Student: Higher Education and College Essay

Submitted By kstocking
Words: 935
Pages: 4

I was in my senior year at ****** High School and I knew that a deadline was fast approaching. I needed to decide my plans for after graduation. I had always done well in school – a straight-A student. I also knew that whatever my career goals would end up being I would probably need to attend college to reach them. My high school was holding a college recruitment fair made up of local Utah colleges and universities. My plan until this day had been to look most into attending Utah State University. Thus, the first lecture I attended about the schools was that of Utah State University. At the time this seemed to be one of my only options as it wasn’t too far away from home and it seemed to be among the more affordable for my budget. My best friend had always dreamed about going to Westminster College as both of her parents did. I had heard of the high costs Westminster was known for and didn’t think any education could be worth that so I threw it out of my options. However, being my friend, I sat with her through the Westminster recruitment speech. Never did I think sitting in that auditorium seat would change the years of my life to come. For as when I first sat down I didn’t take seriously the speech the lady from Westminster was giving us. Soon her words were catching my attention from small class sizes to high student-professor interaction. Though this sounded so appealing I still was thinking there would be no way I could afford it. My mom convinced me however to at least take a tour of the college and speak with a financial advisor about payment options. Thanks to my great grades and scores in high school and my low income that would be paying for my tuition I was told I could actually be a student there for about the same up front costs as attending most other Utah colleges. That factor had me sold and I immediately applied and was accepted. After my acceptance I didn’t even consider applying to any other schools. There I was, 18 years old, just out of high school, and I had made a grand decision that would change my life greatly. I started classes fall of 2010 at Westminster College. Right then I was to pay about $1000 out of pocket for the upcoming semester. This seemed like so much but I had to keep telling myself I would be paying similar elsewhere as well. Tuition at the time was over $25,000 and one thousand dollars was a small portion of that. I was at that time so thankful for my scholarships I was receiving as well as financial aid I was getting from the federal government. The need-based government FAFSA program was what truly allowed me to continue my education in college. I was getting about $11,000 per semester in help from this program with a little over half of that in grants I would not have to pay back. These grants meant my debt from attending college would not be nearly as substantial. It also meant that I was so grateful to have a government that committed some of its budget to helping people of all ages achieve higher education. In early 2011 I became even more thankful to find that the government had the American Opportunity Tax Credit of $2,500 for students meeting certain criteria. I fit this criteria and it meant a lump some of money was paid to me completely reimbursing me for all I had spent out of pocket on college. I was shocked to hear that in the presidential…