By Adia Turner

Before I began applying to colleges, my parents made it very clear that I needed to find scholarships and grants to help. I had been interested in going to Boston University for as long as I could remember, but the cost of it was more than I knew my parents or I could afford. While in my junior year of high school in Georgia, my mother and some of her friends created a group for black women who felt their children were not getting the attention from the highsschool that our white counterparts did. In this group, resources, scholarships, financial aid tips, and other ways to help finance college were shared. One such way that was mentioned, was the Posse Scholarship. The Posse Scholarship is a merit based scholarship that is located in multiple cities across the US and partners with different colleges and universities in each city. Posse awards full tuition scholarships to cohorts of around 10 students for each college it works with.

In a stroke of serendipity, one of the Posse Atlanta schools happened to be BU. I immediately knew I had to apply and receive this scholarship if I had any hope of attending my dream school. After, a rigorous three-part interview process starting in September and ending in December, with over 1600 students applying, I was one of 61 students, for six different schools, selected to receive the Posse Atlanta Scholarship in 2015. I was one of 11 selected to attend Boston University.

Receiving this scholarship not only changed my life, but also helped ease the the financial burden my parents would feel having two kids in college at the same time. Posse allowed me to enter college with a focus on my academic goals, rather than worrying how I was going to pay for each semester. Though, even with me being a good student, having my parents to help me, and receiving a merit-based scholarship, I will still be graduating with a substantial amount of loans. After my four years at BU, I will be leaving with over $15,000 in student debt to pay back, which is half the national average. While I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity Posse has given me in attending my dream school, I think it is scandalous that loans will still have such a huge impact on my life.