The Price To Pay for a Higher Education


Opportunities for students to share their scholarship winnings pop up around school as college acceptance season approaches.

Veronica Ramos

  After four long years of sacrifice and hard-work, the biggest reward is getting into one’s dream college. However, an occasion worth celebrating poses uncertainty as families wonder if they can even afford to pay these ridiculous college tuition and fees. The heartbreaking reality is that many teens don’t end up going to their top school because it’s simply not financially possible.

   As college decision season is among us, many students are already devising how to pay for expenses and thinking about what their future might look like financially. “I am planning on going to UCF in the fall. If  I get my IB diploma, I will be able to attend any Florida college for free, and work to pay living situations and other necessities, but if I don’t get the IB Diploma, I will take a gap year to work to be able to cover my own costs for college,” said senior Aicha Aitelhadj.

   Today, there are millions of people still paying off student loan debt from when they were in college. However, many students are also planning to help pay for their college their own way, whether it’s by saving up or getting a job. “I am planning on going to UCF or FIU and I plan on having a part time job while I study as well as getting loans and scholarships,” said senior Kassandra Mendoza.

     Contrary to the complaints of seniors who don’t know where to start, scholarships are being made readily available by Mr. O’Donal on Cougar Corner, where he sends them out from time to time. Websites like offer students a way to get up to $2000 in scholarships without having to write an essay. There are so many ways to get free money that are just at the reach of a student’s fingertips.

   Still, many students aren’t fully aware of the many ways they can raise money to pay their tuition. With scholarships and grants, pretty much any school can be attainable for families of all income brackets. “Unfortunately, not every student is taking advantage of their available opportunities,” said O’Donal. “This means that literally billions of dollars are left unclaimed every year and parents end up picking up the bill or turning to student loans.”