UC Berkeley Financial Aid & Scholarships

My parents are from Mexico. My dad is a
gardener. He did everything he could I guess to provide everything I needed,
never questioned any cost about school because he knew how important it
was. I come from a family where no one has ever like been to university before. My mother really like strongly emphasized education even though she
didn’t actually pursue it herself but it was only because of the barriers that
she had growing up. I came here and felt so unsure of whether or not I was
going to get in, whether I was gonna get approved. I was afraid that even though I
was here that there was no guarantee that it was going to be
sustainable. Going through the application process my dad always
wondered like, should you be doing this like should she go to college like
should she just get a job? When I got admitted into Berkeley I was like, oh my
god I’m admitted, I’m admitted into Berkeley now How am I gonna pay for this? I have
no money. And then once I got accepted and I saw my financial aid, it was feasible. And then all of a sudden I get an email saying, “Congratulations you’ve been selected to interview for the California Opportunity Scholarship.” And when I was, you know, showing my teachers they thought it was unheard of to have a
UC give someone that large of a scholarship. Berkeley as an institution has one of the greatest financial aid packages in the country. There’s so much
support available for students it’s just it’s just getting students to know that
they’re there and to just submit applications for them. From day one my experience at Berkeley
wasn’t hardship dependent it was me really living my, like, dream here of like
being educated by the top faculty. And I was so grateful that Berkeley was able
to recognize students that didn’t come from everything. If I were talking to a
high school student who didn’t think that she could afford to go to a school
like UC Berkeley because she’s low-income, I wouldn’t know where to
begin about telling her that that’s not a barrier at all. You are more than
all of these limitations society has put on you. You can go to college. You don’t
have to work at a fast-food restaurant for the rest of your life. There are
people out there who are willing to help I understand where you’re coming from.
I’ve been there, I didn’t know how I was gonna afford it but it worked out. It
works out.