Allowing a college in San Diego with the rising cost of living

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the cost of living in San Diego rises, students must juggle school finances with an expensive city.

D’Jenne Love-Gray, a junior at San Diego State University, said she found several ways to save money.

The single mother said her biggest expense is her apartment, so her 30+ hours of work in hospice care and nursing pays for that. Plus, she says she’s not ashamed to take flexible side jobs like Instacart. Additionally, she is a bargain shopper and does not buy expensive items. Plus, she cuts her monthly bills by taking small steps, like turning off the lights at home.

For her, all these little steps add up.

“I am cheap. I’m really cheap. And that’s how I have money. This is how I save money, I think the way I do,” she said.

Her goal is to complete her criminal justice degree and become a prosecutor, so her dedication also keeps her motivated.

“My son drives me, but becoming a prosecutor is what drives me, so it’s like I have to do it. If I want to, I have to go out and get it,” she said.

SDSU also has programs in place to help students. Chelsea Payne is the Associate Director of Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT), a program that helps students with financial needs.

“The global umbrella is financial support and it can look like immediate food resources, maybe a grocery gift card or a gas gift card. Helping them with a bus pass or it can be more substantial resources, like helping them with their rent or an overdue utility bill,” Payne said.

Payne acknowledges that being a student in San Diego can be difficult and points out that funds for ECRT have increased, so there are more resources for students than ever before.

Especially right now, we’ve had so much support from the federal state and our university systems to provide emergency pandemic support, so this is the time when we really want students to reach out. And we know it’s hard sometimes to ask for help, but our team is here, we’re compassionate, we want to help, and we want to make those resources available to students,” Payne said.

SDSU has provided the following list of resources for students who may be struggling:

Wellness and Health Promotion continues to offer one-on-one group presentations and online learning opportunities on topics including healthcare, sexual health, nutrition, financial wellness and more. []

The Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT) helps students access basic resources, such as food, housing, and emergency financial aid, and supports students during a financial crisis. Students can get in touch with the team of []. ECRT is also in the midst of a 3 year pilot of a rapid relocation program where we support homeless students by providing rental assistance, housing location and comprehensive case management support .

The peer-to-peer financial education program enables students to achieve financial independence, by increasing their knowledge of financial topics, in order to give students the tools necessary for healthy financial habits. []

The Handshake app is an SDSU Career Services platform that connects students to employers and jobs, internships, event information, and on-campus recruiting (OCR) opportunities. []

The Student Financial Center gives students and parents the ability to ask questions via Zoom regarding student accounts, financial aid, and scholarships. Established in December 2020, the Center’s mission is to assist our students and their parents by providing a single point of contact to resolve questions regarding financial aid, scholarships, and student billing issues. []

CalFresh Enrollment Specialists are here to help students understand their Calfresh eligibility and enroll in the program. Calfresh is a great way to increase your food budget and access healthy foods. []

The AS Food Pantry operates 3 times a week and students can pick up food as much as needed. The AS Food Pantry is supported by the Aztecs Rock Hunger Campaign and is a low-barrier resource for students who have access to food assistance. and []

The Aztec Recreation Center has just completed its renovation and membership is now included with student registration. We encourage our students to use the facilities as they seek ways to take care of their well-being. []

Comments are closed.