High school seniors across the country prepare for the next phase of their education
Spring marks the time of year when high school seniors go through the process of deciding where they will be spending the next four years of their academic journey. May 1 was National College Decision Day, and millions of high school seniors officially decided which college or university to attend in the fall and what they will be studying for the next step in their education. This process can be very tedious, exhausting and sometimes even seems impossible.
For many students, the way to pick what the best college for them to attend has to do with the qualities they are looking for in a college, like the program they want to go into, how much it will cost, how far it is from home, the city it is in and much more. Incoming students have chosen to attend DePaul because of these reasons.
Many seniors looked at financial aid to decide, simply because they knew that they cannot afford to go to a school where they would have to pay a lot of money for tuition. Many students applied to DePaul in hopes of getting a scholarship and a high financial aid package, since they already knew they liked DePaul’s programs. One of these students is Evanston Township High School senior Raj Chaudhri.
“The reason I chose to apply to DePaul was because I heard it was a good business school and that it was good for accounting. I also applied because it is in Chicago,” Chaudhri said. “In the end, it was the cheapest option for me.”
Students who want to be able to stay at home with their parents often look for and apply to schools they can commute to. Another student who had a similar reason for applying is a senior at Mather High School, Tsistsiki Alvarado.
When asked why she applied to DePaul, she said, “A big part for me was looking at financial aid and then if it had the major that I wanted.”
On the other hand, there were students who applied to DePaul for reasons besides just financial aid, ranging from being close to home to having heard of the success of the program they wanted to go into. One student is Adil Alibhai, another senior at Evanston Township High School.
“I applied to DePaul University because of how exceptionally well their business school is, loved the campus location and the message they preach to their Blue Demons,” Alibhai said. Alibhai will be majoring in accounting in fall of 2023.
Kharon Cotton, a high school student from Lynwood, Illinois, also had other reasons for applying to DePaul. “Just a college I was thinking about if I stayed home, no specific reason,” they said. “I also really wanted to go far from home.” Cotton ultimately decided to stay close to home.
Other students also chose DePaul because it was close to home, and they would not have to pay for a dorm or meal plan, since they would be commuting to and from school.
“My first choice was to dorm but it’s more expensive, so I decided to stay at home,” Alvarado said. “I also decided to not get a meal plan due to it being more expensive, so I’m trying to save as much as possible.”
Commuting to school is a great way for some students to save more money in the long run. “I will be commuting to DePaul since my twin brother is also attending college and the expenses are a lot for me and my family to bear,” Alibhai said. “After my freshman year I am thinking of dorming in DePaul to experience it and will choose a meal plan then.”
Cotton, however, who wanted to go to a college far from home, said, “I’ll be dorming at DePaul. And I haven’t chosen what meal plan, but I do want one.”
When it came time to officially choose a college that students will be attending, many students chose DePaul because of a variety of reasons. Some chose because DePaul was offering them the best financial aid, while others said they had other factors that came in when deciding which college to attend.
“DePaul was immediately on my top list because it had the major that I wanted and was affordable,” Alvarado said. “I also felt super comfortable with the amount of diversity that was at DePaul when I visited. It was definitely more inclusive and even after I was offered lots of help from DePaul to still cover the rest of my tuition.”
For many, it all came down to whether they or their family could afford the tuition for the years that they would be studying at DePaul.
“When the time came to make a decision, DePaul was the clear winner as it offered me more opportunities to experience and financially it was affordable for me and my family for the next four years to come,” Alibhai said.
While many students said they solely looked at financial aid as their deciding factor, classes offered at DePaul also swayed decisions. “I did the sample classes when I visited DePaul,” Cotton said. “First class was Mindfulness and after then there was Misinformation. Those classes really sold the deal and were my deciding factor.”
DePaul has been known to many for being a private school with a high tuition rate, but it is quite clear that one of the many reasons that DePaul has such a high diversity rate is because of the fact that it offers a college experience for a wide range of students thanks to the university’s generous financial aid options.
Header illustration by Yù Yù Zander