“As a low-income, first generation college student, I needed all the help I could get with paying for my education at Michigan State University. My senior year I remember being overwhelmed applying for FAFSA and completing applications to schools in state—and overwhelmed with the cost of college. It was an intimidating process.

But all the tears and perseverance paid off, and I’m forever grateful for the Pell Grant I received. Pell grants are a form of need-based financial aid students can receive through FAFSA. Every little bit helped and because of the financial aid I received, I graduated from Michigan State University with manageable student debt—and every penny has been worth it.

Transitioning from a small town to a large university like Michigan State University may seem out of reach for students in the same situation I was in. But I can’t tell you how much it immediately felt like home to me. I went from an unstable home life where basic necessities weren’t always available and found myself living on campus at a large university where I could eat almost any time I needed and lived in a safe and comfortable community.  The faculty members/residence hall staff at MSU not only helped me academically, but also provided non-academic resources to make sure I was on a path to success. MSU quickly became my home and I still think of it as home 10 years after graduating.

Because of the help I received early on in college and my on-campus experience at MSU, I graduated on time with a strong GPA. I’ve since received my masters in integrated marketing communications from Eastern Michigan University and through my job in public relations, I’m able to work in higher education—something I’m extremely passionate about. I own my home, use my photography skills gained in undergrad for fun photography freelance projects and enjoy a lifestyle I never dreamed of having before—and I owe it all to Michigan State University and resources like the Pell Grant.”

Andrea Kerbuski, Michigan State University undergraduate alum and Eastern Michigan University graduate alum



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