I am taking a pre-university course to be able to major in the field of architecture…. My problem is that I am economically disadvantaged and have no one helping me…. My mom can’t help me because I have two younger brothers, and she had to raise us without a father….

Every day I wonder what I should do, but I can’t come up with an answer…. I don’t know whether to continue my studies or start working in another field.

Dear Friend,

The situation that you describe is almost exactly the same as mine when I was your age. I wanted to go to college, but there was no one in my family who could help me financially. Even that long ago, college was expensive and I had to figure it out for myself.

The important question for you is, “Are you a good student?” In other words, does studying seem easy, though time-consuming, or does it seem like really hard work?

If you are a good student and studying seems easy, then you will be able to do what I did. I had two or three jobs at the same time that I attended the university. The income from each job added part of what I needed for my tuition and living expenses. Some of my jobs were on campus, and others were near the campus. I managed my schedule so that I worked when I wasn’t attending classes, and I studied when I wasn’t working.

However, if studying seems like really hard work to you, then you likely won’t be able to have one or more jobs at the same time that you are studying, and therefore you might not be able to earn enough to pay the bills.

Before doing anything else, make an appointment at the university to meet with a financial aid counselor. That person can tell you about all the scholarships and grants that you might qualify for that would reduce the amount of your tuition. He or she can also tell you about the jobs that are available on campus.

After your visit to the Financial Aid office, you might consider making appointments to visit the Financial Aid offices at other universities. Tuition and fees can vary greatly depending on the school, and you might be able to afford a university that is not the one that you prefer.

As for me, I had already begun a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so I had extra help from Him. As I prayed and trusted Christ to work out the best for me,1 I was directed to scholarship opportunities and job openings. It wasn’t easy, but I worked my way through to a Bachelor’s degree and then managed to get a Master’s degree.

If you have never experienced the help that Christ can give, I urge you to begin a personal relationship with Him today. He won’t make money fall from Heaven, but He will guide you in the way that is best.

We wish you well,

1Ro 8:28