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Education The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common? 390

Posted by timothy
from the rice-beans-eggs-and-kale dept.
Gud (78635) points to this story in the Washington Post about students having trouble with paying for both food and school. "I recall a number of these experiences from my time as grad student. I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc. Me and my fellow students still refer to ourselves as the 'starving grad students.' Today we laugh about these experiences because we all got good jobs that lifted us out of poverty, but not everyone is that fortunate. I wonder how many students are having hard time concentrating on their studies due to worrying where the next meal comes from. In the article I found the attitude of collage admins to the idea of meal plan point sharing, telling as how little they care about anything else but soak students & parents for fees and pester them later on with requests for donations. Last year I did the college tour for my first child, after reading the article, some of the comments I heard on that tour started making more sense. Like 'During exams you go to the dining hall in the morning, eat and study all day for one swipe' or 'One student is doing study on what happens when you live only on Ramen noodles!'

How common is 'food insecurity in college or high school'? What tricks can you share with current students?"
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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

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  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@yahoo.cMENCKENom minus author> on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:03PM (#46796391)

    Feed me!

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      Feed me!

      College Diet:

      1.Ramen noodles

      2.Natty Light

      • 2. Natty Light

        You mean sex in a canoe?

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:09PM (#46796403) Journal
    ...because no one wants to tell you about those, of course not - who wants to admit they didn't make it after all of those hardships?

    I took an education in Animation, very VERY expensive, cost me a HUGE fortune (which I took up a loan for, and worked in a computer store to pay off), did I end up working for Disney? No. Despite winning TWO FILM AWARDS - I still didn't get a job with Pixar or the likes, why? Did I suck? No - I just didn't have the right connections, and I didn't even understand how important it is to have the right connections, and NOT to piss off the wrong people.

    I spent the next 10 years paying of my study debts, I'm finally free. But I don't regret anything, if I didn't do it - I'd spend the rest of my life wondering how things would have turned out if I did it, if I really just took the plunge and went for it. Well - I did...and it didn't turn out as I expect it.

    But you know what? Everything you learn in life - you'll eventually get some use out of, I use my former education to work in advertising, using my animation skills in a technical sense, earning my living that way. Nothing is ever 100% black & white.
    • I'm curious what you are doing now then? If I had the skills, I'd try to use Blender (or whatever) and start my own studio if I couldn't get hired by the big boys/girls. Connections would still be a problem though for distribution, but now you know that and could alleviate it.
      • I currently use Blender, I'm also a 3Dstudio max user. Right now, I am a 3D graphics artist in a small town. Between jobs, I work as a teacher, it's a small town, I have my own house here...that's why I don't work in the big cities. It's my own choice.
        • Fair enough, but big cities started as small towns too. I.e., you could still start a studio if you find some good people and you might be surprised what skilled people (like you) live in your neighborhood, and if you were very good in the local endeavors, you would probably attract more to the locale.

          LOL, I just realized, my comment was directly influenced by the fact I've been reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin this week -- good book btw, a bit rambling as he was mostly an old fogey as he sa
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      You couldn't find a job at any of the studios? What did you do to piss people off? I know plenty of people without any connections who are doing just fine finding animation gigs. I hate to be "that guy" but the only person who I've ever heard about making the right connections was someone who showed up in town, didn't get anything within a couple months of showing up and complained that the whole system was rigged and left. If you are blacklisted you must have been a world class asshole to a lot of peo

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Indeed. Everything you learn that you are interested in that is. That is one of the main reason to advise people to learn something they have a passion for. The ones doing things for the money will not get a lot of mileage out of their "learning" as it will not become part of who they are and hence they will never be good at it will not stay long with them. That is also a reason why everybody that finds they cannot find passion for a subject to change the subject.

      Sure, at the end of the day you have to find

  • by runeghost (2509522) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:11PM (#46796411)

    Sure, the 'best' schools are there, but who cares if you're walking the edge of malnutrition in order to pay for class, gas, and books? Emigrate to an actual civilized country instead of a pretend one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      As if food isn't going to be a problem in Europe, where the food and books and gas are far more expensive...

      I was dirt poor as a student in college, but I still managed to eat just fine and have a car I could get away with when I needed a break. No way I could have afforded having and using a car in Europe.

      • by dkf (304284)

        As if food isn't going to be a problem in Europe, where the food and books and gas are far more expensive...

        Academic books aren't such a problem; the US has more of a racket going there.

      • by Noughmad (1044096)

        Yes, things are expensive in Europe, but a large majority of students here can afford to own a car. You know, not having to pay for college does wonders.

        • You know, not having to pay for college does wonders.

          For everything except your education. And your job prospects...

          Although costs for school in U.S. now are so out of hand I would warrant you are better off in Europe since you can easily supplement education for very little, whereas the geas a huge student loan places upon you is nearly unrecoverable even after decades.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            For everything except your education. And your job prospects...

            Yeah, no one ever hires people from shitty European schools like Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, the Sorbonne, Gottingen, ETH Zurich, ...

        • So if I just show up in a European country, they'll let me go to university for free? Hint: No they won't.

          My sister went to Europe for her PhD. She didn't end up paying... because she got a generous scholarship. That also was what allowed her to get the visa to go. She didn't just show up and walk in to a university for free.

          Same way it would have worked in the US or Canada, actually. If she had been accepted to a program with a generous scholarship, well it would have been free.

      • As if food isn't going to be a problem in Europe, where the food and books and gas are far more expensive...

        Right. Because that's the only factor.

        It is of course impossible that other countries actually give financial assistance to students and that's what GP was referring to.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Most universities in Germany include an unlimited public transport pass in the low semester fee (ca. $300 per semester, the biggest part of that actually is the public transport pass. There is no tuition.) Public transport includes railways, not just buses. You don't need a car. Cycling is common in Germany. Get a bike. It is often the fastest way to get around.

        Students typically choose from several canteens offering a variety of subsidized meals (a full meal for $3.50, for example). You don't need to learn

      • by MtHuurne (602934)

        Food is not that expensive in Europe, if you buy in-season vegetables and cook them yourself. Driving a car is expensive, but in many countries you can get by without a car. Typically people get their first car when they get their first full-time job. If you're studying in Europe, drive a car and don't have enough money to eat properly, I'd say you made the wrong budget choices.

        When I was a student (in the Netherlands in the late 90's), housing was the largest expense. Second was the tuition costs. Food was

        • The expense of food in the Netherlands is what prompted me to post...

          I was living in Amsterdam for a few months a few years ago and I thought food was damn expensive (raw or otherwise) compared to the U.S. Perhaps in the 90's that was true but I think taxes have gone up substantially since then, also the fuel costs used to transport the food.

      • I went to university in Europe, England to be precise.

        As if food isn't going to be a problem in Europe, where the food and books and gas are far more expensive...

        Food? Not too expensive. More so than the cheapest places in the US, but the canteen was subsidised and decent enough. You could cook cheaper for yourself if you tried however.

        Books? What books? The whole have-to-buy-the-lecturer's-book thing is a uniquely US invention. Actually, I was always planning on being an engineer for life, so I bought quit

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:13PM (#46796421)

    ... 80% of you in the US are competing over 5% of the money in the economy, you guys have no idea how unequal your society has become and you keep voting for more of getting screwed.

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesa... [ucsc.edu]

    • Because it's one jot different anywhere else in the Industrialised World.

    • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @06:40PM (#46796819)
      There's a difference between income and wealth. The IRS tax stats [irs.gov] are freely available for anyone to view. The bottom 80% of Americans (that's a roughly $80k/year income cut-off) account for about 40% of the income, closer to 45% after taxes.

      Wealth is the integral of income (minus expenses). It's just how much of that income you're able to save or spend on durable or appreciating assets. A large percentage of lower- and middle-class income is spent on consumable necessities (food, clothing, gas, etc). But a lot (if not most) of it is also spent on things with no long-term value and depreciating assets with negative ROI (movie/concert tickets, iPhones, HDTVs, eating out, interest on credit card debt, the latest and greatest [anything], etc).

      Given that income distribution is still pretty healthy, you can still amass a large amount of wealth if you simply live within your means and spend/invest your money wisely. I've met a little old lady who worked in a library all her life who has a half million dollar fortune, a carpenter who works out of a pickup truck who owns three houses. In my younger days I made about $40k/yr, yet over 5.5 years managed to save up over $100k for a down payment on a house. I had to live like a hermit, but it's doable. It's all about how you spend your money. If you're blowing it on things which will be worthless in a few years (or tomorrow) while blaming the 20% of people who own 95% of the wealth for all your woes, you've already lost. Yes the system can be improved, but "the man" holding you down is usually yourself.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Sunday April 20, 2014 @05:24AM (#46798493) Homepage

        It's not about amassing wealth, it's about quality of life. Reaching 70 with a half million dollar fortune just means you missed out on those enjoyable things in life that depreciate or have negative ROI, like movies and concerts or eating out or holidays. Exchanging enjoyment and variety in life for a pile of money when you are probably too old to really enjoy it anyway doesn't seem like a good way to live.

        Anyway, what happened to the concept of being rewarded for working hard? I thought that was the American Dream, not "do the same low paid job for 40 years and forego all of life's little pleasures". Also, why would a carpenter with three houses work out of a pick-up truck when he can clearly afford some kind of basic workshop that would allow him to grow his business?

        • It's not about amassing wealth, it's about quality of life. Reaching 70 with a half million dollar fortune

          A half million dollars is hardly a "fortune" these days for retirement. Having about 20 times your annual living expenses in the bank to retire at age 60-65 is a pretty reasonable goal. $500,000 / 20 = $25,000. While many people tend to spend less in retirement, $25,000/year is not exactly extravagant living. Many people don't manage to save that much, but anyone who is middle-class or above should probably be targeting something like that or more... unless you're one of the rare people these days with

    • by khallow (566160)

      80% of you in the US are competing over 5% of the money in the economy

      Looking at the chart, they say 11%.

      The problem with this statement is twofold. First, it still ignores significant parts of the economy, such as future income. For example, if you have an income (not net income) of 17,300 (like the mean of the bottom 40%), then you probably have a few tens of thousands of potential net income over your lifetime. That isn't reflected in the net worth figure.

      Second, it ignores that most US residents don't compete for wealth. For example, more than a third don't save at

    • by gatkinso (15975)

      ...because 80% competing for 15% of the money is soooo much more civilized.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @08:44PM (#46797397)

        We're far from that. Let's take a look at the Income equality by country [wikipedia.org].

        Let's just take the richest/poorest 10% comparison. The US has a factor of 15.9. Meaning that the richest 10% make about 16 times what the poorest 10% make. With this, they're in the great company of splendid equality paradises like Uganda, Georgia (the country, not the state...) and Iran.

        There is not a SINGLE European country with a worse ratio than the US. Granted, the aforementioned Georgia along with Portugal and the UK are coming close to it, but none of them is actually WORSE. Most central European (and let's also lump in the Scandinavian) countries revolve around a disparity factor of about 5-8.

        That means that we're looking at about three times more equality in Europe than the US.

        Btw, the 20% rich/poor ratio doesn't get much better for the US. It goes down to a "mere" 8.9 times more money in the 20% rich than the 20% poor, but it's still more than twice the ratio of Finland and Sweden.

        A look at the Gini map [wikipedia.org] also tells a lot (ok, if you know what the Gini coefficient [wikipedia.org] is), with Europe lighting up in green and the US being in a group with such equal rights beacons like China, Argentina or Iran.

  • not poor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BradMajors (995624) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:15PM (#46796431)

    If someone still owns a car and has a place to live they are not poor. I have know students so poor that they are homeless.

    • by Smallpond (221300)

      I could not afford a car until I had been working for a year after grad school. While in school I had a 3rd floor walk-up and a 10-speed bike. My Hungarian landlady taught me how to make Chicken Paprikash. Buying whole chickens, fresh vegetables, rice and flour in bulk is cheaper than prepared foods (except I still bought macaroni and cheese, of course). I worked as a dishwasher, graded exams, repaired equipment in the EE lab, ran statisical analysis for researchers, whatever I could get. It's not hard

  • I recently graduated from gradschool in computer engineering. I had a $30k per year stipend on top of my tuition remission (18 credits per year totaling $25k ). Lived in a 1200 sq. ft. 2 bed/2 bath apartment for 5 years. If you're starving during grad school you're probably in the humanities or doing it wrong.
  • It's part of the Tao of graduate school.

    I cheated by marrying while I was a grad student. While my wife didn't have that great of a job we had food. After I finished my PhD I supported her graduate studies, an MLIS.

  • The article talks about "Stigmas about seeking help" but only focuses on undergrad and the students' internalized stigmas with the school being super helpful. That has not been my personal experience with graduate TAs and RAs. A close grad student friend worked out that his stipend was so low that he (and all other similarly paid grad students int he department) qualified for food stamps. He jokingly told one of the other grad students when he was within earshot of a professor, and got called into a meet

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:19PM (#46796449) Journal

    ...if you don't have the means and/or resources necessary to live comfortably during that period AND you're not willing to make the sacrifices necessary otherwise - then don't go.

    Seriously, wtf is up with people thinking that they should get everything they want all the time?

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      There's a fair point that grad students are probably on average a bit underpaid for the work they perform (research+ marking etc.) even if the hourly rate is good, the limited official hours etc. are not all that great.

      But ya, if you can't live on what you're going to get paid as a grad student and don't have other means, don't go. Pick a degree where you can get money for grad school and can get a job on the side or go back to school when you have the financial means to support it.

    • Yes, because flipping hamburgers is a great and fulfilling experience even if you're gifted for boring down-to-earth stuff like math or physics.

    • Grad school was historically and is supposed to be the sort of thing not everyone does. It is for people who are really interested in a field, who want to start doing some original research (under the umbrella of a professor's overall research) and so on. The sort of thing only for those that are truly interested in pursuing the subject more deeply and pushing the boundaries.

      Also most fields don't require graduate degrees. There are some that do (like lawyers), though usually they require a PhD or other adv

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:22PM (#46796461) Journal
    But it sounds like an absurd example of a false economy: Even at relatively cheap schools, the cost of running a student through is nontrivial. It seems like complete insanity to waste expensive instructional time on somebody who can't concentrate properly for want of a few dollars worth of calories. Nobody's interests are well served by that.
  • Cars are a luxury (Score:4, Informative)

    by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:27PM (#46796475)

    I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc.

    A starving student with a car?! I think we've isolated the problem.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc.

      A starving student with a car?! I think we've isolated the problem.

      I thought the same thing. I could never have afforded a car as a student.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      If you live in an area where the only way to get from where you live to where you study is private transport (be that a car you own or something else like a taxi) you may not think a car is a luxury.

      But if you are doing that, you are also stupid for not living somewhere close to campus (or to public transport links to campus)

  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:29PM (#46796485)

    I finished my CS PhD about 10 years ago at a top-20 US university. My first year I was not paid, but after I hooked onto an advisor later, I received an RA or TA position for $23k/year, and in my last few years, I received a fellowship for about $40k/year.

    That first year was horrible. I recall eating spaghetti and ketchup, and I distinctly remember having to ask one of my rich friends for a $500 loan just to pay my rent one month. That was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life, and it really shaped my financial planning. Now, 10 years later, although I'm making well over $150k/year, I keep my expenses very low like I'm still a grad student, and I always have at least 6 months' expenses in short-term accounts.

    • by Bryan Ischo (893) * on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:57PM (#46796607) Homepage

      Ah spaghetti and ketchup. Nice combo.

      Some of my favorites from my college days were:

      - A boiled potato with a slice of American cheese
      - A cup of white rice with a handful of peanuts

      I was hungry much of the time the last couple of years in college, but mostly that was from stupidity (losing money for dumb reasons) and hubris (refusing to accept any assistance from my parents).

      In Pittsburgh (I went to CMU) there used to be a grocery store that would sell expired food ("Groceries Plus More II" was its name). That was a godsend. You'd never know what you'd get each time you went since their stock was determined by whatever expired goods they could procure that week, but whatever you ended up with was usually for pennies on the dollar. Who cares if a can of spaghetti sauce expired two weeks ago, if it is only a quarter, I'll take it.

      Nobody actually starves in college or grad school, and going hungry and living on the cheap is one of the charms of that time of life. So enjoy it.

      • My university food memories mostly involve dipping fried meats in peanut butter. So delicious, but I do not think my metabolism could handle that any longer.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Which is complete crap, by the way. Scholarship students get meal plans, and cafeterias let you eat as much a you want and don't really pay attention to students sneaking out food (especially if they are star athletes). Hell, when I played football in college and had 2 a days during camp the team would even feed us after the evening practices. And yeah, sometimes when we got out of practice during the season the cafeteria would be closed. But we had a grill and a little convenience-store type plce that

      • Don't think most schools' plans are that flexible. Many have for-profit contractors running food service, so I'm sure they're not.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:39PM (#46796541) Homepage

    I don't know about other states, but in Virginia you can go to community college and then get a guaranteed transfer to a 4 year state university if you have at least a 3.0 upon graduation. If you live near Virginia and your state schools are subpar, then all you have to do is move to the town where you want to start, declare residency and apply after one year to the community college to get in state tuition. Want to go out of state and find it a burden to pay $25k/year instead of deferred gratification of one year for less than $5k-$7k/year? Only got yourself to blame. It's not fair, but I doubt most of the world's poor would cry a single tear for you due to your inability to wait one year to save $15-$20k/year.

  • That means things like learning how to manage your money: learning what is a necessary and unnecessary expense, learning how to shop for bargains, learning how to do things for yourself in order to save money (e.g. cooking), learning tricks to reduces bills (e.g. heating), learning how to share resources, and so forth.

    I've seen many students complain about how poor they are. Yet they were spending money like their parents were spending money, which was fine for the parents because they had a lifetime to es

  • I was squeaking by in undergrad, working various part time jobs to pay the bills. I took longer than most to finish my BS but made it through without having to take out any student loans.

    For grad school I was a married man, which helped. I was also given a tuition waiver and a $20k stipend which also helped. I knew plenty of people who did OK on the stipend living alone as well; not great but a tolerable existence. After all, the stipend is intentionally kept on the meager side to encourage you to get
  • Get creative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:40PM (#46796551) Homepage

    I subsisted on Ramen and chicken pot pies because they were cheap (4/1$ for Ramen, 2/1$ for chicken pot pies). Even the cheapest dollar meal at the local fast food didn't have as many calories. But, no, I didn't worry about food all that much.

    First thing is to learn to cook. It's generally cheaper to buy family portions and make your own than to buy individual meals. For example, a bag of rice is $10, but can act as bulk in many meals such as fried rice, chicken & rice, steamed rice with butter & onions.. Yeah, doesn't sound too appetizing, but it can be. Fried rice, for example, is easy to make. For about 20$ worth of ingredients, you can have 10 meals. Just need rice, an egg or two, onions, salami/pepperoni, etc.. You can buy a pack of miso for around $4. Add firm tofu ($3) or chicken chunks ($4) and dried seaweed ($3) and you can make soup for 10 people. Buying a bulk pack of 50 tacos will set you back around $10; add a couple pounds of beef (10$), lettuce (2$), cheese ($5), etc., and you can feed 10 people for $50 or so.

    Next, use coupons and shop of two-for-one days. You can easily save 50% of your bill just by using coupons and shopping on the right days. Avoid individual meal items such as can soda and even White Castle burgers.

    You can also show up at friends/relatives around dinner time but use that only as a last resort unless you're really tight with them. Make friends with someone who works at a pizza shop. I knew a guy in college who would take leftovers from the restaurant. At a Denny's, for example, he'd order a coffee. When people were about to leave he'd run up and ask if he could have their leftovers. Bizarre, but he saved a few bucks. He's also gotten pretty wealthy since those days so I guess it paid off. I figure that one day he'll find a way to end up in jail just so he could get a free meal and bunk. :/

    Oh, and forget about corned beef. Back in my day it was cheap, around $1.50 a can. Now it's close to $6 a can. I remember many days eating corned beef and cabbage, corned beef and scrambled eggs, steamed corned beef, corned beef sandwiches. No more.

  • by BKX (5066) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:44PM (#46796557) Journal

    It's like Dave Ramsey says: if you're broke, then eat "beans and rice, rice and beans." It's easy and cheap, even in a dorm.

    1. Rice cookers are like $10-20. Get one with a steamer tray. It doesn't have a burner and can't start a fire, so tell your RA to fuck off.
    2. Buy rice at the Asian store. It'll cost $1/lb for good Jasmine rice (brown rice only, you'll need the nutrients). (You don't have an Asian store? My ass. Or try the Mexican store. You don't have a Mexican store, either? Shut the fuck up and stop lying. Open your eyebulbs; they're everywhere.)
    3. Buy bullion cubes and/or soup base (it comes in a jar) for flavor. You can get that stuff cheap at the Asian store.
    4. Buy beans in a can from Save-a-Lot/Aldi/cheapo-store. I like navy beans and fava beans. There're a few dozen other kinds. Get what's cheap. One can a day, minimum.
    5. Put the rice, soup base/bullion/soup mix and water in the rice cooker and press the button. Add the beans when it's done. Enjoy.
    6. If you're feeling rich, chicken or sausage or burger patties go in the steamer tray.
    7. The Asian store will also have cheap noodles that the rice cooker will cook just fine. Cheaper than ramen. (You still need the beans, or you'll eventually get something nasty like beri-beri.)
    8. Oatmeal and raisins make a good, fast breakfast. (Add sugar packets and creamers from wherever other people get coffee.)
    9. You'll also need to add some vitamin C every once in while to prevent scurvy. Any fruit or fruit juice will do. Tea made from fresh pine needles (actual pine trees only) will do in a pinch. I like raisins, apples, bananas, and oranges, which are all usually cheap enough.

    You can actually live on that stuff for months at a time without dying. The soup base/bullion and occasional noodles and meat will keep you from committing suicide.

    • My school banned rice cookers too, no arguing they are simply confiscated and you are fined. Nearest food store was also a 20 minute drive. Couldn't have guessed when I was applying to college that it might have food supply logistics similar to a derelict bus in Alaskan bush country.
    • http://frugalliving.about.com/... [about.com]
      http://www.drfuhrman.com/libra... [drfuhrman.com]

      Leafy greens especially are really important to preventing many diseases. Cabbage is a fairly cheap one. You can steam the cabbage while cooking the rice. Dandelions are a terrific source of healthy greens (if they have not been sprayed with weedkiller etc.). It's crazy that people have been taught to hate healthy Dandelions.

      Our stainless steel "Miracle" rice cooker with a steamer attachment was one of our best kitchen investments ($70) as it

  • Gas vs. food? You have a car?

    Your real problem is the prospect once you get your (graduate/doctoral) degrees. There are too many of yous, not enough posts to absorb you, even for you in STEM fields, never mind humanities.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @06:08PM (#46796677) Homepage Journal

    collage admins

    If you can't make ends meet, I suppose you'll have to cut something, or you'll get stuck in debt.

  • I went to graduate school at a state university from '98-'00 and I did it with minimal student loans.

    I was (am) in the National Guard (no education benefits, just the paycheck) and I always had another part-time job. The first year as a Graduate Assistant was teaching a introductory computer class and after that as a part-time employee for a state department on campus. My car was 10 years old, had well over 100,00 miles, was mechanically sound and had been paid off for several years. I lived in my friend

  • Well, it's anecdotal, but when I was in college my parents paid for one of those meal cards... so I could go to any of the college dining halls I wanted to and I couldn't blow the money on beer (I definitely would have!) This worked great when I was in the dorms. I was always skinny and actually started to gain some weight. But after I started having to pay the dorm fees, they were REALLY expensive compared to basically anything off campus that was easily quadruple the size of a dorm room. So I moved to an

  • No beer.
    No cigs
    No pot
    No cell phone
    No tv.

    Should be able to eat now.

  • To many people are going to college that should not be there when they can be in a trades / tech school / apprenticeship setting that can be quicker / tech real job skills. Also we to cut out the underwater basket weaving classes.

  • When I was a student, I discovered that if you restricted your diet to grains, vegetables, eggs and cheap cheese, you could get through a week very cheaply. Crock pots were your friends.

    When I was in school, the Hare Krishnas were still a thing. Free vegetarian dinner every Sunday (We called it "Sunday dinner at Uncle Harry's"). Hilarious mockery thrown in as an extra added bonus. They may be loonies, but the food was awesome.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I bet the only ones posting in here are going to champion how they made it, and how they, in fact, didn't starve, and how great they are.

    College was the worst years of my life. All the stress and starvation just made me a very angry person. I still see that I am right, that there is literally no remorse or accommodation for someone trying to focus on studying and learning instead of "get a job you worthless piece of garbage".

    These are the two options for those coming from very poor parents in a small town (

  • by stuporglue (1167677) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @12:04AM (#46797989) Homepage

    I'm in grad school right now.

    1) I know grad students who are struggling financially

    There are at least two people in my program (of about 100 total) who I know personally who are struggling to make ends meet. Their families aren't well off and our program doesn't have funding. They're getting along OK, but they have to live very very tightly, skipping any extra curricular activities, not buying text books, and budgeting both money and food.

    I assume that others may be struggling and I don't know it.

    2) More of us miss out on things so we don't have to starve

    A good number of us work full time or more to pay for things. I've had to not participate in school events both social and scholastic, including guest speakers and class outings. It is very difficult to see a teacher during office hours since I'm supposed to be at work.

    I'm not missing out on food, but if food were available I might be able to work less and be more involved.

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