When Zuri Gordon received several thick envelopes in the mail saying she got into highly-selective colleges, she hoped her family would be thrilled. But that’s not how it played out.

“My mother would not care—she would say, ‘You’re not going to go there, we can’t afford that,’” Gordon told an audience at SXSW EDU this week, adding that “now I can see she was trying to protect me from getting my hopes up because they knew that they couldn’t afford that.”

“Getting those acceptances didn’t mean that I had access to higher education,” she added. “And it wasn’t any dramatic poverty situation, but getting those acceptances and my financial aid, that’s when I really started to understand what level of low-income my family was because they could not pay more than $1,000 a year.”…

Ed Surge