Money for College Is Possible with Some Planning

By Tadese Measho
     Going to college in the U.S. can be very expensive and many students who are immigrants have a hard time getting the money for college.
According to Ms. Ceide, the counselor for ESOL students, most of the ESOL students have a goal to go to college after high school. These students will need to know how they can pay for college.
     For some students their parents can’t help them pay for college. “I know my parents are not going to cover my college tuitions. But my school career center tried to help me by showing what I have to do to go to college, the application forms, the Web sites and some advice about money. I am getting from them,” senior Walter Ramos said.
     The U.S. government and the Maryland government have programs to help students get money. According to booklet in the Blair Career Center called “Federal Student Aid at a Glance” there are different sources of money. One is called a “grant.” A grant is free money that does not have to be repaid. “Generally, grants are for undergraduate students, and the grant amount is based on need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.”
     A loan is another source of money. A loan is borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Both students and parents may borrow to pay education expenses. “Maximum loan amounts depend on the student’s year in school.” A student loan does not have to be repaid until after the student leaves college. However, parents who borrow money for college must start to repay their loan right away.
     A scholarship is a third source of money. Scholarships are based on your grades in high school and your score on college tests. To get scholarships it’s important to keep good grades during school years. There are scholarships for sports, as well as for students who participate. There are also special groups and companies that give scholarships, too. For example there are Vietnamese, Latino and African groups that give scholarships to students.
     Unfortunately, grants and loans from the government can only be given to students who have U.S. residency papers. According to Ms Ceide, “Blair has many students who don’t have residency papers.” Those students have a big problem. One of the students said “I don’t have a residency paper to be here, but I am ready to go to college no matter what after high school.” But he added, “I am really scared to be by myself. After all, my family can’t afford $20,000 to $30,000 for one year of college that some colleges charge,” he said.
     The first page article in this issue has information about the Dream Act. If this law is passed, it can be very helpful to students without papers who have been in the U.S. for five years or more.


© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2003 (This page was created by Maria Torres)