My name is Whitney Igwe. I have to come up with $33,000 in the next 7-10 days in order to pay off my current student account balance or I will have to leave the United States. I will need another $33,000 to cover my remaining semesters.
I am an International student at Western Michigan University. I am majoring in Aviation Science and Administration with a minor in general business.
I want to say that it is not easy to ask for help or even to start a go-fund me page especially when you have been struggling silently for a very long time. This has been extremely difficult for my family and I. Going from having a stable financial background to having nothing these past 2 years has been very devastating. My sister and I have gone from having our family supporting us in school in the U.S. to fending for ourselves and financially supporting our family back in Nigeria. Both of my parents have jobs that have been severely affected by Nigeria's economic instability and as such are currently not earning an income to support the family. For a year now, my younger siblings have not attended school as my family cannot afford to pay their tuition.
My dream is to one day own an airline company and help to advance the aviation industry back in Nigeria. I am in my Senior year of college with three semesters left to go until graduation. I am currently not enrolled for classes this semester as a result of my outstanding tuition balance. As a rising senior, I have remained extremely focused academically, resulting in a term GPA of a 4.0 and a cumulative GPA of 3.65. I have been on the Dean's list consistently at my University. Although I have certainly enjoyed my time at WMU so far and would love to complete my degree in the Summer of 2018, I fear that this goal of mine is slowly fading away.
On my part, I have tried to be resourceful in my attempts to raise funds. I have worked over the past 2 years to sustain myself. I also applied to scholarship opportunities available at my University but majority of them are for U.S citizens/permanent residents so I do not qualify for them. More importantly, I sought out financial loans from private organizations and individuals. Unfortunately, these loans require cosigners for International students and I do not know/have anyone willing to sign them on my behalf. I have also reached out to various university officials and been to different campus offices, while they showed immense empathy, kindness, and offered some solutions, they could not completely resolve the situation.
So how did I get this far?
It has been a combination of pleading with professors to let me attend their classes, working different jobs on campus, help from my sister who is the only family member that can support me financially at this time, and scholarship awards that I have won in the past from my University.
Why is this important to me?
My education means everything and I have younger siblings who look up to me, hence I am trying to create a better life for them. I have worked really hard to get this far and I will continue to fight as giving up has never been an option for me.
Thank you all for your time, consideration and support. I would also like to thank everyone who has encouraged me thus far.
With humble gratitude,
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