Reality Check

Although tuition at private colleges and universities continues to rise well above normal inflation rates, there are still scholarships available from these institutions that may make it possible for lower-income students to attend. Because many students at these schools come from an affluent or at least comfortable background, the admissions officers don’t receive that many essays about the working world. If you or family members have struggled to pay the bills, your reflections and stories may well stand out from those of other applicants. Take a look at this NYTimes article for inspiration.