For those of us who can’t afford private college

Published: December 12, 2010

Private education is not an affordable for most university students

As a student, I knew I had to score a high grade in my Intermediate Board exams to get into a decent university. Unfortunately, I also knew an ‘A’ grade could not guarantee admission.

In the face of financial constraints and family restrictions my options were limited. There was never a question of what I wanted to be, what I liked doing or what I was good at because only one thing mattered: what my family could afford. I knew my choice was likely to be a government university.

‘We can’t afford it’

My experience taught me that government universities,  charge nearly a quarter what private universities charge. I don’t blame private institutes for their exorbitant fees since they do provide students with a competent faculty and a good environment.

But for those of us who cannot afford private education, the fact is scholarships and financial assistance cannot to be depended on – the safest route is to get admission based on merit.

I got an ‘A’ but didn’t get admission

Admission by merit is not fool proof. This year NEDUET, an engineering college in Karachi, began merit admission from 79 per cent and above. This means lots of students with an A grade were left to seek admission at a government university. (The high percentage was a result of a new paper pattern.)

Many students with high scores end up in government universities where they have a chance for a better future. The most recent Intermediate results in mathematics were astounding. 1,200 students scored an A-1 grade. Ninety per cent of these students belonged to middle class families and have two to three younger siblings.

Do what you love

Studies have shown that people are more loyal to their work and profession if they enjoy it. You don’t really need a research study for that it’s just common sense. If you love your job, your passion drives you to success. If you love to know how things work, become an engineer. Just be something you want to be and don’t bow down to the pressure of family traditions and what people say – remember, life is too short to have regrets.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 12, 2010

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that NEDUET is a private institution.


Anam Ashraf Ali

A system engineering student currently studying at NEDUET

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.