Elena is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student with a focus on Transportation Engineering. She is an outstanding student who has continued to improve her final scores over the last three years, in spite of the fact that her core engineering classes are getting more challenging. Her last year’s final grade was 9.9 out of 10. Not surprising as she was a top student at her high school.
She states that her struggles include not having a family unit and the cost of her education. She worked this summer at an international call center in order to pay for her dormitory fee. That fee is doubled in the summer, and students must pay in advance for all three months. Little money is left after she pays for food and routine living expenses. Her father is deceased, and her sister is currently working in Italy in order to help her mother, her younger sister and Elena with school costs. She receives assistance from the university and a pension from her father’s death, which gives her $150 a month. The average basic cost for a student is $350 per month. In order to conserve money, Elena has to limit her visits home, which cost around $20 round-trip for a train ride. She typically is only able to go home twice a year.
Elena states that her father was her motivator to attend college, and I was very impressed that she has volunteered with the Red Cross. Future goals include completing her Master’s degree, traveling and working for an international company.