Amanda H. California

College: the effort to advance with a price.

We are the generation of breaking boundaries and little green papers have more power over us.

Dear Future President,

Almost a decade ago, my brother left our quiet neighborhood in the outskirts of Santa Clara, California to go pursue a higher education in UCSC, or the University of California, Santa Cruz. The house ran lonesome with a heavy weight upon our shoulders: of a nest one nestling empty, and a wallet thousands of dollars gone. Though I was barely as tall as the counter top, I scavenged through papers in search of something to doodle on and was later scolded when my parents had explained that they were their "adult letters;" unpaid bills from the university after my brother had decided to resign from that school and switch majors. My mother was building a business and maintaining it on her own terms, as my father struggled keeping a steady job to help pay off for my brother's student debts. As I climb up higher and higher into the grades and near the dreaded bills to come, I come to realize: "How will my family manage to send me off to college as well?"

My brother was a full-time student staying up until the sun climbed past the hills and greeted our home a good morning to finish and polish his school assignments after a long day of work, raking in as much money a minimum-wage job could offer to support our family pay his tuition. Sometimes, I complained and threw dangerous fits of fiery rage whenever my parents wouldn't buy me a toy from the Disney store that just release, but I later came to realize that those few dollars could, and did, contribute to the gradual payoff of my brother's previous school's tuition and the current school. My family was literally scraping up money from wherever they could and spending as little so they could to pay for education. 

I am in no way implying that you, the face of our nation itself, have a lesser knowledge of the problem that faces many families sending their "babies" off to a college to become engineers, doctors, or whatnot, and I am very well aware that colleges offer students and their families financial aid- but is that really the best you could do? Are loans of thousands upon thousands of dollars the best you can do for a family who struggles keeping itself on its feet, let alone sending a student to college? Is overworking a student with exams, lectures, and hours in a minimum wage work worth your profits? Scholarships are granted to only a select few, and what if a student isn't the brightest star in the sky, what if the student isn't an all A's student, but are determined and willing to push themselves past their mental capacities to grasp more? Remember, Einstein wasn't the smartest kid in the class either. 

New school programs are opening the doors and shedding light onto the new minds of the generation: minds with determination, insights, and plans to change the world. These middle school and high school programs are peeling away the blinds from these children and letting them realize that they have the power and ability to change the world, but once their time runs out from the free education of high school, they're only then to face the concrete wall of "NO" when the college of their dreams, the college who is known as the birthplace of some of history's most renowned names, is out of reach by the thousands of dollars.

Take this into consideration: geniuses can appear from all walks of life and are certainly not limited to the wealthy and the clean. The image of society is so plagued and blinded by the stigma that only the kids who eat steak and truffles for dinner and drive luxury cars can get into an Ivy League school and become cancer curers, breakthrough scientists, and politicians. The glass between reality and dreams is spat on and scrubbed with a dirty cloth so mercilessly, that it seems like only people who do come from successful schools and have powerful jobs are snobby and have millions of dollars in their pockets, not in their savings account. People from all walks of life, whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, have the potential to be the next person who changes the world. The only problem facing them is the big fat letter that comes in the mail with the number many families only pray to be the phone number of the school.

So, Future President of the United States of America- the president of a land of innovations and groundbreaking advances, are you willing to risk losing the world's chance of curing cancer, world hunger and poverty, pollution, and numerous problems, because a kid can't afford to pay for college? Would you rather wait for a rich kid from a mansion and big cars put an end to some of the world's most devastating problems in years to come, maybe not even in your lifetime, or let an ordinary kid with a mind who shines brighter than a thousand suns solve those problems today?


Amanda H.