Home News Amid college admission scam, single mother tells House lawmakers how hard it was to pay for her college tuition – ABC News

Amid college admission scam, single mother tells House lawmakers how hard it was to pay for her college tuition – ABC News

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After enrolling at the University of Toledo, Jenae Parker told members of Congress that she tried everything to stay out of debt.

Parker, now 29, said she received about $4,300 in financial aid through a Pell Grant and worked three jobs — at Starbucks, the campus grill and Target. But it wasn’t enough.

She took out more than $20,000 in federal and private loans, she explained Wednesday, but working the three jobs and going to school at the same time proved to be too much.

“It was exhausting, I could not focus on school and two years later I dropped out,” Parker told members of the House Education and Labor committee.

She went back to school three times over several years and in that time, got married, had a daughter, got divorced and worked a variety of jobs but ultimately earned her associates degree.

“Our bills got so tight we couldn’t afford food — and this wasn’t about ramen — we lacked enough money to eat regularly. Then we were evicted,” she said. “I thought this was my fault, but then I realized 50 percent of college students are also dealing with food and housing insecurity.”

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