Deciding on a College: A Discussion with High School Students

Episode #45. Host Jonathan Hughes talks to high school seniors Lindsey Blais and Muhammad Salla about their college journey, including the application process, the financial aid process, their decision of which school to attend and why, and advice for other students. This episode was recorded and filmed at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School’s TV Production Studio. If you enjoy the MEFA Podcast, please leave us a review.

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Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School


0:00 Intro

1:53 Interview with Lindsey Blais and Muhammad Salla


Jonathan Hughes: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. My name is Jonathan Hughes and welcome to the MEFA Podcast. Now, I feel like I'm saying this a lot lately, but this is a special episode of the MEFA Podcast and it really is. So what makes this episode so special? Well, a couple of things. First of all, it's the second year in a row that we have talked to graduating high school seniors about their college decision. So we're talking to actual students, relaying their own experiences, what they learned, what they wish they knew, and what they can tell other students on their way to college. Those students are Muhammad Salla and Lindsey Blais. They're both students at Assebet Valley Regional Technical High School, and we were connected with them through their counselor Maki Faria.
So the first of many thanks to her. The second thanks [00:01:00] to her is for connecting us with William May, the design and visual instructor, and more importantly, the director of Assabet Valley TV who had the great idea for us to do the show in-house in Assabet Valley's studio. So this was incredible. Not only were we able to have a great studio to record in, but even better than that, the whole thing was shot, edited, mixed and designed by students at Assabet Valley, and you'll see that they did a phenomenal job.
So I'm very excited to share this with you. Enjoy making the college decision with students, Muhammad Salla and Lindsey Blais.
Hey everybody and welcome to the MEFA Podcast. You may notice that we are coming to you from a different location. Our digs are much [00:02:00] nicer this week. We are at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, and we're here to talk to two seniors who are ready to go to college. And so with. They have very graciously offered to be with us today. We have Lindsay Blaze.
Lindsey Blais: I'm from Hudson Mass and I'm graduating in 2023.
Muhammad Salla: And I'm Muhammad Salla. I'm from Northboro, Massachusetts and I'm graduating this year, 2023.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, congratulations on, graduating everybody, and thank you so, so much for being here. I really appreciate it. It's just something that we like to do.
We know this is a long process for students and it can be overwhelming. It's to hear perspective from students who have gone through it and, what goes into your decision as to where you're going to go to college and how you make that decision and how you chose the colleges you're applying to is really, really helpful.
So again, thank you very, very much. Before we get started, I just want to ask you was going to college something that you always knew you wanted to?
Lindsey Blais: No. Honestly, a lot of [00:03:00] my first years of high school going here, when I was going into auto collision, I really thought college is way too expensive. It's a scam. I don't want to go. But as I got closer to graduating and my mom was like, Lindsay, you should really think about it. Like give it a chance. I like looked into it more. And I went to one college and I didn't like it and I didn't tour another college for a while because I was like, exactly what I meant.
Like I, colleges aren't good, I don't want to go. But then my mom told me that I should tour more. Like just give it a chance. Come on. So I did, and then I started liking the other ones that I saw and went from there and now I'm most likely going to be going to Worcester State. So that's where I'm most likely going to go. But I did also look at some farther away colleges, but they ended up, in my opinion, [00:04:00] being too expensive.
Jonathan Hughes: So we're going to talk about cost too. So I'm glad that you, you, you've brought it up because I know a lot of students are worried about the cost of college. And, I'll ask you the same question. Was so. Was going to college something that you always knew that you wanted to do?
Muhammad Salla: I'd say like it was mostly likely. If that's a word thingy. I've always been like academically inclined, so I've always been like a pretty good student. So college for me was probably like the logical next step.
Jonathan Hughes: And, you said your mom wanted you to take a look at it?
Lindsey Blais: She was really pushing me towards it more just because she knew that I hadn't looked into it enough. And that I hadn't given it much of a chance. And I just kind of was like, no, I'm not even going to like think about it. I'm not going to look into it because I was just like, it's too expensive, it's not worth it. I can make it on my own. I don't know.
Jonathan Hughes: And, what you said auto collision. What is a, that you like to study?
Lindsey Blais: I actually want to be more of an artist. So in auto collision I have like done custom things on hoods and [00:05:00] fenders, so I did a painting ICAR contest and I actually haven't heard results back yet, but did that last year and I am interested in becoming some sort of an artist.
In pursuing that I have painted murals for a town in Maine and have worked with customers there. So I'm looking to further that. And I also want to go to college for business so that that can kind of go with it and then I would learn more about it and know kind of more what I'm doing because without that background with college, I think it would be a lot harder for me.
Find my place in what I'm doing, you know? And a lot of people, professions need or look for that diploma and will probably not hire you if you don't have it, so it's, I think it's needed.
Jonathan Hughes: So you want [00:06:00] do art for, for a living and, and you
Lindsey Blais: Different from auto collision.
Jonathan Hughes: Just very different from auto collision. And what about, what's your interest Muhammad?
Muhammad Salla: So I'm in like the design and visual program in the school. So we're, we're in the room right now and I've always enjoyed the arts. Like I like design and graphic design and photography in, that, but I don't particularly see like a stable future in it.
So what I decided was if I were to, able to blend business into it. So that's where I ended up choosing marketing as a, as a major for college. Hopefully blending aspects of design and photography and art into. Business side of marketing would hopefully give me a clear delineated like career path that I could follow.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. It's interesting. I'm hearing business.
Lindsey Blais: Yeah. I'm trying to do something similar where it's like art by itself. If you're just trying to sell your art Yeah. You're probably, it's going to be really hard to sustain your living like that. So I'm trying to combine it with learning more about a background of business [00:07:00] and marketing. So that I get somewhere that way and have more of a background and be able to go somewhere like that.
Jonathan Hughes: So thinking about, you know, cost and you're very sort of focused on, on the return. Did the cost of college, I, you've already said that it, it played a role in your thinking about going to college and, and where you were going to college.
What about you, Mohamed?
Muhammad Salla: Yeah, cost was definitely probably the primary consideration. So financially, I wouldn't say that my family's in the best of income brackets, so the cost would definitely be like a big, big determining factor for where I would go to school. So initially I started looking at state schools knowing, you know, they'd be very like affordable. And you know, with my academic history, like I, was pretty optimistic about like my scholarship opportunities and thank, thank. I got the news this Friday that I could got a full scholarship to Bentley University, so-
Jonathan Hughes: Wow, [00:08:00] congratulations. Oh, that's awesome. You can't see him around the room, but there's a lot of people jumping up and down and waving arms. Yeah, but that's fantastic.
Muhammad Salla: Yeah, so thankfully that that option opened up for me, so that was a happy day at home.
Jonathan Hughes: I'm sure. It really was.
Muhammad Salla: It was a little, a little too happy for me, really. I'm typically more laid back, like I like to celebrate on my own, but everyone was jumping, so that's nice.
Jonathan Hughes: That's really nice. And so you know, or do you have folks in your family who went to college or didn't go to college, or, I know your mom really pushed you to go were there other role models that you could look to and say, well, they did it or they didn't do it, or this was Yeah. Yeah, go ahead.
Lindsey Blais: So my dad did not go. And my mom did. So, opposite ends of the spectrum there. And my dad was definitely just supportive of whatever I wanted to. And was like, yeah, if you want to go to college, go, but like you don't need to. Yeah. You know? Yeah. And whereas my mom was like, [00:09:00] you should definitely check it out, even if you don't want to, like, if you don't end up wanting to go. It's good that you gave it a chance, you know? Right. So my dad was more like, yeah, it doesn't matter if you don't want to check it out, you know? But my mom was more pushy to get me to look into it, which I'm thankful for. In the end.
Jonathan Hughes: Okay. That tracks with my experience too. Mom was very pushy. And what about you?
Muhammad Salla: So my parents aren't from here. My mom and dad are from Africa. My mom's from Guinean, my dad, they're both from Guinea. They didn't go to college. They came here as immigrants and, you know the immigrant background, like the US immigrant situations, like very hardworking. So they work very hard for me and my siblings to have an opportunity in this country. They definitely wanted me to go to college and I was pretty keen on it because like, I definitely would like to be like the first generation of my family to, to go to school and succeed. And I have an older brother he's 21 and he goes to Framingham State. So we're definitely, like, he is definitely someone I look up to when it comes to questions about college.
Jonathan Hughes: Is there something that you learned from him [00:10:00] when he went through it or, Thinking, just talking about finances, about school?
Muhammad Salla: I see him, he works very hard too in. And also he works the job at the same time. He doesn't want to end up like, in large amounts of debt. So he works very hard at Yeah at his job and also at school at the same time. So that's definitely something that I, I look to when it comes to guidance for school.
Jonathan Hughes: So how many colleges did you apply to Muhammad?
Muhammad Salla: I could probably list them. UMass Boston. UMass Amherst. UMass Lowell, Worcester State bu. Boston College, Northeastern Bentley. So that's eight.
Jonathan Hughes: Eight. That's kind of on my fingers too.
Lindsey Blais: And I think I applied to five different ones. Five or six. But it was Maine College of Art. MCLA, which is in North Adams. Dartmouth, I didn't end up applying to mass art. Worcester State? Actually, I think that was it. I thought that was more.
Jonathan Hughes: And, well, I'm curious, let's say, because you mentioned not liking [00:11:00] Mass Art. Yeah. And what did you like about Worcester State?
Lindsey Blais: So I'm actually going on a tour there this weekend. So I got an unofficial tour from my sister because she goes there. So she loves it there. And it's close to home. I've seen a little bit of some of their art studios. And it looks very nice. But I'm still waiting to get the tour, so I still want to see that, but it's close to home.
It's also would be the most affordable thing for me to be able to get that college education background and then be able to move forward with what I want to do from there. So, Financially, I think it's the best option because I don't want to have to get out of school and then have to pay back for me being in school for the first like 10, 20 years, you know?
I want to be able to. Like make enough money so that I can travel and do art in other places and show other people how to do things and [00:12:00] learn from other people around the world, you know? So, and I also have interest in multiple different kind of occupations within the. Artistic fields, like possibly a tattoo artist.
Or I've also done murals, so I would love to do murals. But I'm not sure if that would be a sustainable way of living, so I just kind of have to figure out where I'm going to go with everything, but yeah.
Jonathan Hughes: Oh, so you have an older sister who's in college. Okay. And as you have an older brother.
Is that now, are you, is there one sibling each or-
Muhammad Salla: Four siblings. Unfortunately, yeah, big family. Oh, okay. Yeah. Kind of a big family. Kind of a big family.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. So, and you're the second one in?
Muhammad Salla: Yeah, I have an older brother a little brother and then two younger sisters.
Jonathan Hughes: Oh, okay. All right. Now, so I have to, so you applied to five colleges. You applied to, do you, did, have you heard back from all your colleges that you've applied to? And have you have,
Muhammad Salla: oh no, actually, BC, BU and Northeastern? Not yet. Okay.
Jonathan Hughes: Still waiting on the, okay. And so do you have financial [00:13:00] offers from college?
Lindsey Blais: Yes. Mm-hmm. All of them gave me something. But it was a matter of how much it helped and, you know, what it came out to, I guess. But Maine College of Art. Gave me $15,000 a year. Is nice. Mm-hmm. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't actually, it's still a lot of money to go there.
Sure. Or actually, sorry, they gave me $30,000 a year. Different school gave me $15,000. But it ended up still being way too expensive. Worcester State. Gave me a scholarship so that for the total of all four years it would be $20,000. And we're hoping to still get some more scholarships and get it even down a little more.
But that is my best offer. Be like considering the rest of the cost. Right. Because that was the least expensive school to start with the [00:14:00] scholarship, it's still the least expensive option.
Jonathan Hughes: And what was your experience like filing your financial aid forms? Did you find that to be difficult? Did you, you know, did you sit with your parents and do it?
Lindsey Blais: My mom helped me out a lot. Yeah. So she kind of was there for every step. And she was just helping me through everything, so it wasn't very difficult.
Jonathan Hughes: And what about you Muhammad?
Muhammad Salla: I would. It was a little annoying, I'd say. I got a little bit of help, but mostly it was just like they gave me the papers and told me to figure it out, so I kind missed it a little bit off my brothers from his FAFSA form. So it was a little annoying, like looking through all the lines and like, fine line I 10 of 10 40. I'm like, I don't know what I'm looking at, but I, was able to figure it out in the end.
Jonathan Hughes: So did you reach out to anybody for help with that?
Muhammad Salla: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. My brother and my dad, they, they were able to, give me the help when I needed it.
Jonathan Hughes: So did you also need to file a CSS profile?
Muhammad Salla: Definitely. Oh yeah. My God. The CSS profile for Bentley, they're asking the weirdest, odd questions, but it worked out, so I'm going to just keep it behind me. But yeah, it was [00:15:00] very, very arduous.
Jonathan Hughes: Yes, the CSS profile is a much more exhausting.
Muhammad Salla: It's definitely a lot. It's worse than the FAFSA.
Jonathan Hughes: Even when people call us because we help people if you have questions, you know, you can call us up. And with the FAFSA or with the profile, when somebody calls up and they have a profile question, I kind of go, okay, what is it? So now did you apply early, anywhere in early action? Early decision?
Muhammad Salla: I applied early action to some schools because I'm a little bit of an impatient person. So I just wanted to know a little bit earlier, but early decision. No, because I thought it would be pretty risky to lock myself into something that who knows I might not have been able to pay for.
Jonathan Hughes: so when was the first decision that you got or acceptance that you got?
Muhammad Salla: I got accepted probably the first one was I think Worcester State. Oh. And I, I did visit Worcester State, just so you know, and its actually really nice school. Oh, well they got, yeah, I should have said that earlier, but the first one I got was from Worcester State and I did get some scholarships from there too.
So I got accepted to the honors program there and it. When I visited, it was a pretty nice school.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. Good, good. And, and you, when was your first acceptance?
Lindsey Blais: It was a little later [00:16:00] because I kind of started the whole process later than most I. But I believe my first one was Maine College of Art. They came in very quickly with a big, like black portfolio and then you open it and it's like you're in Yeah, exactly. Which was very exciting. Yeah. And then I saw like all of the scholarship information, I was like, oh my gosh, that seems like a lot of my, and I was like, oh, I might not even have to pay at all.
Yeah. And then my mom was like, well look a little further into it. Look at the other like numbers on there. There's still a lot because-
Jonathan Hughes: That's, another good question too. Did you find it difficult to be able to, to look at the offer and figure out how much was left that you had to pay?
Lindsey Blais: Most of the time, yes. I could figure it out. Some of the times I went to my mom and I was like, I don't even know what they're saying. Just please, like, help me out. But most of them, it was easy to understand.
Jonathan Hughes: And Mohamed?
Muhammad Salla: [00:17:00] Yeah, it seemed pretty easy to understand. Like for a couple of them, like I would just, I'd go to the website and I'd look at the, the full cost of attendance and then I'd look at the number they gave me, and I'd just go to the calculator and subtract. I'm like, this should give me maybe a rough estimate. What, what should be the number that I'm paying? So, I mean, excellent. It might be rudimentary,
Jonathan Hughes: No, but that's a good, that's a good way to do it. And did you have conversations, you know, with your parents about when you do know that number that's left? How, how are we going to do that?
Muhammad Salla: Well, yeah, we've had some conversations. My parents I don't know if I'd say they care about where I go. But like, I feel like at the end of the day, decision's up to me. So thinking. Yeah, we did have like a couple conversations, but they were just trying to gimme tips and tricks. Not, not like specifically push me anywhere. No.
Jonathan Hughes: But about paying about how you were going to pay.
Muhammad Salla: Okay. Yeah. So for me like it would be my responsibility to pay for school. Okay. So it's really just at the end of the day, if I had choose to go to, I see too expensive [00:18:00] university I'd have to pay expensive university price. So it was, it's at the end of the day, Okay. More. Yeah. Important for me that way.
Jonathan Hughes: So the Bentley letter is a big one then.
Muhammad Salla: So yeah, that was an excitement for me. Yeah.
Jonathan Hughes: Okay. And, and what about you Lindsey?
Lindsey Blais: So for cost, I'm paying majority of it and my family hopes to be able to pay for some of it for me. But, you know, worse comes to worse, I would end up paying all of it. But the plan is that they would help pay for maybe $5,000 some but just depends on our situation at the time.
Jonathan Hughes: Sure. And, and is, are you thinking or is the thought that that would be loans or that would be you know, out of pocket or have that kind of thought yet, or?
Lindsey Blais: Yeah, I haven't really thought about it a ton yet.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah, I'd ask you the same question, Muhammad.
Muhammad Salla: Yeah. So I'm, I wouldn't say I'm averse to loans, but. I typically want to stay away from him. because it's a, it's a big commitment, like [00:19:00] heading straight into life at like 22 years old, 23 years old. So like my first option would be to just pay for it out of pocket. And just really work my butt off, but thinking Yeah. If, if a loan, if it came down to it, then probably loans, I guess.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, if you have questions about any of that process, you can talk to me, about that, the best way to do all this, but So, Okay.
So have, you know where you think you're going to go to school? Yeah. And, that, that's going to be what? You're gonna take a look there. Now, I'll ask you not, I know you haven't seen Worcester State, but you have been to other, other schools.
Lindsey Blais: Well, I took, my sister brought me on an unofficial tour of Worcester State. So I've seen a little bit of it, but she is not a tour guide, so she doesn't have full access to everywhere. And she also was gonna be late for class, so she was like, oh, this is, this is this. That's a real tour. Let's go.
Muhammad Salla: Yeah, that's a real tour. They, they want to show you all the nice parts. You got to get the real unofficial tour every, they'll show you everything you need.
Jonathan Hughes: So, yeah did something, did you feel like you got a good idea of what it's like there?
Lindsey Blais: She gave me a pretty good idea. But I wanted to see more in depth of everything and like meet some [00:20:00] teachers and,
Jonathan Hughes: But did you, did you feel when you were there that you could imagine yourself as a student?
Lindsey Blais: Yeah. Yeah, I think I could.
Jonathan Hughes: And what about the, the school that you did not like? Was that, was it difficult to do that there?
Lindsey Blais: Yes. Because, so for starters, I'm not really someone who loves to, I mean, I like being in the city, but I wouldn't want to live in the city and it's in Boston. In the heart of it.
So, I wouldn't really like the setting in general, but I wanted to go there and see, just like if I could get over that, it'd be fine. You know, if it's a really good school, I think I'd be able to just like move past that and I'd be, I'd get over it. I could live there. But also the interior of it, not to like judge a book while it's covered.
Yeah. But it they said it used to be like a gym, I guess. So it looks very unfinished. I mean, everything, the walls. Kind of like concrete, you know? Mm-hmm. Also, the pieces there, a lot of [00:21:00] them, I looked at them and I was like, what? What is even like happening here? And I know art is like, you're supposed to take your own interpretation of everything, but some of the things I was like, I mean, I feel like it's, there's nothing really to work with here, and I, it made me think that the teachers there are going to be more like, oh, think, think outside of the box. You can do it this way. And it's going to be, I feel like they're going to be more of, I get, I got the vibe from the teachers that they're going to be more pushing you to, I guess, like I was saying, think outside of the box. Pushed me to do things because I wasn't, that I didn't really want to do necessarily.
And I don't know, the other schools, it just felt different. It felt more welcoming and like the people wanted to see what you individually want to do and then prosper you from there. But yeah, I mean
Jonathan Hughes: it is really kind of remarkable what you can tell by a visit, just by [00:22:00] looking around and seeing what's there. So you were able to glean a lot from that
Lindsey Blais: And I mean, it was, it was a quick visit, so I guess like, I mean, if I went there and stayed for a week and got a feel for that, it, maybe I would love it. But I don't know. Yeah. I didn't love it when I first went there, but there, there was one thing that I really love though.
They have a glass like melting and making which was really, really cool. And I love being in there and seeing, learning about that, but it is, that was my favorite part of the whole thing. And I was most interested in that, which is for me wasn't a great sign because I can't see myself having that as a job.
I just thought it was really cool. Yeah. You know, I didn't see that as being somewhere where I could fully go to school.
Jonathan Hughes: And, and Muhammad, did you take tours of campuses and what did they tell you?
Muhammad Salla: I've only been on one. I don't, I'd say like, I don't really get outside. I probably should go on more [00:23:00] tours. I've only been to Worcester State and it's like, not even that far from my house, but thinking it was, it was a nice school, like from where, what I saw, and I enjoyed being there. But thinking I haven't, I haven't really been on any tours. Do you plan to go? I probably should. I'd probably go to the Bentley one considering like I'll be living there.
Okay. And I don't want to, I don't want to get caught. Like day one, I don't even know where I'm living, so that'd be really bad.
Jonathan Hughes: So do you think that that's where, so I know that you, you probably going to go to Worceser State. Do you have a favorite in mind that are you, wait, you're still waiting to hear from-
Muhammad Salla: Yeah, I'm still waiting to hear from other schools, but free 99 doesn't sound too bad to me.
Jonathan Hughes: Yes. So did, did either of you apply for outside scholarships at all?
Muhammad Salla: I have for a couple. Just so at Assabet, our college counselor, Ms. Faria, she'll like email you with different scholarship opportunities and I thought that was pretty cool. So, Yeah. Shout out to Ms. Faria for that. Yeah, so I'll, she has been very helpful.
Yeah. So what I'll do is I'll just go on my Gmail and I created a folder just called scholarships, and every time I see email from her, I'll like read it [00:24:00] and see if I meet the criteria, and then I'll just move it into that folder. So I've applied for maybe three outside scholarships. So that has really been helpful.
Jonathan Hughes: Have you heard back from them yet?
Muhammad Salla: No, but for some of them they said like maybe in May or June. So it's a little far out.
Jonathan Hughes: And yourself, similar situation?
Lindsey Blais: Yeah, I've looked at a few of them. I've only done. But, and haven't heard back yet. No.
Jonathan Hughes: So, and did you use a web portal like in, in to, to do your college search or to search for scholarships?
Muhammad Salla: I have like, I just like browse around. The College Board® search is actually pretty good. I don't know, but I don't know. I just, I don't, I don't even know how I took the schools that I wanted to go to, to be honest. I just, I feel like I heard about them and then that's, that's the way I wanted to go.
Jonathan Hughes: And did you look for programs or did you-
Muhammad Salla: I definitely looked around for programs. Yeah. Mm-hmm. I like searched the best marketing program in Massachusetts and I just looked through and I'm like, oh, this seems cool. And now I'm like, let me apply.
Jonathan Hughes: So it was important for you to stay in, in Massachusetts?
Muhammad Salla: Probably, yeah. I have a, I have a little baby sister and I don't want to leave her, I don't wanna leave her hanging. She's one years old, so.
Jonathan Hughes: Nice. [00:25:00] Yeah. So you wanted to stay in Massachusetts. Program was important to you. What about college size?
Muhammad Salla: Not, I didn't really care much. I feel like I'm adaptable, so if there's like three people, I don't, I don't think I'd really care.
Jonathan Hughes: Okay. Yeah. And yourself?
Lindsey Blais: I tend to work better in smaller situations where the teacher can be more personal with you and understand specifically like what you're having difficulty with and what. Doing well with and how they can help you learn individually with bigger groups and like learning in like big situations, big classrooms like that.
It's harder for me to learn. Like I'm not someone who can learn when someone is up doing a lecture and talking on and on and on and on. I have to either be part of the conversation. Or there has to be something like creative [00:26:00] that's involved. Just kind of something. Keep me focused on what's happening because otherwise, even if I'm trying to focus, maybe then I'll think too much about focusing and I'm be like, oh, focus.
Right? And then I'm not even like paying attention to what they're saying. So my mind tends to days off when people stand in lecture for too long and in smaller classrooms it, they tend to do that less. They focus on each kid individually more.
Jonathan Hughes: So size is important. What about type of environment, city- well, you don't like being in the middle of a city.
Lindsey Blais: Yeah, I don't like city much. But, you know, Worcester's. Worcester's, all right. Mm-hmm. I've been around Worcester a lot so that it seems different to me. It doesn't really feel as, I mean, it's definitely a city. But it doesn't feel like that as much to me, because I've always been.
Muhammad Salla: It's not just a city, it's your city.
Lindsey Blais: Yeah. You feel like you're there. Yeah, exactly. So I'm like already accustomed to it, and I know my ways around, so it's [00:27:00] not as like, it's not scary.
Jonathan Hughes: So I, I guess I'll ask if you could give anybody a piece of advice who's going through this, think about, you know, folks who are students who were juniors, like, oh, the folks who are filming this and everything.
What would. What would you say to them or what do you wish that you knew when you began this process?
Muhammad Salla: I'd say like, maybe don't lose hope or don't get your hopes up too high on one school. Cuz I see like a lot of the times kids will put all their eggs on one school and they get. Deferred or like denied or even deferred.
They'll just be like, hopeless. Mm-hmm. So I feel like definitely don't put all your eggs in one basket. It, it'd be better for your, for your mental health to not do that. Yeah. And probably just like just work hard. I feel like the payoff working at people don't understand that like, working in high school could get you pretty far in, in college.
So work pretty hard and you'll end up, you'll end up getting something as a reward.
Lindsey Blais: Yeah, I think that's [00:28:00] awesome advice. And I would also suggest that people look early on cuz it's never too early to start looking. because I'm someone who started the process later and I wish I had started looking a little earlier and gave it more of a chance and my situation was a little bit different.
But like you were saying, don't like put all your hope into one school because I went to one. Didn't like it, so I stopped looking for a pretty long time. Yeah. And then went back to it when my mom convinced me. So just don't put, like you're saying, put, don't put all your hopes into one school.
Like look into multiple, there's a lot of awesome colleges out there and look for one that's really gonna suit you. Yeah. Because there's a lot out there. And if you look earlier on, then maybe you can find one that better suits you. Yeah.
Muhammad Salla: So, Yeah, I definitely agree.
Jonathan Hughes: Yeah. You said something and maybe I shouldn't even ask, but I'm, I'm very curious.
[00:29:00] You said something earlier on one of the things that you thought earlier was a college is a scam, right? No, but that's honest though. Cause I think that a lot of people, you know, kind of have that view. Why did you think that and what changed about that?
Lindsey Blais: So I thought that, and. Maybe still think a a little bit about like certain ones that it's like a scam because certain ones, it feels like you are paying a crazy, crazy amount for, it feels like the name.
Obviously there's like higher education to some aspect, but how much greater can. You know? Like, I, I just feel like they really, really, really raise the prices. And that's, that's the part that I feel like is a scam. It's just the pricing because I just feel that it's unfair and I think you're in an awesome situation because you don't have to pay for that.
And you're at an [00:30:00] awesome school. Or might be going to the school, we don't know yet. Oh yeah. Like to pay for that school. Yeah it’s a lot, a lot of money. Yeah. And like, you'd have to go there and then pay for it for quite some time afterwards, which I feel like isn't very beneficial.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, I'm glad I asked because I, do think that that's useful. It's not, you know, the idea that going to college is a scam, but paying too much for a name college.
Lindsey Blais: Yeah because like people get so excited that they got into this really awesome school that everyone's like, oh my gosh, you got into that school. Yeah. But if it costs an arm and a leg, is it really worth it to get that degree versus one that's costing less like it.
In a lot of aspects, the people who, some of the people, not all of them. Some, a lot of people go very far from those schools, but some of them will end up in very similar [00:31:00] situations as other people, if not maybe a worse situation because they had to pay off all of the debt and the other person didn't. And then, you know, main ways in there.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, will you let me know when you make your decision? And when you put your deposits down and you can talk again really briefly. All right. Well, thank you so, so much for joining me. I had a really great time. And shout out again to Ms. Faria.
Muhammad Salla: Ms. Faria yeah, for all connecting us, Ms. Faria, Ms. McCabe, and Mr. Nye Career focused, he's, he's a really cool guy. So I, I enjoy talking to him about college and, and my future and stuff, so, yeah. Well, okay.
Jonathan Hughes: And Mr. May for giving us this, for giving up the space.
Muhammad Salla: Yeah. Every, everyone deserves that. How we shout out everybody. Him there, everyone in the, in the production room. Thank you everyone, you standing in the corner, everyone gets a shout out.
Jonathan Hughes: Well, thank you so, so much.
Lindsey Blais: Of course. Thank you.
Jonathan Hughes: There we go.
Muhammad Salla: Cut. All right. That's all.[00:32:00]
Jonathan Hughes: Needless to say, we had a blast doing this show and I hope you enjoyed as much as we enjoyed making it. If you do and you want to know more from MEFA on all topics related to planning, saving, and paying for college and career readiness, as well as reaching financial goals, well then please follow the show wherever you get your podcasts.
And please remember to review us. Thanks to Shaun Connolly, our producer. Thanks to AJ Yee for his assistance and having the show posted. And of course, our gracious hosts at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School. So thank you to Maki Faria once again for connecting us with everybody, William May, Muhammad Salla and Lindsey Blais.
Oh, and let me thank that amazing production team. That's Mary Saharis, Abigail Barter, and [00:33:00] Tristan Parsons. My name is Jonathan Hughes and this has been the MEFA Podcast.

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