College Tuition

“I met Emma in her first semester at Drew and was immediately aware that she had the potential to excel: bright, curious, thoughtful and wise, eager to seek advice and unafraid to ask for guidance, it was obvious to me that she values her education as a rich opportunity and not as a practical obligation”- Chris Ceraso: Adviser, Chair of the Theatre and Dance Department at Drew University

Hi Everyone!

I am a college student. I am supposed to be going into my sophomore year at Drew University but my financial aid unexpectedly decreased while tuition increased, so right now, it is looking like I will not be able to return. I want more than anything to continue my education - freshman year barely scratched the surface!

For those of you who do not know my situation, my family has been through several years of financial struggle. My father was unemployed, then in and out of odd jobs, despite his every attempt to find work. Like so many middle-aged men, when the economy collapsed he found himself both under and over-qualified for anything available. Soon after, we went bankrupt, lost our house, and for two years moved into one bedroom in a family friends’ house. This past year, we were able to move into a greatly discounted rental, owned by that same family. We are blessed to have such people in our lives. There are also seven children in the Barakat family, two of which have already had to drop out of college because of the financial difficulty.

While I have worked hard to get every scholarship and grant available, my tuition is still incomplete and I cannot apply for any additional loans because of my parent’s low credit.
This is what I have been able to secure for this year:

• Baldwin Honors Scholarship- $16,500
• NJ Tuition Aid Grant- $10,188
• Federal Pell Grant- $5,180
• Drew Tuition Grant- $10,500
• THK Minority Scholarship- $5,000
• Federal Loans- $6,500

I am an Honors student, one of the top in my class, and have been on the Dean's List for both semesters of freshman year. Last year, I commuted an hour and a half to school, squeezing classes into a three-day, 6am-8pm week so that I could still work full time. I am a hard worker, willing to prove that I deserve an education. If I am able to return to school, I will be in class from 8:30-4:30 everyday, plus 7:00-9:00 three nights a week, but I will use all of my free time working.

Being independent and hardworking, it is difficult to ask for help. But everyone needs a hand once in a while, and I see my limitations. I cannot even begin to express how deeply grateful I would be for support. Anything you could give would mean the world to me! If all of my Facebook friends gave just $10, we would reach my goal! Not everyone will give however, or see my posts. Please help make this happen. Be one of the friends who does give. Post and repost this so that your friends or their friends may give $1. You will be rewarded with love, gratitude, and the joy of knowing I am one step closer to achieving one of the most important things in my life. I will also repay you with any means I have…. need your kids watched? House cleaned? A fun video? Name it! (within reason) Please, please help to catapult another educated person out into the world! I would be forever grateful.

Love, 
Emma Barakat
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Organizer

Emma Bobbin Barakat 
Organizer
Hightstown, NJ
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