The Lumberjack student newspaper

Financial aid is not enough

Inflation and proposed tuition increases are impacting students already on the “economic line.” Many have turned to Calfresh and the OhSnap pantry to mitigate food costs, but other expenses pile up.

by Valen Lambert

Despite a college degree being the cornerstone of upward mobility, the cost of tuition makes it hard for economically disadvantaged students to climb the ladder. However, financial aid makes an education possible for over half of the California State University system’s student population. 

According to CSU’s 2021-2022 Financial Aid Report, 82 percent of students in the Cal State system receive some sort of aid, and nearly 60 percent of all undergraduates have the entire cost of tuition paid for by grants, scholarships, and waivers. At Cal Poly Humboldt State, 72 percent of the student body receives aid. Compare that to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; despite being more expensive, 34 percent of the student body receives aid. 

Cal Poly Humboldt’s relatively lower tuition gives students access to a more affordable education, but inflation and proposed tuition increases are impacting students already on the “economic line.” Many have turned to Calfresh and the OhSnap pantry to mitigate food costs, but other expenses pile up. 

“Humboldt’s tuition rate based on the financial aid I was offered was a huge reason why I was able to attend college,” said Kayla Penny, senior psychology major. “However, now that tuition is planned to rise and housing prices have gone up, I am left with more stress about being able to continue living in Humboldt as a student”. 

Harry Singh, a junior business major, spoke about how he had to work at a hospital throughout the summer to afford the books and supplies he needed for the semester. 

“I would put in 70 hours in my last week to make sure my check was able to cover enough throughout the semester,” said Singh. “It is necessary to work, otherwise I wouldn’t have gas money to get here, money for groceries, and other items.” 

Many students hold down jobs while taking full-time credits to keep up with the cost of living. Balancing a social life, school, work, sports, and personal time is an overwhelming reality for a majority of the student body. 

“Even with financial aid, I have had to take out loans,” said Jasmyn Lemus, a senior sociology major. “I work three jobs to support me while studying. Even with all my side hustles I live paycheck to paycheck. As much as I would like cushion room and extra change to enjoy little activities here and there, it is extremely difficult in this economy.” 

Since attending university is a privilege and an expensive venture, students on financial aid can have a hard time relating to peers whose families can pay for the cost of tuition and even rent. 

“The way I compare myself to the rest of the student body that may be more financially advantaged than me is not with malice, but with a sense of suspicion that most of those students do not realize how many other students are actually struggling with money,” said Penny. 

For many first generation college students, they struggle through the economic differences to come out the other end.

“It makes you feel like an imposter, because you needed so much help and assistance to get here when they were able to go to college simply because their parents were able to afford it,” said Singh. 

Lemus believes that everyone should have equal access to an education without having to worry about basic needs.“Education is an investment, however it should never put people in a position where they are needing to sleep in their car or wondering where the next meal will come from,” said Lemus.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination