IHS Seniors Featured on NPR

Get Schooled Ambassadors Alyssa Tucker and Thao Le share personal experiences with financial aid

By Jenny Lu | Editor-in-chief

To listen to the original segment on NPR, click here.

Seniors Thao Le and Alyssa Tucker, Irvington’s Get Schooled Ambassadors, recently appeared on a segment of Morning Edition NPR news. Le and Tucker offered a student’s perspective towards the difficulties of financing a college education in the broadcast. The segment, called, “Maze of College Costs and Aid Programs Trap Some Families,” aims to publicize the difficulties of financing a college education in today’s society. Award-winning journalist Eric Westervelt worked on the story and interviewed the two IHS students at Irvington High School.

“We received the opportunity to be featured on this NPR segment because of Irvington’s involvement with Get Schooled,” said Ms. Kimmel, Irvington’s  College and Career Counselor. “The people we communicate with for Get Schooled contacted me about this story, and I passed it along to our Get Schooled Ambassadors, who were all willing to participate.” Senior Brandon Truong was also included in the original interview, but according to Ms. Kimmel, time constraints prevented his interview from being included in the final segment.

The segment is part of a special series titled “Paying for College,” and since participating in the broadcast, which aired on March 25, 2014, both Le and Tucker have received their final admission decisions from their prospective colleges. “There’s a school that I’ve been completely in love with it, but I got all my financial aid information back, and when I saw the amount of money I would have to take out in loans, I was devastated,” said Tucker.

Le agreed, adding, “ I had a plan if I wasn’t able to pay for college, I would just go to community college. But I’ve wanted to pursue a higher education and go to the east coast for so long now that going to a community college is just disappointing. It’s not because of the stigma,” clarified Le. “I know I will be perfectly find if I do choose to go that route, but it just isn’t what I’ve envisioned for myself.”

According to Tucker and Le, the original interview with award-winning journalist Eric Westervelt was over an hour long. “The only thing they used was me saying ‘I honestly don’t know how I’m going to pay for college,’ and that statement is only becoming more realistic,” said Tucker. “I’m currently in the process of writing an appeal letter and to get that college to match some of the other offers I’ve received.”

Tucker and Le both enjoyed the interview. “Eric Westervelt was really nice and chill. He could really see things from our perspective,” said Le. Tucker agreed, adding, “he assimilated the things that I said. Like when I talked about community college, he compared my feelings to quicksand, about how I might get in and then get stuck. It was awesome.”

Both seniors also have advice for underclassmen on financing a college education: “The process starts now. Start applying for scholarships when you’re a freshman. It doesn’t hit you until you’re a senior and you actually have to deal with it,” said both Le and Tucker.