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A student reflects on UW-Eau Claire affordability

In a world of study sessions and over-caffeinated drinks, Blugolds are the best people to tell you about the real UWEC experience. The students in Communication and Journalism 491 wrote about their perspectives on others, themselves, and all aspects of college life. These are their stories.  

By Katie Dean Miller

What were some of your fears when looking at and applying for college?

I was afraid of all of the lifestyle changes. Moving into a dorm, a new community and, for me, a new state was scary and exciting. But how was I going to pay for college and living while being a full-time student? I wanted to attend a four-year university that wouldn't bury me in debt after graduation, but I did not want to settle on the quality of my education due to cost. 

Why did you choose UW-Eau Claire?

The cost factor played a big role. I wanted to be away from home, but close enough to the Twin Cities. Eau Claire was the perfect distance and it was cheaper to be away from the Cities, but I did not want to pay out-of-state tuition. UW-Eau Claire allows Minnesota students to apply for reciprocity so they pay Wisconsin resident tuition, which was a big deciding factor. 

How do you make college affordable for you?

I do not like feeling "college poor." Keeping a budget for school, rent, food and entertainment is very important. I started waitressing in high school so I brought those skills to college. I waitress about four days a week, mostly weekends, to keep my budget in check. Scholarships are also a great way to help make college affordable. 

What would you like future Blugolds to know about affordability at UW-Eau Claire?

I know it is scary and it can be hard, but it is possible to pay for college on your own and not drown in debt after you graduate. There are a lot of students who do not receive financial support from their parents or are first-generation students. The financial aid office is determined to help you make college possible. We are rated one of the Top Value Colleges for a reason.

Have you been able to find any internships while attending UW-Eau Claire?

Internships are very important learning experiences and opportunities. I was able to find internships I love within the athletics department at UW-Eau Claire. Dedicated staff helped me find summer internships that suited my skills and interests. Career Services is also a fantastic resource for students. They will help you find and prepare for your perfect internship or job.

See more information on how to pay for college.