How I paid for Law School | Hadya's story

In 2014, I received my acceptance to read law at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. I was ecstatic. My dreams were finally coming true. My life can now begin. Time to pack up and leave home in pursuit of my degree and new experiences, new opportunities, new friends, new location and new knowledge. But, this excitement never got the chance to mature into enjoyment.

·         Offer…check
·         Ambition….check
·         Excitement….check
·         Tuition…..I needed a cheque!

I was forced to reply to my acceptance email with a request for deference since matriculation was just impossible. Unaffordability obstructed my academic efforts as my parents who were always loyal to my cause were bound by financial constraints. Search for scholarships and grants proved futile. In desperation I appealed to my government and that again added to my list of disappointing news. Refusing to give up, I applied for a student loan at the bank in which I was an employee ever since I left college in 2013. A successful loan application was by no means a part of the fringe benefits.  At this point, giving up was most attractive. My request was declined because my parents did not have assets worthy enough to be offered as collateral to secure the loan.

Before I resorted to pulling my hair out, I tried one more bank. The process was lengthy and tedious and I was convinced the application was more costly than the actual tuition: legal fees, life insurance, stamps, survey, affidavits, and oaths; it was the definition of spending money to get money. 
But this was my last ditch attempt to fulfil my vision of attending university.
After several dreadful delays, my loan application was successful but it was too late to enroll. I had already missed weeks of classes. And I was emotionally and mentally exhausted. I continued working and waited patiently for the next academic year.  

The new school year finally arrived and my first year at Mona was successfully financed. However, the payment of second year’s tuition proved also a challenge. The bank’s disbursement was lower than the first year’s and was insufficient to cover the second year’s expense.
Refusing to be unable to return to school because of this, I again approached my government praying for a change of heart, a budget alteration, a miracle. The following days were spent in meetings, follow ups, call backs, reminders, and check-ins, all to prove why their investment in me would pay great interest. Looking back now, I think my persuasive skills were exercised and developed. (Trying to look at the bright side here). I believe that it was Divine intervention that allowed my government to assist me. Their contribution supplemented the sparse loan disbursement and I am forever grateful.  

Nearing the end of second year, I was privy to a scholarship advertisement by an institution in my country. With third year ahead, I had to seize the opportunity. I completed the application process and not too long after I was summoned for an interview where I was later told that I “kept them intrigued”. In July 2017 I was blessed to be declared an awardee. That grant, plus the balance of my loan would finance my third academic year at UWI.

I am now on my last leg of the same journey I could not see the end of when I first began. If I had to repeat this experience and summarize it in six words, I would say, 
prayer and supplement paid my tuition.  
Written by Hadya Dolphin
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