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Nicholas Nasuta: The High Value and Cost of a College Degree

“Everyone Seems to Want a College Degree”

Nicholas NasutaNicholas Nasuta, a business administration major at UIS, knows how important a college degree is.

His father, who works in sales for a plumbing company, took college classes when he was younger but never finished.

“For a long time, he did fine in his career,” Nicholas says, “because he’s very good at what he does.”

Then Nicholas’ father was laid off, and the entire family discovered the hard reality of today’s employment climate.  As Nicholas puts it: “Everyone seems to want a college degree.”

In response, the decision of Nicholas’ mother to get a degree in accounting made even more sense.  With two sons and two daughters still at home, she had to fit her classes into their schedule as her husband supported the family.

A Family Goal–and Burden

During the six years it took Nicholas’ mother to finish her degree, Nicholas saw how hard his mother worked—a lesson he will never forget.  A college graduate now, she is currently under-employed (like so many recent graduates), doing data entry as she looks for a good accounting job.

In the meantime, she still has to pay off the loans she took out to pay for tuition.

When it came time for Nicholas to attend college, those loans did not deter Nicholas’ parents from sending him to UIS—even though his parents and Nicholas both had to take out additional loans to pay for his expenses. “With my mom trying to pay off her own loans,” Nicholas says, “it’s been pretty hectic.”

The Value of a Scholarship

Fortunately, this year UIS has been able to arrange additional financial aid for Nicholas—including a generous scholarship from Brad and Jen Ward.

“The Wards are really nice,” says Nicholas, who met the Wards at the 2012 Scholarship Luncheon. “They realize the financial struggle students face, and that’s why they donate and help out. Everything they give helps.”

Of special interest to Brad, who served on UIS’ Blue Crew while he was at UIS, Nicholas is on the cheerleading squad.  This year he was elected captain: Leadership lived.  As much as his academic learning, these leadership skills add value to Nicholas’ future and help his family—and the Wards—take pride in Nicholas’ progress and count their investment worth it.