One More with Big Plans: Dante Merrill
Dante Merrill has big plans. The youngest of four children and the first in his family to attend college, he aspires to be a neurosurgeon. Dante is taking advantage of CU Denver’s challenging prerequisites for medical school, and he expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2016.
His strategy depends on reducing personal expenses by living with his parents, working a part-time campus job while taking his classes and researching scholarships.
“If I want to move somewhere in the future to be a neurosurgeon, and I have lots of debt, it will be harder. Not having that debt over me helps my state of mind.”
Students like Dante hope to fill a growing need for doctors. For Dante to afford the bachelor’s degree essential to his future medical education, he needs assistance paying for college. His family’s middle-class income cannot support a large share of his tuition payments, but he doesn’t qualify for federal Pell Grants targeted toward low-income families.
With much relief, Dante was able to pay over half of his tuition this year thanks to the Francis H. Mahon Scholarship and Denver’s Downtown Courtyard Marriott First Generation Scholarship.