College Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison Tool
Just in time for College Acceptance Month, HESC has launched a College Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison Tool to help college-bound students and families interpret their award letters and get the bottom line cost of each college before making their final decision. Print this poster to help you spread the word about this important tool!
When I was 16 and pregnant with my son, I decided I wanted to go to college. I did not want to continue my family's cycle of being low income and struggling through life.
My only problem was that I didn't know the first thing about college. I did not know the difference between community colleges and universities, how to apply, or where to get the money. I also worried that the schooling I received at my group home for pregnant and parenting teens would not be good enough to prepare me for higher education.
'You'd Be an Excellent Social Worker!'
Even though I worried I hadn't gotten a good enough education and might not be smart enough for college, I told a staff I wanted to go, and to one day become a social worker or counselor.
"You would be an excellent social worker," she said. She had a degree in social work herself and told me I could do anything I wanted. After that, we talked more about me going to college. I began to think that maybe my dream could become reality. I decided my goal would be to attend a four-year university.
A few months after I had my son I left the group home and went to live with a relative. I returned to public school, which was a total shock. I felt miles behind the rest of the 12th graders. I felt like a failure and feared my dream of going to college might never happen.
Was I Good Enough For College?
I became really close to my homeroom teacher at the school, Ms. P., who told me, "You are really smart. You should apply to our local four-year university. I know you can get in there!" She had more faith in me than I had in myself.
I thought I would be better off at a community college where I could make up all the requirements I needed to be accepted to a four-year university. So I took an assessment test for my local community college and scored average in almost everything.
I applied for scholarships, but didn't get any and could not understand why. Not getting any of the scholarships made me feel like I was right and Mrs. P was wrong: I wasn't good enough for college.