Grace & Khady

Grace and Khady

In the Spring of her senior year at high school, my daughter Khady was thrilled to receive acceptance letters from five excellent American universities. However, when their financial aid packages arrived, we were dismayed to find that even after scholarships, loans, work study, and grants, their estimated family contribution averaged at 48,000 per year. We were confused. How could they be asking for 48K per year when my yearly earnings as a single mother and waitress was 48K per year? !

I took my tax return in personally to one college to show their financial aid counselor. She told me she was sorry. There was nothing she could do. There was a long line of people who would happily take Khady’s space if she declined.

For weeks, we agonized over what to do? Khady had her heart set on New York's New School for their incredible creative arts program. She had already connected online with other incoming freshmen girls with a similar mixed-racial background and envisioned sharing a dorm room together and diving into the city’s energy and culture. But the idea of taking out colossal loans and graduating at the age of 22 with $160,000 in debt seemed like madness.

Just as Khady began to consider giving up and attending a community college, a college in Michigan emailed us that she had been waitlisted. It had been so agonizing to watch her go through the heartbreak of not being able to afford the colleges she wanted, I privately sent the college an email explaining our situation and begging them NOT to admit her officially unless they could offer her a financial aid package that we could afford. 

Apparently, my email circulated around the admissions office and they became determined to have her. The package they offered her was far more generous, but it was still beyond my means. So my siblings offered to pitch in and someone recommended Jewish Free Loan Association. When I contacted JFLA, everyone was super helpful and the process was straightforward. We took out a $5,000 loan toward Khady’s college costs and loved the fact that she would be paying it while she was at school. In fact, just last week, we finished paying it !! 

Khady had an amazing four years at college. She made lifelong friends. She studied in Lyon, France for their study abroad program. She gained a myriad of skills in their work-study program and gained in confidence, maturity, and independence.

Our whole family appreciates JFLA helping fund Khady’s college experience. JFLA had a positive impact on her entire life and set her up for a successful future. Thank you most sincerely.
- Grace

JFLA Assistant