Like Father, Like Daughter (well sorta)
When my dad was in high school, Columbia University recruited him to play football for them. I’ve heard my dad was an impressive athlete back in the day: the medals from winning Pennsylvania state championships in discus hanging in our office at home also speak to his athletic prowess.
However, unfortunately, my dad could not put his athletic talents and efforts towards the Columbia football team. Columbia did not offer financial aid back then, and although they have changed their policies today, the high cost and lack of financial aid prevented my dad from attending.
Flash forward to a few years ago, when his sixteen-year-old daughter is eagerly reading information on college websites and starting to think that her dreams of attending Harvard might actually come true. I distinctly remember an email conversation with my dad several years ago, where we discussed where I wanted to apply. When I mentioned Harvard, he replied with something to the extent of “please understand that the costs might be prohibitive.”
Thankfully, that was not the case.
About seventy percent of Harvard students receive some amount of financial aid. Especially in the past decade or so, Harvard has worked very hard to increase the diversity of its student body, and the student body is certainly more diverse socioeconomically today than it was in years past. After reading up on Harvard’s new policies and efforts to provide more financial aid for students who need it, I had my hopes high. Would I actually be able to realize my dream?
On March 28th, 2013, I opened my acceptance email from Harvard. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed that loudly in my life. My dad has a video of my sister and my mother hugging each other and me, all of us crying, all of us freaking out, for thirty minutes straight.
So, where am I going with this? I’m saying thank you. Thank you to my parents for all the years of supporting me, believing in my dreams, and celebrating with me when they came true. Thank you to Harvard for caring so deeply about diversity at our school, and for expanding the financial aid packages so that Harvard is truly affordable for any family.
I’m proud today to take advantage of opportunities that my father could not. They say each generation wants a little bit better for the next, so I’m excited and grateful that I have the chance to push forward toward that better, for myself and my family.
Below: The most recent picture of my family all together. We just visited California for the first time a few weeks ago! We enjoyed taking selfies with the Hollywood sign. On the left is my mother, Staci; myself; my little sister, Cassidy; and my dad, Toby
About the author
Hello, and welcome to Harvard! My name is Savannah Fritz, and I’m a rising sophomore here at the College (Class of 2017). I’m originally from a small town in rural southern Pennsylvania... View full profile