MIT Student Financial Services Student Stories

Student Stories

Caitlin Dalyrmple ’12

Eldersberg, MD
Major: Chemical Engineering

Caitlin Dalrymple ’12I grew up in Eldersburg, a small town west of Baltimore, MD. My parents separated when I was two and my mom mostly supported my sister and I by working two jobs. My mom remarried when I was 8 and my sister and I gained two stepbrothers. Although my mother encouraged education, college degrees were not common amoung my family members.

I always loved school and learning, especially math and science. My sophomore year of high school, I saw a presentation promoting kids to apply to MIT. At the presentation I fell in love with the atmosphere that MIT seemed to exude. Then, I was accepted to a summer program (Women in Technology Program) at MIT after my junior year. Spending a summer at MIT made me fall in love even more. I loved how everything was hands on, how everyone worked together, and how we were always encouraged to prove concepts to ourselves rather than simply accept them. I knew that I wanted to go here and would not be happy anywhere else.

Many people, including many very close to me, did not believe that I had a chance of getting in to such a great school. I was constantly asked what my second choice was, or told that while that was a great goal, I should have a more realistic backup plan. After my experience here, I knew that I had to go to MIT and I owed it to myself to atleast apply.

MIT was my dream school. Once I was accepted, my parents encouraged me to go even if that meant I would graduate $200,000 in debt. My parents had only saved up enough money for a state school and, though I had been working since I was 14, I would not be able to pay anything close to full tuition. Once I recieved my financial aid package, I was estatic. I would be able to attend the school of my dreams and graduate only a few thousand dollars in debt. I owe so many opportunites and experiences to those who have donated to financial aid.

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