Students struggle to leave home

Ryan Blevins
By Ryan Blevins April 1, 2016 12:45
Jonathan O'beid poses for a picture in his Students Offering Support T-Shirt during an event at the University of Windsor (Photo by Ryan Blevins)

Jonathan O’beid poses for a picture in his Students Offering Support T-Shirt during an event at the University of Windsor (Photo by Ryan Blevins)

 

By Ryan Blevins

Tens of thousands of post-secondary students reside in Windsor and some of them have financial difficulties.

Each student comes from a different background with most students falling under the category of a broke college student. With two major post-secondary facilities in the city there is no shortage of local education options. Programs such as human kinetics, business and engineering thrive at the University of Windsor while St. Clair College is known for their nursing and skilled trades programs. Yet some students feel the need to live and attend post-secondary school outside of their hometown, despite the costs being higher.

There are pros and cons that lead to a person’s final decision and where to attend school is no different. Some students, such as Windsor native and current McMaster University student Anthony Bontorin, were guided to their school based on their athletic needs.

“I think it’s a good experience because you’re not used to doing all the things you do when you live on your own,” said Bontorin.

Bontroin has lived in Windsor his entire life. Attending McMaster has been costly for Bontorin. A quarterback on McMaster’s football team, Bontorin’s full-time job is being a student athlete. Between class and year-round practice schedules, he has no time to find a part-time job and therefore has no income.

In anticipation of this, Bontorin saved $3,000 to spend on school related expenses 20 per cent of which was spent on books. Aside from academic resources, Bontorin pays for the medium meal plan designed by McMaster, allotting him $3,700 to spend on food for the school year. With roughly two months to go both Bontorin and his roommate have spent all of their funds on their meal plans and were forced to add more money to the plan. With a meal bill tallying roughly $4,500 not including his monthly grocery trip and the mandatory $125 per student in-room fridge fee, eating has been a hefty tab for Bontorin. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, parking and travel are the other main expenses for the McMaster quarterback who estimates he has spent $500 on a monthly trip home throughout the year.

After paying his $16,000 tuition and boarding fees Bontorin estimates he has spent $7,000 this year. While $7,000 might not seem like a lot for some young people, University of Windsor student and Windsor resident Jonathan O’beid is thankful he has not had the same bill.

“I come home to a house that has food,” said O’beid. “I come home to a house that has my room and my bed that I’ve been living in forever.”

O’beid is a second year bio-medical student at the University of Windsor and has also lived in Windsor for the entirety of his life. Not having to pay boarding fees has helped O’beid save money who says he spends around $8,000 a year on tuition. Having the benefit of knowing many older students attending the university has given O’beid the opportunity to purchase used books. He has spent an estimated $1,550 on university related expenses this year. These expenses include food while at school, a parking pass, gas to and from school and books.

While some students may feel the academic benefits of attending school outside of their hometown are much greater, financial limitations may prohibit them.

Ryan Blevins
By Ryan Blevins April 1, 2016 12:45

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