Hello I am new to the CC Community. I stumbled onto this website with a question that I think only this community can help. Thank you in advance for the thoughts.
This year, when I applied to colleges, I applied as an international student. My family has lived here in the US for quite a while, but we never got the immigration papers through. However, now, it is going through, and I will soon qualify for need-blind admissions at a lot of places.
I applied ED to a top 5 liberal arts college and was accepted. The financial aid was great, but really not enough. But I did end up withdrawing all of my other applications, which I now kind of regret. The biggest regret was withdrawing the HYPS schools. I never found out if I were accepted, but I did find out that I had a "priority status" (1/15 in my area) from one of the schools, which is my dream school. I had always thought it was too much of a reach, and I had always envisioned a big step forward for my family in our American Dream. But I had a very good chance when I thought I didn't.
My family has been going through many struggles now, especially financially, and I will end up taking loans if I decide to take my current offer. I was contemplating to decline my offer of admission and reapply this year under a gap year. Because of our family's circumstances, my parents need help in paying for the bills, and I am thinking about working multiple jobs, such as the local Chick-fil-A, to help them out. Maybe if I raise enough money, I could visit my home country and become fluent in my native language. We are low-income and I have multiple younger siblings.
With my immigration status, I felt I was somewhat forced to apply ED to schools as much as possible. I was never able to see my regular decision offers, especially from my dream school. I know this sounds incredibly selfish, as I have an amazing opportunity in front of me. But if I did end up declining, I think I would be able to raise some money for the upcoming school year, help my family with the bills, and begin applying for scholarships I didn't qualify this year, especially the Gates Millennium. For the school admission process, I think I would apply SCEA to my dream school. I know nothing is guaranteed. I know that HYPS is also available for grad school.
I just wanted to know what the CC community thought. My family does really need help, but they think for me to go to college (the first of my family in the US) is fine as well. But if I stayed home and reapply to my dream school, it would be a dream come true for my family's American Dream journey. It sounds cliche, but we did move here with nothing but hope, and to send their kid to the dream school would be so rewarding for my parents. Just wanted thoughts. Thanks