Student to Student
Every student with college ambitions comes to a point in life where he or she will be faced with a decision of where to go. This decision not only affects the next several years, but rather the majority of the rest of the student’s life. Most of the time this decision does not come with any ease, and many roadblocks may directly conflict with where a student truly desires to go.
Every year it appears that colleges increase their tuition and other fees, even during tough economic times. While there are many students and parents in the country that are willing to pay the price, there are even more students and parents that are not willing to, or can’t, pay such exorbitant fees.
When this issue of college expenses comes up, there are several things that students can do to attempt to lower the price of tuition or to convince their parents to become more flexible towards the issue. One of the best ideas students can do is to simply sit down and talk with their parents, so that both sides can understand each other’s positions.
"I recommend to all students that they talk with their parents at the beginning of their junior year. The students can tell their parents what they want to do, and the parents can do the same," said Nancy Michalko, the Scholarship Advisor at Park City High School.
Using this approach is very beneficial to students as well as parents. By bringing up the subject of money earlier in high school, parents are allowed much more time to think about what they can afford. When parents learn about the cost of tuition and other expenses earlier in the application process, they will more likely be able to assist the student in finding financial aid because of this additional time.
However, it is also important for parents to not lead their teens on if they have no intention of paying for higher-priced colleges. If students believe their parents will support and assist them in paying for an expensive school, they will have a much stronger drive to get into that school. In the end, this could lead to a very awkward situation if the student gets into the school, but the parents aren’t actually willing to pay, even though they originally said they would.
"The most important thing is for the parents to be honest. I have heard of many situations where the parents say they will pay because they do not think the student will get in. However, the student then works harder and ends up getting into the school," said Michalko.
With all of this said, there are many things that students can do to help pay for their dream college. Scholarships are readily available, and if one reaches out for help, there is plenty of it around. Everyone wants to see a student achieve and it is surprising to see the number of people that will help a student reach his or her goals. Overall, it is of the utmost importance to simply continue to work hard and keep your options open.
It seems like in today’s world, scholarships are available to students at a very early age. People are willing to give money to students in order for them to succeed in life. There are numerous options and if students start to look for these scholarships early in their high school careers, they could benefit greatly later on.
Of course, every college does also have its own database of individual scholarships, which may even be associated with other larger scholarships that run through generous contributors at a particular university. No matter what, colleges will have money available, and if students work hard and seek out this money, many times they will be rewarded. All in all, through communication and scholarship searching, it is possible for a student to drastically lower his or her tuition.
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A Parkite who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13 is giving scholarships and internships to three first-generation graduates from PCHS.