WHS thoughts on financial aid


Credit: Alyssa Ao

WSPN’s Hallie Luo discusses the difficulties of financial aid when students apply to colleges.

Hallie Luo

As college application season is at its prime for most seniors at Wayland High School, feelings of stress and anxiety over supplemental essays and extracurriculars are common.

For many seniors, presenting personal information to colleges can pose a challenge, but that information can also help other students feel more comfortable about the college application process.

“I love envisioning where my future will be,” senior Michael Jennings said. “The essays are tedious, but other than that, [the college application process is] not as bad as I thought it would be.”

On August 24, 2022, United States President Joe Biden announced his plans to allow most federal student loan borrowers to be eligible for upwards of $10,000 in forgiveness. While this gives aid to thousands around the nation, there are many doubts that come along with forgiving these loans.

“[Some] individuals have hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt,” sophomore Kanmani Sekhar said. “This would only cover a certain number of people. Now [the government] can just say they did something, but it is probably just ceremonial.”

Based on a poll conducted through a survey of 97 students, 40% of poll participants plan on applying for financial aid, scholarships or taking out student loans for their future education. 42% of the poll participants might apply for financial aid, and only 18% of students do not plan on applying for financial aid.

“I think I will definitely apply [for scholarships],” Sekhar said. “I’m also the first kid in my family that will be going through the American university process, and I know my parents have pretty high expectations for me, so I want to help them out any way I can.”

Wayland High School is known for its demanding and rigorous academic environment, and it ranks as a part of the top 1% of all schools in Massachusetts. Along with its great education, it is also ranked as the #6 wealthiest towns in Massachusetts.

“I do feel like there is a stigma [around financial aid in Wayland High School],” Sekhar said. “People here have insanely high expectations.”

With Wayland having several students accepted by Ivy League and other top colleges each year, several students of all grades face pressure and worries about the inevitable future in terms of college.

“I thought about college when I was in middle school,” junior CC Haddad said. “I thought that if I didn’t get into Accelerated Earth Science in 8th grade, it would limit my chances in getting into a good college.”

While attending a prestigious university is a top priority for many WHS students, it isn’t financially reasonable for every student. From the perspective of several WHS students, there is an immense amount of pressure that parents and fellow peers put on college admissions.

“There’s too much pressure on an undergraduate education,” Sekhar said. “You can get a great education [at any college], and you can also pursue your career further in graduate school.”

According to a poll sent out to WHS students, 67% of respondents would pick a higher-ranked school that is more expensive, and 33% would likely choose a lower-ranked school with in-state or lower tuition.

“People are too quick to judge their peers based on what school they commit to,” Haddad said. “You never know what types of financial factors students have to consider when choosing a school.”