ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., October 28, 2019 From CNBC

CNBC’s Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow., a financial wellness initiative in partnership with Acorns, today debuted My College Dream, a series of first-person accounts by students about their college and career aspirations, the serious money struggles they have faced along the way and the real-world consequences that resulted from their circumstances – and their decisions.

SABEW and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) originally commissioned the essays as part of our joint College Connect program and granted CNBC permission to republish updated versions on CNBC.com.

According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analysis of data from the National Center on Education, eight out of 10 college students work while they’re in school – and the number of hours they’re working is on the rise. Students from the University of Missouri and Arizona State University featured in this weekly series write about how their long-term financial hardships have been further exacerbated by the cost of college. From a student who had to work full time while going to school full time and still couldn’t pay her bills to one whose family was hit hard by the recession to a student who battled cancer before he even moved into his dorm room and one who lost her scholarship and was forced to drop out of school – each of these students express their struggle to make ends meet.

The four-part series, which publishes each Monday, features the student essays as well as personal videos. Additionally, CNBC paired each student with a financial advisor from the CNBC Financial Advisor Council to offer them expert advice and help guide them towards a healthier financial path.