Student Spotlight: Paris Dunlap
Major: Teacher Preparation
One of Paris Dunlap's goals is to graduate from college with a minimum amount of debt. It's what initially led him to College of DuPage.
"It's just my mom and me, and she didn't have the money to send me to a four-year university even with scholarships, loans and grants," he said. "I realized I could save so much money if I attended COD, and I discovered that great opportunities were awaiting me."
One opportunity is his major. Although Dunlap originally decided to study engineering, he has switched to education and would like to combine that with his love of basketball.
"I am hoping to teach middle school and get into coaching basketball," he said. "I was a starter on the basketball team and I am coming back next year to obtain my Associate in Arts degree as well play one more year of basketball."
Another opportunity was receiving the Freshman Foundation Scholarship for new students with single parents.
"The $1,000 really motivated me to be successful not just in college but in life," he said. "I figured I should at least attempt and apply for the scholarship, which paid for book fees and two of my classes. It's really a relief to my mother and I because it allowed me to cancel my loans, which made our lives more comfortable."
Dunlap plans to finish his general education classes and transfer in 2015. He is happy to focus more on his academics rather than on college expenses at College of DuPage, and the educational value far exceeds the cost.
"My spending at COD compared to another student at a four-year university is significantly different because I still live at home 15 minutes away from campus," he said. "COD is also teaching me about the real world, because the professors have high expectations of their students and set standards of discipline which are very important in prospering in today's society. The professors are just amazing and actually care about me as a student and as an individual.
"In the beginning, I didn't know if COD would be the fit for me, but in the end I am glad I came here. People my age make community colleges seem as if it's the end of the world, because it's not a four-year university. The amount of money that is being saved, the endless friendships that are being developed, and the various types of professors in my opinion outweigh a four-year university any day of the year. It's a blessing to have an elite school like COD 15 minutes away from my house."
2014 College of DuPage