Rifat, Aurora, CO
Stanford University

For me, the process of applying to college was daunting. As the first in my family to go to college, I was overwhelmed by the pressure to submit a perfect application and had no one to turn to for help. It’s not something you’re taught to do in high school, so it was incredibly helpful to connect with Maggie at CollegePoint. She played a big part in boosting my confidence and expanding my horizons.  

I wasn’t planning on going out of state for college. I worked hard to keep my GPA up in high school so I could qualify for in-state tuition programs, so I initially had my sights set on staying in Colorado.  

Fortunately, Maggie helped me understand that I was qualified to apply to competitive out-of-state schools, and ultimately my best financial aid letter came from Stanford. Maggie helped me decipher and compare financial aid packages so I could make the best decision for my future.  

I never imagined going out of state, but when Stanford offered the most competitive aid package, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  

Of course, there were still challenges along the way. My mom, who is also my biggest support, came to the U.S. alone even though her entire family wanted her to stay. The thought of me leaving home was difficult for her at first but having made the same decision for herself years ago, she eventually understood why I’d want to leave home to pursue my dreams 

Making it to college was a big milestone, and I realize is an experience about more than learning – it’s about making connections, meeting new people and finding inspiration. My goal at Stanford is to pursue a pre-med and computer science track so that I can make people’s lives better at the intersection of medicine and technology.