The University We All Love
When I was admitted to Yale, my parents, middle-class people whose modest savings had been wiped out in the Recession, were ecstatic. They thought that, in addition to the plethora of academic and personal opportunities a Yale education would provide for me, it would also be significantly more affordable than an education at a peer institution. They were right about the first part and deeply mistaken about the second. Yale's financial aid policy, though nominally generous and holistic, did not take into account my father's business expenses as 'losses,' ignored my family's considerable pre-existing debt and forced my parents to take out even more money to pay for my education. Because I earned significant money working as a tutor last summer, I did not have to work this school year. However, this will change in my sophomore year, as I will have to contribute to meet the student income contribution. I am fortunate to have made many friends this year and to have grown close to many faculty members, and I don't see my impending student jobs drastically affecting either my social life or academic life, but I do know many students who were forced to work their freshman years and have not had the same academic or social success as I. I am also fortunate that my parents were able to take out loans in the first place, no small advantage given the racial discrimination that prevents families of color from doing the same. Going forward, Yale should find a way of engaging with lower-income and middle-class students in a more productive and humane way. Instead of compelling students to take jobs that they have no interest in and in many cases are not even prepared to do, Yale should offer all students access to the tremendous academic opportunities that make Yale the university we all love and care so deeply for.