A College Student with the Minimum Debt


Many students spend years paying off their college debt, that on average is about $30,000 in New York State. During a student’s senior year of high school, college applications make a significant and difficult process for many. 

There are a couple of programs that can assist in helping pay off great amounts of money. All students should know about these programs and have it accessible to them, even if they may not want/need it. Two of these programs include HEOP and EOP.  These programs are used to help low income students/families who may struggle to pay off college debts. 

Many students don’t take advantage of these programs, due to the fact that they know nothing about them or how they work. 

Mrs. Jackson, a senior school guidance counselor, explained the differences between a scholarship and a student loan. The two have a significant difference. “Student loans are money that a parent or a student takes out from the federal government and has to be paid back. You sign something called a promissory note saying that you’re responsible.” Student loans are meant to be a source of aid for students, yet have to be paid back as stated in the promissory note. 

Scholarships or grants, on the contrary, are given as a reward for a certain activity you a student is/has been  involved with in the school. “You are awarded that money based on the amount of things you are doing either for a school community or based on academic rigor,” explained Ms. Jackson. She advises us to look into a parent’s work union. Often times, their unions may give our scholarships to high school students depending on their requirements or tasks. 

Lots of students struggle obtaining a scholarship due to common misconceptions. Since there isn’t one specific site or source to get a scholarship. There are community based organizations, nonprofits, businesses and foundations where kids can apply for scholarships. 

Not every student has the same opportunities for the same scholarships. Some are specific based on ethnicity, but a majority of scholarships are open to every student regardless of the race/ethnicity. No one student has a greater opportunity than another regarding student loans because it relies on the school they plan on attending. 

HEOP/EOP are programs which partner up with the New York State giving low income students the opportunity to a college education. Omezie Omeokwe, otherwise known as Mr. O, is our senior class’ college counselor. He tells us, “There’s no difference. HEOP is for private schools and EOP is for SUNY schools. Both programs were made to give students who otherwise want to gain access to these schools, access.” 

Being informed about topics like such are crucial when being in the process of applying to high school. Understanding small differences, such as the comparison between HEOP and EOP, are also important because they can lead you into having the minimum amount of college debt possible. 

Angie Gonzalez

My name is Angie Gonzalez and I am a junior student st Thomas A. Edison CTE High School. I am enrolled in a journalism class where I have learned various styles of writings surrounding the use of creativity. It has helped me create poems in different ways to express myself. Furthermore, my shop class is Computer Repair, where I hope to take my career into once I graduate in the spring of 2020.