I Am Waters

Today is 05.31.2020

Students Left Homeless Due To Rising Tuition, Rough Economic Time | Davis , California | The California Aggie

With rising tuition costs, students are facing tough financial decisions in order to maintain a UC education. For some students, the rising cost of tuition can even mean forgoing housing and daily meals in order to study at UC Davis.

While a majority of the student population can afford to pay student fees, rent and everyday necessities with scholarships and loans, there is a minority of UC Davis students opting to struggle now without loans, in order to avoid paying back thousands of dollars after graduation.

“I haven’t wanted to take out any loans, because I’ve always been against that. I feel like if I don’t have to right now, then I shouldn’t. I would rather be homeless than taking out loans from the banks. I’d rather be struggling a little bit, than having to struggle a lot later,” said Sarena Grossjan, a sophomore art studio major and current homeless student.

During her first year at UC Davis, Grossjan was able to live in the dorms with the dining commons meal plan thanks to scholarships and grants she received from the financial aid office.

However, this year has been quite different. After Grossjan paid her tuition fees, she was left with only $1,000 for housing, food and books. Grossjan has been living off of the kindness of friends, with some stays at the Occupy Central Park and the Domes. She is currently couch surfing again, since even the rent at the Domes was too much.

“I never really classified this as homeless, because anywhere I go I’m home,” Grossjan said. “Like, if I have stuff I need, and if I have a place to sleep and food, I’m fine.”

During the Occupy Davis movement, Grossjan was living in tents at Central Park while attending school.

“I was kind of shocked when I would come and study. It would be freezing cold at night and there would be no lights, so we wouldn’t study at Central Park,” she said.

Instead, Grossjan and another homeless student would wake up early and seek out open buildings on campus to study, away from the cold weather.