Current Weather
The Spy FM

An Early College Economics Lesson For One Student

Filed by KOSU News in Education.
December 15, 2011

One day last year I skipped school to wait for acceptances from colleges. It was the final day that letters or emails were supposed to be sent out.

I sat in front of my laptop by the front door for at least three hours, listening for the mailman while eagerly pressing the refresh button on my inbox. I admit, at one point, I checked my neighbor’s mail. Getting my house skipped on the mail route was one of the less crazy hypotheticals I imagined while waiting.

The college responses I had already received were pinned up on a corkboard in the hallway, so everyone in my family would pass by them on the way to the bathroom.

After my 300th click I finally got it: my rejection email. It was just two paragraphs. We’re very sorry, such-and-such many applicants, etc. etc. Sure, I was upset. But I thought, at least I still have the other schools on that corkboard.

A few weeks later, I got my federal financial aid notice or FAFSA. It estimates what your family can pay for college and how much federal aid you can get. I knew the minute I saw those little black numbers it wouldn’t be enough. My mom was still paying off her college loans and I had already spent more than I could afford on high school transcripts, applications, and the ACT test. Tuition at my top school was $30,000 a year, and I was going to be on the hook for two-thirds of it.

For the first time, I was seeing the price tag of my dream and realizing it was way out of my budget.

I had spent months telling my friends about my plans for the next school year: journalism and anthropology classes on the East Coast, taking the subway, and going to poetry readings.

That all changed after the financial aid letters.

Now I’m attending community college, working two jobs and I’m still trying to figure out next year. And how much debt my college dreams are worth. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

6PM to 6:30PM Marketplace


Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

Listen Live Now!

6:30PM to 7PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

View the program guide!

7PM to 9PM The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show filters through dozens of submissions a week to find the best in new local music. Ryan LaCroix is the host and mastermind behind the show and teaches at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center