The Best Things in Life Can be Free

“I didn’t think college would be an option,” Briana “Bree” Carter remembers of the days when applying for college. Carter, a senior at Auburn from Irondale, Alabama, explains how growing up in a poor household encouraged her to find different ways to afford school.

Carter is the fifth of six children and thought that college was completely off the table for her, but earning scholarships and getting involved on campus helped her attend Auburn for free and earn a little bit of cash on the side. (Photo, right: Bree Carter)

Believe it or not, colleges and universities have ways for students to earn free housing while attending. Among the many organizations Carter has been a part of during her time at Auburn, she was a resident assistant for two years and had her dorm and on-campus dining fees waived. She has also been a part of Auburn Global, which is an organization through the University that allows students to mentor international students and have their housing fees waived as well.

Carter is very passionate about Auburn and the Auburn family. She has spent the past two years working with Camp War Eagle, the freshman orientation camp, and even became a head camp counselor. She is dedicated to making each incoming freshman’s Auburn experience as memorable and special as hers is. She says that though she can’t pick a favorite organization she works with, she has had the most experiences with Camp War Eagle. (Photo, below: Bree with her Camp War Eagle identifier)

Everyone experiences the Auburn family differently and Carter found her home by being a part of many different campus-run organizations. “I’ve worked for University Housing and Residence Life, First Year Experience, Auburn Global, High School Leadership Conference, MIS Association, and plenty more,” Carter says. “I think I learned something different about the Auburn family with each organization. I’ve learned that no matter what, you do have the Auburn family to fall back on whether you’re working together to mentor 10,000+ freshmen or you’re leading a team of determined MIS majors.”

Not only do members of these organizations feel fulfilled by mentoring and shaping students, they grow in so many different ways. “I have met many people who would be great resources for me through these programs. I’ve tapped into my leadership abilities through most of these organizations as well as technical skills.”

And Bree has some advice for those struggling to afford college, “Scholarships! FAFSA! Search far and wide because there are scholarships everywhere on the Internet. I have so many that aren’t directly from Auburn University that still help me go here for free.”

It’s important to follow your dreams no matter where they may lead you. There’s a stigma that schools and financial aid services don’t like giving out money to those who can’t afford school but there are so many different ways to be able to attend your dream school. Bree is the perfect example of a woman who made the most of her college experience by getting involved and doing it all for free.

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