Kate Hanson

Kate Hanson
  • Major: Mathematics & Science with a concentration in Biology and an Honors Affiliate
  • High School: Central Square, class of 2016

Kate Hanson loves helping others whether she’s serving as an Honors Student Ambassador, tutoring fellow students or working as a Biology note taker for students who utilize the Office of Accessibility Resources. “I didn’t know I had the desire to help others until I took a year off between high school and college. That’s when I learned how much fulfillment I get from helping people.”

During Hanson’s senior year at Central Square High School, she studied cosmetology at BOCES. “I was really interested in making people feel beautiful, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled mentally.” Despite earning her cosmetology license and having a career path in front her, something was missing. “I needed a major I was passionate about. Taking the year off helped me take a look at what I wanted to do and not what other people were doing. I realized how much I missed going to school and missed learning.”

Hanson had become interested in a career as a Physician’s Assistant. She decided to attend Onondaga Community College and major in Mathematics & Science with a concentration in Biology. As a commuter student she would live at home and save money. She also applied for and was awarded the Excelsior Scholarship which provides students the opportunity to attend a college in the SUNY system tuition-free. “Excelsior was a huge difference maker for me. It helped me a lot here. When I go to my next school I won’t have any loans.”

Hanson is a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and its leadership team. She shares her knowledge with fellow students by tutoring them in Biology and Psychology. “I really enjoy the feeling of helping others. It’s why I want to become a Physician’s Assistant and help people. The year I took off school helped me realize how much fulfillment I get from helping people.

Hanson has another long-term goal and it’s one she started talking about before coming to OCC. “When I was in high school I was asked, ‘ten years from now what’s the most important thing you could be?’ I answered, ‘a mom.’ The person I was talking to was so taken aback by that, like I was wasting my brain. It’s very important to me to have a family.”

Hanson will earn her degree next May. She plans to transfer to another SUNY school so she can continue receiving Excelsior Scholarship benefits as she works toward her career goal.

How to Finance your Education at OCC

Paying for college can seem like an overwhelming process at times. That’s why OCC is committed to providing affordable quality education. Our annual tuition is $4,570 for 2017-2018 and there are lots of ways to make that tuition amount even more affordable. Here are the steps to take in order to finance your education.

Pro Tip: OCC’s financial aid office will help you fill out the financial aid application. Call 315-498-2291 or email faoinfo@sunyocc.edu to set up an appointment.

1. Apply for Financial Aid

Everyone attending college should apply for federal financial aid. Walk through the steps to see if you qualify on our financial aid website. If you do, create your FSA ID and fill out the FAFSA. Our office of financial aid is available to help guide you through the process if you need assistance.

2. Apply for TAP (New York State Residents Only)

Full-time students in New York State could be eligible for TAP. See if you’re eligible by walking through the steps on our financial aid website. If you qualify, gather your information and apply for TAP.

3. Apply for OCC Scholarships

OCC awards scholarships year-round. Complete our scholarship interest form to begin the process of applying for scholarships and don’t forget to apply for scholarships outside of OCC too.

4. Apply for the Excelsior Scholarship (New York State Residents Only)

If you’re a New York State resident and your family income is $100,000 or less than you may qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship. See if you meet the other requirements and apply for the Excelsior Scholarship today!

Sign up for a New Student Orientation & Registration Session to register for classes, take placement tests and more!


The Podcast: How to Apply for a Tuition-Free College Education

The application for the Excelsior Scholarship is available at the website (pictured above) of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

The time to apply for New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship has arrived! The application is now available for the new program which provides the opportunity to attend a college in the SUNY system tuition-free. You can learn more about how the process will work in the latest edition of our podcast, “Higher Ed News You Can Use from Onondaga Community College.” Our guest is Becky Rose, OCC’s Financial Aid Director.

Listen to the podcast here!


What You Need to Know