FAMILIES

“Inversant really brings all the information you could possibly need to one place. That has made a big difference in preparing for college … It’s been eye opening.”

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Inversant Compact Scholars Reflect on College Success

Last week, Inversant founder Bob Hildreth sat down with four current Boston University students to hear about their college experience, reflect on their parent’s participation in the Inversant program, and give a mini lesson on student loan repayment.

(From left to right) Mariana Chacon, a graduate of KIPP Academy Lynn, is a sophomore at BU who initially majored in English but is switching to Political Science. William Estrada is a freshman Mathematics major from Chelsea High School. Also from Chelsea is Zuleyka Hernandez, a Freshman majoring in Speech-Language Pathology. Sophomore Jhonatan Piedrahita, also a graduate of Chelsea High, is currently a Human Physiology major but is switching to Microbiology this year.

All bright young students with very different majors. What do they have in common? For one, their parents were part of the Inversant program, attending monthly workshops to learn about the college application and financing process and putting money away regularly for their children’s education.

The students also each received a scholarship through Inversant’s College Compact Program. To help our families access an affordable higher education, our College Compact Program connects Inversant families to schools that are committed to providing scholarships to qualified students. Over the past few years, Inversant has forged agreements with Boston University and other prominent universities in the area including Salem State University, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell and Bunker Hill Community College to develop these scholarships. In 2015, over 50% of our seniors applied to the Compact colleges and received comprehensive award packages, to reduce their financial gaps.

With the high costs of attending college today and a growing national student debt crisis, family savings helps reduce student’s debt burden, reducing the total cost of college including interest. Estrada noted that the Inversant Compact scholarship “lowered [his] loans by like half.” Hernandez said that between the scholarship and money her mother saved through the Inversant program, she was fortunate enough not to have to take out any loans for her first year and should have minimal loans for her remaining years. Even modest savings can have a big impact in the long run.

These students are making the most of their college experience at BU and that means taking advantage of summer opportunities. As Jhonatan sees it, he views college as his one chance to change his life for the better. And that’s why this summer he will be volunteering at Massachusetts General Hospital to boost his candidacy for medical school later on. He will also be working for the Intergenerational Literacy Program (ILP) at BU where he will be joined by William who started working with the program while in high school. Zuleyka has accepted a summer internship at BU helping to plan events around campus. Mariana previously served as a Verbal Coach for Let’s Get Ready, a peer-driven college access program, in her hometown of Lynn. This year she is applying for Site Director where she would help manage student coaches. We wish our students the best of luck!