I was born and raised in Illinois, and I graduated from Edwardsville High School in 2016. I want to be a doctor, and I worked really hard in high school so I could go to a good college. I had almost a 4.0 GPA and got a 30 on the ACT.
Unfortunately, Bruce Rauner really hurt public higher education in Illinois. I wanted to stay and go to school in Illinois so I could be closer to my family—something my mom really wanted too. I applied to both the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois University. Affordability and scholarships were a top priority when I was deciding where to go to go. I don't want to enter medical school with debt from my undergraduate degree. Neither Illinois university was able to offer me enough money for it to make financial sense to stay in my home state.
I got a full tuition scholarship to Southeast Missouri State, so I decided to go there. I just finished my sophomore year and I’m staying in Missouri over the summer to work. That means all the money I pay in taxes, rent, food, and other living expenses are getting pumped into the Missouri economy. I’d rather be contributing to the Illinois economy, because I care about my home state. I hope I can go back for medical school, but I’m not sure what will happen.