Applying to College

Applying to college is broken. I do not know the solution, but we need to find one. Now.

Three weeks ago, I started my Junior year at Washington University in St. Louis. For all the complaints I have about *how* we go about education here, I really enjoy being a student. And I know that my former self, as a graduating high school senior, would have felt beyond disappointed to *not* go to school. (In hindsight, I wish I could tell myself that where you go to school is not *that* important to your success. But I know that is only hindsight bias speaking).

I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to be able to afford college. It was not that I qualified for need based aid, but rather that I got super lucky and was awarded a merit scholarship. Without it, I definitely would not have been able to afford coming to school. I think there are lots of motivated people who find themselves in a very similar situation to me — their families cannot afford school, but they also do not qualify for need based aid.

So what are we supposed to do?

The cost of college is outrageous! Hundreds of thousands of dollars thrown into a black hole…with the output being what? Nothing guaranteed.

I am not one to say “ditch school” or “drop out.” In fact, I really believe that the “college experience” is super valuable and an incredible time for growth/learning. But to what cost?

Are you supposed to take out loans to get this experience? At what point is it not worth it?

And how do you explain to someone that going to a top 10 school will not really make a difference. Or will it?

I cannot tell you how unfair it feels to not be able to pay for college. It is not the students fault. They worked hard in school. They did really well.

But what do you do when you cannot pay the $60,000+ a year?

Originally published at



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