Why you should commit to Hunter

Attention class of 2020

When I was looking to apply to colleges, during my senior year in high schools, I had to consider where can I go that is not too far, affordable, has a variety of programs and departments and will provide me a great education? Being someone who comes from a low socioeconomic background and lives in New York City, it wasn’t ideal for me to attend a fancy private school out in California. As much as I applied to a few other SUNY and private schools, when I looked into CUNY, I was able to apply to six CUNY schools, and receive a fee waiver for my application. I placed Hunter College on the top of my six schools, because at the time I knew Hunter had a name for itself as a great liberal arts schools, and especially in the fine arts. Hunter’s MFA program is one of the top t10 programs in the country.

The first thing that still today stands out to me about Hunter is it’s affordability. Hunter College is only 6k a year. Yes! 6,000 DOLLARS! NYU is 10 times the amount of Hunter, and that’s only the tuition. 6,000 a year includes tuition, and other fees at Hunter. As a low socioeconomic student, I was eligible for state funding such as FAFSA and TAP which covers my entire tuition. How many students especially in New York City, can say that they are going to college for FREE and will be DEBT FREE? Even for those that don’t qualify for full state aid, Hunter College has an endless amount of internal and external scholarships, which I constantly apply to and use to pay for transportation, and my other needs. Having in the back of my head of being DEBT FREE, is not only such a blessing, but allows me to excel in my studies with ease.

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Furthermore students from a low socieconomic can have access to Hunter’s SEEK program which provides stipends for your text books, private tutoring for all your subjects, and personal advisement for internships, scholarships and more. Because Hunter College is a public college and funded by New York City council and New York State government, Hunter students have many resources in New York City, that students at private schools do not. For example, CUNY has a graduate Journalism school which offers every summer a fellowship just for CUNY students and especially minorities to be placed in a top notch news media company for the summer, and a chance to win a full ride at CUNY’s Journalism school for a masters. The CUNY Journalism school also offers winter and summer sessions courses which are only 50$ for CUNY students compared to a few hundred for other students. I have also applied to the CUNY pipeline program which prepares undergraduate students to transition to graduate school, and provides free workshops, GRE prep and other perks.

I started attending Hunter College in spring 2014, but before I came to Hunter, I spent the whole winter semester preparing for my transition into college. As a student with learning disabilities, I wanted to make sure that I had all the accommodations that I needed to succeed. When I met with staff at the Accessibilities office for students with disabilities, I was fortunate to find so many accomodations for free that were not available for me before in high school. I was able to receive a learning specialist, private writing/reading tutor, note taker for all my classes, extra time on tests and have access to a private computer lab with unlimited printing to do my work. And as my semesters progressed, I felt more comfortable and relaxed in my studies because I had great accommodations and support from the staff, that actually contributed to me starting to enjoy pursuing a higher education, when I was once doubtful of how oppressive the education system especially in New York City public schools can be to students with disabilities.

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As someone who grew up in a religious neighborhood, I was happy to find a really progressive, open minded and liberal school where the students, staff, and faculty value diversity, inclusivity of all orientations, genders, ethnic, racial etc some of the many values that I have. I am able to express myself freely as a Genderqueer identified person, where I can come to a school that respects my identity, and allows me to use the bathroom of my choice under New York state law. Hunter is considered the most diverse school of any public college in the country. With the great amount of diverse students, Hunter provides a great perspective to various cultures and backgrounds through cultural events, free food, and more.

Coming here also means I get to live in downtown manhattan – it’s really convenient for me to hop on the 6 train and in less than 30 mins be at Hunter College. Hunter has its own entrance within the train station, which makes it super easy to run to class, and leads you straight to the gym, pool, and work out for room for anyone who wants to work up a sweat. The Upper East Side where Hunter is located is a safe, clean, and great neighborhood with access to top notch galleries, museums and other cultural institutions all for free for students. Hunter students have the perk of attending many attractions in New York City for free, and we also have our own office of arts which offers free tickets to plays, performances, internships and other art resources in New York City – whereas my friends at NYU have to pay for all the performances held at their theaters. Hunter students with their ID have access to the 14+ CUNY schools in New York City. I sometimes go to other schools to use their libraries to study, when I don’t want to travel to Hunter, I also have access to all their libraries if I can’t find the book I am looking for and have it shipped to Hunter. There is constant free food at Hunter, which saves me a lot of money when I am lazy to prepare myself food and rushing to class. Students also receive 350 free pages every semester for printing, and as low as 10 cents a page when you run out. I love Hunter’s writing center, careers office, and math center where I am able to have private tutors and advisors for all my classes, and review resumes, cover letters etc, I also love how there are many tutors available most of the day, which allows me to have multiple session in one day.

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I am in the CUNY BA – Unique and Interdisciplinary studies program, where I am majoring in Media and Communication Arts.Compared to other schools that offers self made majors, I am able to access all the departments, programs and resources both on a undergraduate and graduate level throughout CUNY’s 14+ schools to find the courses, mentors, internships and more to have a great well rounded education.  

Hunter might not be the best school, or have the greatest reputation, but if you want a great education, well supportive staff, diverse atmosphere, endless amount of resources, and live in one of the greatest cities of the world, with access to many attractions for FREE as a Hunter student, and most importantly attend a school that is as low as 6k a year, this deal does not get better anywhere else.

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