I originally came to Ohio Dominican University on a high school visit with a friend, and I really liked the people here. I went to Columbus City Schools and my family doesn’t make a lot of money. I qualified for "I Know I Can" grants, which helped cover the cost of text books for my first two semesters.
Every year, my financial situation changed, but the Financial Aid staff would work with me to get the cost down. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it without their help. Sometimes, I hear high school students say there’s no way they can afford college, and I tell them they need to look online for different scholarships and talk to the Financial Aid Office.
I also tell them to get things turned in early so they can qualify for the full range of aid that’s available, including work-study, Perkins loans and other aid that is limited.
I’ve had a work-study job all four years at Ohio Dominican, and that has helped a lot. I also got a two-year scholarship when I was a sophomore called the Anna Hayes Ruck Scholarship. It has helped a lot, and I thank the Ruck family for their gift. I felt like, ‘Someone is really trying to help me. I feel honored.’ I’ll give them a hug if I ever get the chance to meet them.
At first, I was terrible at budgeting, but I got better at it and I manage my money much better now. You don’t realize how much money you are making and spending because you spend it on random things. You need to write it down and keep to a budget. I write everything down now and stick to it.
The Financial Aid staff here at ODU is really caring and considerate. They will work with you to help make this great education become a reality.
Amber is considering spending a year after graduation with Dominican Volunteers USA (DVUSA), a nonprofit organization that serves others through ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, intergenerational community. DVUSA also helps volunteers repay a portion of their student loans upon completion of their volunteer service.