High School graduate Desmond Amuh had always dreamed of the Ivy League life, and with his 3.8 GPA, it’s no surprise. His dilemma though, is getting accepted into nine schools like Princeton, Yale and Cornell, but not receiving any financial aid.
The 18-year-old South Suburban Flossmoor resident chose Yale as his top choice, but the tuition is more than $60,000 a year.
“That is quite a bit and I didn’t receive any aid, everything is coming from my parents,” Desmond said, who graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School this spring. He is looking for scholarships and corporate grants.
“We’re looking for anything to alleviate that burden,” he said. Desmond has four younger siblings.
He said it was between Yale and Princeton. Yale won.
“I chose Yale over Princeton because of the better social atmosphere for African American students,” he said.
Another winning factor, Desmond said, is the university’s graduate programs. His freshmen year hasn’t even begun and yet he is already thinking about graduate school for business.
Desmond said he wants to study economics, an interest that a high school teacher stimulated when he took a microeconomics course. Because his father is from Ghana, Desmond said he is really interested in international economic policy.
“We stayed in Ghana last summer,” he said, adding that his family embraces a lot of African traditions in their home.
Demond isn’t all about the books, he said.
“I love going to parties and I have already thrown like two at my house,” he said. “If you didn’t know me from the book scene you would know me as a partier.” Desmond said he was able to balance school, activities and a social life, something that doesn’t always come easy for most his age.
When he wasn’t in school or tossing confetti in the air, the teenager was either practicing his music or volunteering his time. Desmond played the clarinet in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra for seven years. He has played for nine years altogether and has played the piano for 12. His volunteer work consisted of spending time with the Homewood Flossmoor Peer Jury Program, something he has done for almost five years.
“It operates with the local police department and we provide a restorative justice program for first time juvenile offenders.
With fall classes starting next month, Desmond said he hopes someone can direct him to any financial opportunities to help alleviate the hefty tuition cost.
“As excited as I am to take this next step, I have been confronted with an obstacle: the cost of attendance,” he said in a letter. “Unfortunately, I did not qualify for financial aid [so] if you are aware of any financial aid opportunities I can take advantage of, please pass them on to me.”