By Angie Sánchez
Early College Education
My college education began in a community college. When I found out that the private college that I was planning on attending was too expensive and could not get the scholarship I started to save money but as I mentioned before 32 hours a week at $6.50 was not going to be enough to pay for it. Someone who worked at the same mall I did asked me what I was planning on doing after high school and I told her that I was going to work until I had enough to pay for the school I wanted to attend. She advised that since it was going to take a while to save up all that money that I should take a couple classes at the community college and then transfer once I had the money. I didn’t even know I could do this! She gave me better advice than my high school counselor ever did.
That fall after graduation I enrolled in college. I was so excited. However, enrolling was not that easy. The school that I wanted to go to was out of my district, so that meant that I had to pay out-of district tuition. I could have gone to the community college in my district but I wanted to get away from everyone that went to high school with me. I wanted to meet new people and move on from high school drama. I also wanted to go to a school near my place of employment. The problem that I had when enrolling was that in order for me to get in-district tuition I had to present a pay stub of my place of employment to the school. The mall I worked at was part of the school’s district so anyone employed there but did not live in-district could attend and get in-district rates. So here was my problem: the name on my social security card and the number was not the same as the name and number I provided on my school application. Another obstacle was that my place of employment was not listed in their records as being part of the mall. That meant that they had to verify the location as well as my employment there. Like I said before, the name and SS# on my school and employment application did not match. Thankfully, at that time the manager knew of my situation so he signed the form verifying my employment
I was also fortunate that there was someone working for the school that was able to help me with this obstacle. I told her my situation and she said she would help me. Instead of me going to the admissions office and have someone there make a copy of my stub, I went to her. She would white out my SS# and my last name and write it out. She would sign the form that had to be filled out to override the out-of district tuition fare. I only had difficulty with this process once. Someone at the student services office did not know who the person was that signed my form so she had to ask. I freaked out because I was afraid they were going to notice the discrepancy on the stub. I was lucky though and they did not notice.
To be continued…