Diamond Broussard is a senior at Skyline High School in Oakland.
In light of our economic crisis, many college applicants, including myself, are feeling the burn. Students have been turned away from schools or wait-listed due to preservation or lack of funds by colleges. More students are applying to their own state colleges and others than ever before. The effects of these events have left many students undecided or unsure about their futures.
I found myself in oblivion when I realized just how much the economic crisis would affect college acceptances. I applied to about 13 schools. Though my GPA is average, my credentials are great, so I knew that I’d have a shot at the top state schools. I felt as though my chances were even better when two of these state schools sent me a supplement to find out more about me. So when I was rejected by them both, I was confused. Why? That was the one question on my mind.
Not only did I get rejected, but so did some of my peers who excelled even more than I did. Soon, though, we realized a pattern. Most of our peers who were being accepted could better afford their education. Schools, though many are saying that need is not a high criteria, were accepting students based on who could pay more for their education. While this decision that the schools made about my rejected peers and may not seem personal, it is. This means that many qualified students are being rejected from schools based on something as material as money. This also means that these schools may be less diverse, as many of those in the higher income brackets are white and Asian.
Not only are students feeling upset about being rejected, many are undecided as to what school they wish to attend due to lack of finances. Many of my friends have settled for schools based on finances alone. Yes, they could go to that fancy private school, but they are cautious of the cost of student loans and the possibility of not receiving some scholarships. However, I find myself doubting their actions. My question is, are they making the right decision?
I love to read, and once read that college debt is “good” debt, meaning that this investment is good and may boost your credit as long as the money gets paid back. I also believe this. It seems as though by investing in your education, you will see a return on this investment. Many of my friends are not very knowledgeable about debt and what is “good” debt vs. “bad” debt. Because of this, they look at owing money for college the same as they would owing money on a credit card. Luckily, my parents and other adults have spoken too me about this, and student loans are not as scary as many may think.
Though many students are scared about how the economy may affect them when they are in school they should breathe, and prepare themselves for future responsibilities rather than shy away from them. Despite these responsibilities, my future is very important. Nothing — not even a little debt — can keep me from going to the college I want to attend.