The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Future college students face steep challenges

More than a concerned student, I am a concerned sister of a younger brother who is soon destined to a college life more challenging than my own. For most of his life, my brother’s future has been certain. Well, at least in minds and hearts of my parents and I. He will go to college and receive the knowledge essential to him to be successful. The steps he must climb to reach his dreams, however, will be significantly steeper than my own. As my years at CSUN will soon elapse, I have seen the state of education become bleak. I fear that my brother’s educational endeavors will be received with less ease than what I have encountered in the CSU system.

For instance, the SAT’s are now much more difficult than the test I took four and half years ago. Imagine taking a 2,400-point test that will decide the fate of your future college education. Unfortunately, for many young students, like my brother, who desire, and dream of going to college, the education system is based on how well one does on a test than how well the student does overall at school. Why must my brother be punished for being more book-smart than a good test taker?

Education often drifts into moments of laziness in which standardized testing, such as high school exit exams, become that norm because it is often easier for a school district to say “Let’s test them and get them out of here.”

Now, what will my brother do when he enrolls into college course and is ill-prepared for the level of work he will have to complete? More than what is necessary, testing is often considered by many students as a test of one’s memorization skills rather than a test of one’s instilled knowledge.

Not only will he have to worry about whether or not his testing quality is compete worthy to other students trying to get accepted to a university, he will have to keep his fingers crossed that he could get financial aid needed to support his college education. Once he is finally accepted to a college, the amount of financial that will be available to him will be significantly limited.

Typically, during war time, education is at its cheapest, and most individuals can enroll and attend college. In 2006, however, the access to education has changed. In February, President Bush passed a 12.8 billion cut to federal student loans and increased the interest rate 6.8 percent. Bush’s new cut to federal loans will significantly hurt students who are applicable to Stafford and Perkins loans. The amount of money given to student will decrease.

Many college students rely on loans to help them pay from tuition, fees and books. Without a substantial loan amount, I would not be able to afford CSUN. Since my parents make slightly above the financial aid ceiling, but not enough to help me pay for my tuition and fees, the only option that remains for me is to accept loans and hope for little debt and small payments after college.

My brother will ride a rockier boat than I have. He might have to pay more for tuition and fees than most CSU student currently pay. If the $125 million student fee freeze does not pass, which could save students money and essentially freeze the 8 percent fee hike, incoming freshmen for the 2006-07 school year will have to pay more for education with less federal aid to pay for the increased fee amount.

With these changes to the education system, I have also seen changes in my brother’s light-hearted nature. He is now concerned and worried that he won’t have enough money to pay for college or that he will have to take remedial courses, if he fails to pass college entrance exams. He has already mentally started climbing steep steps to reach his goal.

My brother is concerned and sleepless. He has not received an acceptance letter from a university. He wonders “Did I study for the SATs hard enough, Are my grades good enough?” He says, “I just really want to go to college. If I don’t get accepted, it is my fault for not studying.” But, is he at fault?

Veronica Rocha can be reached at

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