Major: Nuclear science and engineering
I come from a single-family household; my father left home when I was in the sixth grade and I’ve had very minimal contact with him since. Fortunately I had an amazing mother who supported both of us on her wage of about $10,000 a year from her job as a teacher’s aide at the local elementary school. She really is an amazing person and sacrificed a lot, including going into debt, to keep me from being affected too much by our situation. In that respect, my financial aid package is a vital stepping stone in getting to a point where I can repay what she’s done for me by paying off that debt and buying her the things she sacrificed to support me during high school.
I was incredibly pleased when I received my financial aid award letter. The aid was so generous that MIT actually became my most affordable option for college. If I’d attended my second-choice school, I would have had to take on about $20,000 a year in debt. I currently have no debt during my second year at MIT.
Not applying to MIT because of the price tag could be the biggest mistake of your life. There are amazingly generous people who have made it possible for anyone to be able to afford MIT if they are accepted. Coming to MIT, living in a city on the coast, and getting an MIT degree are life-changing experiences that will open doors to a new life and give you the ability to improve your family’s situation. Apply, and if fate brings you here, the financial aid office will make sure your financial situation doesn’t hold you back.
My student jobs have made a huge difference as well. I’ve worked at MIT’s Nuclear Reactor Lab since October 2006. I trained for my Nuclear Regulatory Commission exam for a license to operate the reactor since I started and all summer, then took the exam and received my operator’s license this fall. I’ve also taken on additional responsibilities with a specific project at the reactor. This has been an experience I’m truly proud of. I find it to be a great practical balance to classes, and it’s provided me with income to allow me to live more independently and comfortably. Anyone who needs it can find something on campus to supplement his or her income.