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What are the odds?

How I escaped college debt by a hairĀ“s lenght

Photo of Ulises Alejandro Barrera Ludevig
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For as long as i remember i´ve loved reading, i read through all the books in my house until i found a collection of Robert Kiyosaki books.

I read them all, and for some reason i felt really connected. My family is a textbook definition of what living in the "rat race" is, so for a impressionable 14 year old the book provided all the answers i needed. I wanted to succeed in business so I could finally "Liberate" my family.

With this as a fuel i dedicated myself to study for Colombian standardized tests, called ICFES, for 2 years. It was a lot of pressure, but i kept studying 2-3 hours daily after school. 

I got an excellent grade on the test, but i found myself in a difficult position a lot of people can relate to. My family wasn't eligible for scholarships of financial need but didn't have the money to pay for my education either. 

State provided loans or scholarships were also out of the question as I was a foreigner studying with a visa. At 11pm of the last day of applications I registered for one university i absolutely loved, but couldn't afford.

Long story short, all the effort finally payed off.

They gave me a 70% scholarship based on my academic record and my standardized tests results. It changed my life.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Motivation is critical, when people find a reason beyond "I just gotta go get a degree" they are willing to do the extraordinary in order to achieve their goal. We must help students find the thing that will make them move mountains to enter higher education alongside a system that allows them to find education easily.

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Photo of Patricio Toussaint

Ulises:

Thanks for your contribution. You are totally right you need to find a passion, with that you must be perseverant in order to achieve that passion. I read through other contributions that relate to yours. You could get more insights from these contributions:
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/higher-ed/research/how-i-get-through-college

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/higher-ed/research/how-to-harness-the-superstar-effect

thanks for your contribution

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