Middle school students get lesson on college costs

Students got a lesson in how to get into college as well as how to pay for it at an SF middle school.

January 27, 2011 5:38:19 PM PST
Students were getting a lesson in how to get into college as well as how to pay for it at a San Francisco middle school.

As California's budget crisis continues, students say getting into college is one task, affording it is another. So at Everett Middle School in San Francisco, they're learning now how to pay for college tomorrow.

"I think a lot of, in dealing with money in college is that they assume that it costs so much that they won't be able to go. And so in middle school, a big part of it is educating the parents and these students that there is money out there," teacher Chrissy Flores said.

All this week sixth, seventh and eighth graders are learning the course requirements to get into the UC and CSU systems. Through games they learn about the rewards of a college education -- the higher the degree, the bigger the reward.

"It's far, but that's kind of the idea as far as dedication and trying to take the steps necessary to get to that point," mentor Airto Morales said.

'College Week' is supported by 'SF Promise,' a local program working to guarantee all kids access to college, and again, great emphasis is placed on affording it.

"Some schools you have to pay a lot, some you don't have to pay a lot," sixth grader Sarah Alowdi said.

"One thing I didn't know is how much the schools cost nowadays, and how they give you stuff that you don't have to pay for sometimes on campus," sixth grader Rebecca Smith said.

San Francisco State works with SF Promise, and their message is any tuition increase should not be an impediment when trying to attend any public university in California.

"The low income folks can qualify for financial aid, some of them don't pay anything because they qualify for full financial aid. The middle class, middle income families what they are looking at are loans," Jo Volkert from San Francisco State said.

It is middle class families that are really being affected by these tuition hikes. One thing San Francisco State now has is local guarantee, which means if a student lives in the surrounding counties and gets all the college entrance requirements, they will be guaranteed admission at San Francisco State.