Meet Jonard

I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.

Grades

“I’ve never met anybody who’s judged me.”

When I was a junior, I was expelled.

Grades

“When I was a junior, I was expelled.”

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I didn't know what I wanted to do.”

I don’t really put myself out there a lot.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I don’t really put myself out there a lot.”

I’m proud to say that I’m doing very well.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I’m very proud to say that I’m doing very well.”

I went to school for practically nothing.

Cost

“I went to school for practically nothing.”

Money is out there to help you—just look.

Cost

“Money is out there to help you—just look.”

It was stressful but rewarding in the end.

Cost

“It was stressful but rewarding in the end.”

I wanted to be a teacher.

Cost

“I wanted to be a teacher.”

I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.

Cost

“I just assumed I wasn’t going to go.”

It hits you at once.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“It hits you at once.”

I wasn’t sure what to do.

Cost

“I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Everything was in fine print.

Cost

“Everything was in fine print.”

I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was a quiet freshman but now I'm outgoing.”

I had to deal with a lot all at once.

Responsibilities

“I had to deal with a lot all at once.”

I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I stayed close to home so my parents could visit.”

It pretty much gave me a full ride.

Cost

“It pretty much gave me a full ride.”

People are willing to help if you ask them.

Cost

“People are willing to help if you ask them.”

I was intimidated since I was undocumented.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I was intimidated since I was undocumented.”

My father did not want to help me.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“My father did not want to help me.”

I have a good chance of becoming more stable.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“I have a good chance of becoming more stable.”

Leaving the reservation is a huge step.

Feeling Overwhelmed

“Leaving the reservation is a huge step.”

Meet Jonard

 

Everything I worked for paid off.
Jonard finds out he was accepted to college.
Money is out there to help you—just look. (0:45)
Jonard talks about how much money is available to students.
Money is out there to help you—just look.
Now Playing
It was just me, my brother and my mother. (00:52)
Making his mother proud was a big motivation for Jonard.
It was just me, my brother and my mother.
Now Playing
Everything I worked for paid off. (01:04)
Jonard finds out he was accepted to college.
Everything I worked for paid off.
Now Playing

Snapshot

Year in college
Junior
Major
Business economics
Family income
$20,000–$40,000
College
Public four-year university
Published yearly in-state tuition and fees
$8,690
Financial aid received
State academic scholarship, Federal Pell Grant
Favorite book
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
Favorite movie
Inception
Current job
Guest ambassador at the World of Coca-Cola
As a hard-working student with good grades, Jonard was determined to go to college. Unfortunately, his family didn’t have the money to help him.
His obstacle 

After his father left, Jonard’s mother raised him and his brother by herself. Money was tight, and Jonard remembers how his mom put her children first. “She always made sure we had food in our mouths before she did.”

Her sacrifices motivated him. “I felt like I’d lift a big weight off her shoulders if she knew I graduated college with a great degree and went on to do bigger and better things. I just wanted to make her proud.”

However, when he started looking at schools as a junior, he was confronted with the high cost of attending college. He started to worry that even though he had done well in high school, his achievements might not be enough get him a college degree.

How he overcame it 

Jonard remained positive and didn't let the financial obstacle stop him. He told himself, “You’re going to college, no matter what it takes.”

Treating the application process like a class project, he broke it down into small pieces and scheduled them among his many other activities. He went online to research colleges, practice for the SAT and find help paying for college.

Jonard’s biggest challenge was filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). It’s the way to qualify for many types of aid, including grants, loans and work-study jobs, as well as aid provided by some states and colleges. “[The FAFSA] was pretty long,” Jonard says. “You had to find a lot of [financial] information about your family and yourself. But it all paid off in the end."

Jonard landed a scholarship and a grant that, together, pay for his tuition and books. To save on housing costs, he lives off campus with his grandparents who have a house near the university.

Life at college 

Jonard says he was pleasantly surprised by college. “It's really not as hard as people make it seem.”

One of his favorite classes was Introduction to Sociology. “It opened my eyes to a lot of things — gender, race, sexuality, the media,” he says. “It made me view the world in a different, better way.”

When Jonard graduates he hopes to find a job that allows him to be “financially stable, to love what [he’s] doing, and to wake up in the morning wanting to go to work.”

Scholarship eligibility

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Jonard got an academic scholarship from his state. There are lots of ways to qualify for scholarships, whether they’re based on achievement, need or both.

Search for scholarships now.

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