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Interviewed a college student who got a financial aid from government; he pays $80 per a semester

Attending college with In-state status, and Financial aid from State Gov. & Federal Gov.

Photo of Hyung Gi Yoon
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Kim was born in Korean but holds permanent resident card. He lives in New Jersey and attending Rutgers Univ. for his bachelor's degree. He went to public high school and it was famous for high rate of Ivy league admissions. After he graduated high school, he went back to Korea for his college. He studied Business Administration in Korea for 2 years and transferred to Rutgers University, which is a state university of New Jersey. 

He says "I think I have more opportunities now compared to South Korea. And I don't think I am not a proper interviewee to comment on the college cost, because I am receiving Financial Aids from State and Federal at the same time. In total, I paid $80 for this semester." It is possible because he is attending In-state college, with financial aid. 

According to him, around 70% of students in Rutgers University, excluding international students, can receive any kinds of financial aids from the state or the Federal Government. "But every students receive different level of financial aid from the governments. I was lucky and tried hard." 

The criteria of the financial aid comprised of GPA, School Activities, and Income. But definitely income is the most important attribute.  "Although I don't have any income now, I will study hard and I believe that I can get a good job after graduation."



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Photo of Nicole Cote

Hello, and thanks for sharing! $80 seems like a very cheap cost for Rutgers, which is a very notable state university. I wonder what kind of aid he received.... Grants? Scholarships? Might he have been receiving merit based aid (you mention he went to a strong public high school)? I guess I am just wondering because it would be great to know how to make college this affordable for everyone, but I think a little more background might be needed to make a judgment. If it's merit based, what about those kids who do not go to a top high school with strong teachers, or have money for proper SAT prep, for example. I would love to learn more about your interviewee's story, and an quite envious of his situation, myself! Thanks again for sharing this great piece!

Photo of Hyung Gi Yoon

Thank you Nicole for replying my interview.
It is true that Kim graduated a strong public high school in New Jersey. I have same awareness of a problem with you that high schools have influence students' college life. But it is hard to say his high school is the main reason for him to receive the financial aid, because he transferred from a University in South Korea which takes four years after he graduated his high school-2 years for the college and 2 years for Military Service at South Korea Army.

I would say that he receives a merit based scholarship and financial aids from Gov. with 0 income proof.

Photo of Nicole Cote

Thank you for this extra background! I appreciate it!

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Hyung, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.