Andreas Jonathan '14
Status: Current Student, Class of 2014
Major: Architectural Studies
Hometown: Roselle, New Jersey
Tuition Assistance: About 25 Percent Covered by Scholarships and Grants
Student Debt: Approximately $50,000
Andreas Jonathan’s parents immigrated to America from Nigeria and Ghana. They had attended some college in their home countries, but they weren’t able to finish.
“The reason my parents came to this country was so I could have a better education and a better life,” says the architectural studies major. “From birth it was understood that I would get a bachelor’s, a master’s, and maybe even a Ph.D.”
As a high school student, Jonathan looked at six different schools—some public, some private—but he chose Ithaca College because he felt that it would make a good second home.
Then he found out how much it would cost.
“I was terrified and in tears thinking about the massive amounts of money I would have to pay,” he says. “If I stop and think about it, I still can’t believe I’m able to pay for it.”
But his parents told him they wanted him to be happy: “We’ll help you get through this,” they said.
Jonathan was given a combination of scholarships, grants, and student loans. Yet he anticipates he will owe $50,000 when he graduates.
“I know I won’t have to fork over $50,000 as soon as I graduate, but it’s the length of time it will take me to pay this off that worries me,” he says. “As soon as I graduate and start a career, I will already be in massive debt. There’s a huge invisible number hanging over my head.”
Still, Jonathan thinks it’s worth it. He revels in the creative atmosphere on campus and enjoys how his classes challenge his perceptions of the world. Since his plans definitely include graduate school, he’s happy that the preprofessional program in architectural studies will prepare him for the graduate curriculum.
“If I can go to graduate school, defer my loans for a bit, get a good internship, and then get a job that I enjoy, at least I’ll be happy while I am paying this money back, as opposed to going every morning to a job I hate and grumbling about how a huge chunk of every paycheck disappears.”
What do you think would make the Ithaca College experience better for future generations?
“Having more serious collaboration between schools—the potential is there, but students have to be proactive in seeking it out. It would be nice if the environment encouraged that kind of collaboration. For instance, the health studies courses could include information about art therapy or how climate change and sustainability will change health care in the future.”
Read more about the value of an IC education here.