Pete G. California

First Class Ticket

Why should someone be prevented from going to college if they are just as capable of doing the work as everyone else?

Dear future President,

I am a high school student at Polytechnic High School studying in hopes of getting into a college that will benefit me the most in the future. This is probably the same situation with almost every other kid that goes to school, and it should be this way. Unfortunately, some teens will never be able to go to college because they are not at an advantage when it comes to money and finances. Money may sometimes determine whether or not someone was good enough to go to college, because, although they may get accepted into a school, a student may not have received a scholarship which results in his or her not being able to afford the college to which he or she was accepted. Contributing to this problem, classes and college in general are getting more expensive and this is not what should be happening if these students are going to be our future, because then, there will be no future.

Colleges may be offering a student scholarships if they absolutely need this. The MIT admission officer or head, Dr. Hunt, said at an assembly that pricing should not determine college (or something along those lines). This may be so, but colleges cannot give everyone financial aid and if prices of books, classes, etc. increase, slowly but surely, how can I assure that I, myself, can go to college. Over the past 4 years, the price of colleges has risen about 11% and this is probably going to increase, hopefully at a slower rate. This increase can put lower and middle-class families in tight positions trying to deal with sending their kids to college and can lead to medium-sized (5-person households) or large families (6-person or more) not being able to put everyone through college or having to cut back on spending in certain areas. Will my sister’s education be at stake as a result of tuition? College kids can’t constantly make their own food or go out to eat unless they want to eat something unhealthy like Top Ramen or McDonald's. Can this be changed? Is it possible to send every hardworking kid to college?

My mom lived only with my grandma at the time who did not make a lot of money because she would work only at part time jobs and would work at booths that sold food at fair or carnivals which she still does to this day to make a living. This was not enough money to sustain them so they also received food stamps so that my mom could go to the grocery store and get items in exchange for a government provided voucher/coupon. Fortunately, my mom went to a college within Thailand called Chulalongkorn University on a full scholarship and was accepted to and attended UCLA using grants and student loans to pay for tuition and other expenses and became a teacher. Because she became a teacher, it only took her 5 years to pay off her students loans and if she hadn't, she tells me it would have taken her at least ten. What if she didn't receive financial aid or scholarships? Where would I, my sister, my family be? Isn't it worrisome that there are people who aspire to be our nation's future leaders but can't do that without the proper education because they can't afford to receive it?

I will be sending in my college applications around halfway through your presidential term. When this time comes around, hopefully my peers and I can go to college without putting our families at a disadvantage or on the fence when deciding whether or not they want to eat out that night.


A future high school graduate,

Pete Gatenil

John Henry Francis Polytechnic High School

Honors English 10 B / Period 3

Sophomore English class in the magnet program of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California.

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