Each and every college applicant should adopt this mindset. Your accountability and initiative are refreshing, in a world where so many young people like ourselves are devoured by an unearned sense of entitlement.
A few years ago, I was in a similar predicament. Unfortunately, $30,000+ in financial aid was not enough. Private tuition is grossly overpriced. Consider the fact that my parents — like many others — could not afford to contribute to my college education. As you said, most high schoolers, at their hourly jobs, are barely making enough money to cover the cost of textbooks, let alone rising tuition costs. I chose to transfer to a public university with immensely more affordable tuition.
It’s excellent that you are able to fund your education this way — scholarships are fantastic, all around. You seem very grateful to your parents, as well. Thank you for sharing this piece!