Transfer student shares how he finances college, found his stride at BHSU

Adan Munoz, a mass communication major from Rapid City, transferred to Black Hills State University his sophomore year of college and gained opportunities to practice his craft and finance his education through work-study positions. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH –– Adan Munoz said that transferring to Black Hills State University his sophomore year of college helped him find his career path. A mass communication major with emphasis in photography, Munoz is already applying his education through work-study positions in BHSU Athletics and Marketing & Communications.

Munoz graduated from Rapid City Stevens High School. He attended an out of state school for a year-and-a-half before transferring to BHSU to be closer to family.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d still transfer to BHSU,” he said. “The academic programs are stronger here and I found my passion for photography.”

Munoz is supporting himself through college with the help of federal financial aid, scholarships from BHSU, and his work-study positions. At his previous college, he also served as a resident assistant covering his room and board.

Federal work-study is a way for students to earn money to pay for school through part-time on- (and sometimes off) campus jobs. Not all universities participate in work-study, but those that do, like BHSU, help students gain valuable work experience while pursuing a college degree. 

Through federal work-study, Munoz works as a photographer for the BHSU Athletics Department.

“I’ve really improved my sports photography skills through this position,” he said. “It’s fun to be out there watching Yellow Jacket sports, but what I really enjoy is documenting a moment that you’ll never be able to capture again.”

Munoz also works on campus as a student technology fellow. The fellowship provides students with special opportunities to develop professional-level skills that will later be applied in the workforce. As a student technology fellow, Munoz has helped build and enhance the BHSU website.

Munoz is avoiding student debt by relying on his earnings and scholarships, and utilizing low-interest financial aid. When asked what advice he had for other transfer students, Munoz said to seek out resources.

“I’ve had a great experience working with the financial aid office at BHSU,” he said. “They’re happy and quick to help.”

Munoz also found a comrade in Janette Hettick, the retention and recruitment specialist for the College of Liberal Arts at BHSU.

“Janette has been one of the people who helped me the most,” Munoz said. “I meet with her every semester to plan out my classes. She has all the information and access to resources to answer my questions and keep me on track.”

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