringing a homemade clock to school, in which his teacher mistook for a bomb.

Ahmed was arrested and taken to juvenile detention and suspended for three days, according to his family. “They interrogated me and searched through my stuff and took my tablet and my invention,” the teen said. “They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’ I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.” Ahmed is quoted as saying.
The incident has raised allegations of racism, and made the Texas school district the target of online outrage. Messages of support from President Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, have all come in for young Ahmed Mohamed.

President Obama has even invited him to the white house, though his act of kindness wasn’t viewed positively by everyone. Bristol Palin posted on her blog “This is the kind of stuff Obama needs to STAY out of. It encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victim-hood.”

Oh Bristol….what are we going to do with you?

Student Debt On A Rise

graduation hats that say "DEBT: $547K"; "DEBT: $431K

Gone are the days of H.S, middle school, and elementary school, when we didn’t have to worry about the cost of tuition, books, and the various other things our professors ask for.

This all brings me to my latest research, that shows that student loan debt is at an all time high with $1.27 trillion. This is more than the debts for both auto and credit cards.

The class of 2015 graduated with the largest amount of student loan debt ever, with an estimated average of $35,051 per person.

45% of Americans with student loans, and 56% of those between 18 and 29, have put off a major life event because of the burden of debt, survey findings have shown.

Something needs to be done! Yes you want students graduating, but not at this cost. There needs to be more assistance for us college students!

Preparing To Graduate?

a stock image of graduation hats with tassels being tossed into the air

This December, if everything goes as planned, I will be graduating from College. While its an exciting thought, it’s also a nerve-racking one, as I begin a whole new chapter in my life.

So it got me thinking about my fellow future graduates, and what they must be thinking and feeling as well. Gathering information from all around, I’ve come up with some tips to help us through our journey.

1. What do you want after you graduate? A Job!!! Complete or update your resume/cover letter to prepare for your job search. It’s also important to buy an interview outfit. And an interview outfit doesn’t include jeans. You have to dress professionally, even if the job you are applying for is a relaxed one, since you want to make a good first impression. Practice your interviewing techniques with the types of questions you may be asked at an interview.

2. Have you taken out a loan? Make sure you know how much you owe, and the different options for repayment that are available. Most student loans begin repayment six months after graduation. You want to be prepared to begin making payments when they are due.

3. Study, study, study! Just because you are about to graduate, that doesn’t mean you start to get lazy and slack off. The goal is to graduate, and one misstep can keep you from achieving your goal.

4. Continue to save! You no longer will have to spend money on those expensive books, and other school expenses, so start saving your money now. It’ll come in handy in the long run, trust me.

Just a few things to pay attention to as you prepare to be handed your diploma. Good luck!!

Finals Are Upon Us

Can you believe it? The school term is almost over! BUT before we can celebrate summer, we first have to prepare for finals.

Finals can be very hard. From the stress, to the studying, and the worrying, your body and mind sure takes a toll.
That’s why I’ve come up with a list you guys can follow to ease the stress, and focus on success.

Create a study guide

Outlining the important information you need to learn can be helpful, since you can refer to them during your


There are exams that will be more difficult than others, some you may find easier to study for. Make sure to evaluate all of your exams to consider and determine all of the involved factors, so you can study


Keep your stress levels low. Worrying about your finals is fine, but don’t let stress and anxiety take over. Complete all your work, and try and finish it early. The better you distribute your tasks during the weeks
before final exams, the better you will understand the material.

Take Breaks

Before hitting your breaking point, take a break. After a while of non stop studying, you begin to lose focus and the quality of your studying begins to falter. Give yourself a few minutes to stand up, stretch, go for a walk, and
heck your phone. Everyone needs a moment to catch themselves and gather their thoughts.

The Food Struggle Of College Students

Maintaining a healthy diet while in college can sometimes be hard. Harder than finals week! Late night study sessions are followed with late night snacks, and packed schedules leave little time for exercising. All of which lead to weight gain.

Here are some healthy snacks you can enjoy while studying and finishing
your assignments.

Instead of ice cream you can try…

Fat Free Yogurt: Yogurt
comes in a wide variety of flavors, even chocolate and cheesecake, and is a much healthier alternative to ice cream.

Fruit Smoothie: Blend up fruit, milk and nonfat yogurt and enjoy a healthy drink.

Frozen Grapes: Frozen grapes will give you the chill you’re looking for, along with having very few calories and
no fat.


Put down the soda and try…

Water: Water has no calories, and it
provides the hydration your body needs to give you better concentration and memory.

Cranberry Juice: Go for real cranberry juice, not cocktail, for the best nutrition

Skim Milk: Unless you’re lactose intolerant, milk can provide your body with protein, calcium and other vitamins it needs. If you are lactose then Soy Milk is a great alternative.

Orange Juice: A glass of OJ is a great way to boost your vitamin C levels.

Put the candy down and instead pick up…

Raisins: Perfect to keep on hand as they’ll stay fresh for months.

Blueberries: They are full of antioxidants and vitamins that will make your body happy.

Cherries: Easy to eat, along with being delicious, and tasty. They taste like a whole host of candies so you won’t even miss those sugary treats.

a woman scratching her head in front of a chalk board

School isn’t easy, studying isn’t easy, but we can still remain healthy. Your grades, along with your brain and waistline, will thank you!

Free MetroCards For CUNY Students?

a New York City Subway MetroCard

Did you know that City lawmakers have been urging CUNY to offer its students a free ride on buses and

Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Inez Barron, on Thursday, will introduce a resolution calling on CUNY to put money in its next budget for free MetroCards. Barron called on the state to fund the transit benefits, while
Rodriguez believes that the city and the state should chip in to cover costs. CUNY has roughly 270,000 full and part time students in its undergrad and graduate schools, so this would result in over 30 to 375 million dollars spent
for this idea to succeed.

I for one greatly hope this comes to be! With the amount of tuition, textbooks, child care, rent, food, and other basic necessities college kids have to worry about, a MetroCard just adds to the burden. For work and school I’m paying 31 dollars a week for the 7 day pass. That puts a dent in my paycheck every time I swipe my card to pay.

At this point I’d even be okay with a reduce fare metro card, or something that lowers the price.

What do you guys think? Will CUNY agree to this? And do you believe its time that all college students are offered free metro cards.

Forget about Loans! Try a Scholarship!

a cartoon of a graduation cap that says "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS"

College isn’t easy, but you know what else isn’t easy? Paying for school. Many students are struggling, and taking out huge loans just to pay for their tuition.

Well City Tech students, you’re in luck. Did you know that New York City College of Technology offers a variety of scholarships to entering freshmen, along with continuing and transfer students? Many of these scholarships are based on academic merit and or financial need.

Interested? Well simply file this years application for Federal Student Aid at If you get stuck or confused about any scholarship questions, you can stop by the Office of Scholarships and Residency Services in Namm Ground 09, call 718.260.5054, or email

Some scholarships include the Benjamin Namm Scholarship, which only requires a GPA of only 2.3. The Joyce Palmer Scholarship, which is for a female student of African descent who has overcome personal adversity. And the Michael Hahn scholarship, for a noncitizen student, who is ineligible for other financial aid.

The online scholarship application is now available for the 2015-2016 academic,year. So what are you waiting for? Apply now

What about Bachelor degree students?

a computerized image of a graduation cap on top of a pile of cash

So as some of you may already know, Obama announced a couple of months ago, that community colleges will be free. Now this got me thinking…what about us in four year programs?

Now I’m not saying we should have free tuition, since I know that would be way to costly. But can we have at least something, President Obama? While community colleges are no longer having to pay tuition, ours seems to just be going up…and up some more!

Where’s our break? Where’s our prize? Four years is a very long time, and a lot of us are struggling to pay our tuition. I mean, yes I’ll be graduating next year, but still, I would consider it a going away present if I have my
tuition lowered, or slashed in half, Mr President. (P.S. I voted for you ☺)

Am I alone in this? Am I just being greedy here? Maybe I am, but in the end I believe we deserve something for how long we have been in school.

a cartoon of a school vacuuming money from a student

Does MTA Hate Us?

a pile of metro cards

Well it’s that time again…..the MTA has once again raised the cost of a MetroCard, by 25 cents. Meaning, a single ride will go from $2.50 to $2.75.

But the news gets worse. The weekly MetroCard will go up an entire $1 from $30 to $31, while the monthly MetroCard will increase from $112 to $116.50.

As someone that’s a full time student, and works, I rely heavily on the MTA. And while 25 cents or a whole $1 doesn’t sound much, it adds up!!! A good chunk of my paycheck will now be going to the MTA……then again that’s probably exactly what they want. They obviously don’t have the people’s best interest in mind, with all these increases.

But wait, the MTA has blessed us with so called “good” news. Bonuses will increase to 11 percent for every $5.50 spent!!! Currently, riders get 5% bonus for every $5 spent. Now doesn’t that make up for ANOTHER fare hike….

The hike will take effect on March 22, so we have a little over a month to get ready  and start preparing our wallets.

At this point, I think it’ll just be easier to buy a car….