Honestly, before I can even think about all the talented and brilliant students who weren’t accepted due to our high selectivity, what’s more upsetting to me are all the messages we get from accepted students who tell us UChicago was their dream school, but even after all the blood, sweat, and tears to get in, they still won’t be able to come due to lack of financial aid.
It breaks my heart. And I have no words or comfort or advice for them. It’s a shitty reality and it happens to way more students than I care to admit.
And I, in good conscious as an adult with a certain amount of social responsibility, cannot tell students to just take out a bunch of loans to cover it. I did that, and now I’m drowning in debt. At 17, I was so hellbent on attending UChicago that I would have sold my soul if I had to. At 25, I wish I had understood better just what it means to be tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
I feel UChicago does a good job with financial aid, but we could be doing so much better. I have real concerns that by effectively turning away students who could really use the caliber and name-recognition of a UChicago education to catapult themselves out of their lower socioeconomic backgrounds, we do a disservice to evening the playing field for higher education.
I absolutely believe that the best and brightest are currently attending UChicago - but I also believe that if you can’t afford it, you’re being left out in the cold. And that’s not right.
Werd. Especially the sentiment that, as a teenager I had no grasp on the financial hardship I was placing on myself and parents for the next decade or more.