“Don't let the money stop you. Just work hard and be passionate about learning.”
It is quite surprising for parents to discover that there are many scholarships and financial aid available for students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. With financial aid, college students can pay less than $1,000 per quarter. Knowing this fact alone will dramatically impact their decision to send their kids to college.
One of the main goals of the outreach is to encourage middle school students' interest in pursuing a career in a STEM-realted field. Today, college education is a necessity for a STEM career. Hence, a key component of the project is to impress upon the students to study hard towards a college education. Our main messages to both students and their parents are the following:
1. College education is extremely important and can open up many career opportunities
2. College education is attainable and affordable
3. To get to college, students need to work hard and take their middle and high school studies seriously
We communicate these messages through evening parents meetings at middle schools on college education and organizing field trips for students and parents to visit the UC Irvine campus to hear and interact with UCI students and faculty.