Admission to an Ivy League school ruines my life

Today I cried while writing an email to Cornell University’s financial aid office. The first time I cried not from a physical pain. It was happening in a little Russian town where I live since childhood, in my and my sister’s room, on the floor in front of a large poster with Antonio Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Gaudi is one my favorite architect. I dream of becoming an architect, too.

Recently I have been accepted to the best architectural undergraduate program in the USA — Cornell’s. It was my No.1 ambition during the few past years. Not because of an Ivy League dream, not because I want to move to USA, but because I want to be a great architect, I want the best education!

But everything I completed has zero value.

Everything I achieved was not enough.

Now I understand my mistake — you are not allowed to let yourself dream. I can only blame myself for my hope and illusions.

I tend to be a rational person and I thought it was a goal, not a dream.

So I had checked out statistics:

Average need-based scholarship/grant award is about $36,604 while total cost for non-residents is about $67,613 (changes insignificantly through years).
Families with a total family income of less than $60,000, and total assets of less than $100,000 (including primary home equity), will have no parent contribution.

Oh, that sounds like me! And Cornell even has Commitment to Diversity! And $6.038 billion in endowment as of 2015!

News that ‘ Given limited funds, we can make only a few financial aid awards for international students each year’ came only after my acceptance letter.

I had hope when I received a Likely Letter before official Ivy Day. I had hope when I received acceptance letter. It was lost in four days — I received financial aid rejection.

‘We use the funds to try to achieve some diversity in the class’, they wrote.

I didn’t know that I had to be from Syria, or Zimbabwe, or underrepresented minority who will broaden diversity more than a girl from a Russian town where nobody ever heard of Cornell.

I stated in my CSS Profile that our family’s yearly income does not exceed Cornell tuition fees.
In addition, my father works in Russia and the value of rouble in comparison with dollar dropped significantly and may continue to decrease.
Trying to pay for my education will change the quality of my family’s life to the worse.

Most important, my father’s health is at a big risk. If something happens to him while I study at Cornell, will there be an opportunity to receive aid or will I have to stop my education suddenly?

Now — fuck composiotion. I can’t write that anymore.


Why cannot you just study architecture at Cornell if you want to study architecture at Cornell? Why accept and then say ‘You are not adding enough diversity’?

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