When I was a senior in high school I didn’t really think about going to college. While my mother stressed the importance of education, she also stressed the importance of working and being independent. Neither of my parents had gone to college. And there was no one to really guide me. I graduated high school, uncertain of what I wanted to do. So many of my friends seemed to have this plan. I didn’t have a clue.
I spent that summer working and hanging out.
By the time August came around, I regretted the decision and registered for classes at the local community college but after a year, I decided it wasn’t for me. And I quit to work full-time in a department store.
Over the next few years, I floated from job to job, often working two to three jobs at a time.
I returned to school because I was bored and needed something to fill the time. I struggled through most of my classes – especially math and science. I took classes in history, philosophy, business and psychology. The only classes that interested me were courses in literature, creative writing or journalism. I finally found something I was good at.
Fifteen years (after graduating high school), 4 schools and too many jobs later, I finally graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Lehman College. And 5 years later, I graduated with a Master’s Degree from the City College of New York. It had taken me 20 years to obtain something most complete in less than 10 years. But I was a mother to a special needs child, a wife and I worked full-time the entire time.
And throughout my 20-year college experience, my parents were there for me. They didn’t always understand why I worked so hard to finish school when I already had a good job. My mother didn’t agree with my decision to continue with graduate school after Norrin was diagnosed with autism. But they still supported me – emotionally and sometimes financially. I couldn’t have done it without their support.
|MFA Graduation – May 2013|
Did you know that Hispanics account for 19% of all college students, ages 18-24? That’s a major increase, up from 12% in 2008. What’s more, 69% of Hispanic graduates are now going directly to college after graduating high school, a rate that is higher than that of the general population.
But the surge in Hispanic college-bound students presents a greater need for more information about college and financial support. As all parents that have college bound students can attest, navigating the application process can be daunting.
HSF.net provides information on:
2. Financial Aid
4. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Students