Sasha Figueroa

Dunham Fund Quick Path Student Blog Entries

Portrait of Sasha Figueroa
Sasha Figueroa

Dunham Fund Quick Path Student Blog Entries

"Counting Quarters"

Submitted on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“Thank you so much,” I squealed over the phone. Tears brimmed my eyes as I ended my call with Sean, who was the project manager of the Dunham Fund Quick Path program. Relief flooded my body. I no longer had to worry about having the money to pursue my college aspirations. Before my acceptance into the program, my mother and I were faced with a tough decision regarding my future. A couple of months earlier I had been accepted into the University of Alabama, my top school. I was overjoyed until I became more painfully aware of our financial situation. Going to Alabama meant $22,000 for my freshman year out of pocket- $22,000 we didn’t have… More loans could have been another option, but I wasn’t willing to spend the next five to ten years paying them off. College is becoming less and less affordable, leaving many students thousands of dollars in debt after graduation.

The Dunham program makes it possible for me to go to college without the financial burden. My mother no longer has to feel the guilt of me not being able to go to the school of my choice. I saw how the guilt consumed her. She felt as though she couldn’t provide for me. She put my sister through cosmetology school, but the cost difference between cosmetology and a four-year university is substantial. In my eyes, she did the best she could as a single mother raising two children. The acceleration of the Dunham Program allows me to go into college next year as a junior, this decreases the amount of money and time put forth into my education. I believe I will look back into the time spent in this program as one of the smartest decisions I have made. This program provides students with the opportunity to put their goals within reach without concern about the cost.