Paying for College: Oscar Guerrero

Oscar Guerrero is a second-year business administration major in the Scheller College of Business. Having earned an associate degree while in high school by dual enrolling in college courses, Guerrero has long been strategic in his approach to his education. He picked Tech for the opportunities and return on investment he knows it affords.

When Guerrero was deciding what college to attend, it became apparent that staying in state would be the best option. The tuition coverage of the HOPE Scholarship, weighed against the prohibitive costs of leaving the state, placed Georgia Tech at the top of Guerrero’s college choices.

“It came down to finances, and I realized that even though I might theoretically be able to get a little more scholarship money at a school out of state, the money I would spend traveling to and from the college and being that far away from my family would be a lot more expensive,” he explained.

On top of his tuition being coverage from scholarships, Guerrero uses a federal Pell Grant to cover some of his other fees. He also receives assistance from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a national organization that provides funding for Hispanic students, to cover the cost of housing.

During his time at Tech, Guerrero has stayed involved in the campus community, especially through his paid position as president of the Hispanic Recruitment Team for Georgia Tech, where he serves as a mentor for current and prospective Hispanic students.

And in addition to the scholarships, Guerrero has also been able to make money through work. He completed a Network IT Business Analyst internship with NCR Corporation last summer and has pursued other paid opportunities since then.

Now, Guerrero has also successfully secured a paid position as an associate financial analyst intern at Google in Silicon Valley for Summer 2024.

Guerrero also notes that dual enrollment credits played a key role in advancing his college career. For him, they took a year off the time he would need to study at Tech, reducing the amount of money needed to earn his Tech degree.

“It’s free, and once I figured that out and that it could also contribute to my progress towards high school graduation, that was a big push,” Guerrero explained. “And I’m glad I did it because now I’m a year ahead.”

Guerrero advises future Tech students to understand what opportunities are available to them and take advantage when they can. Co-ops, internships, and other programs can be found with help from the Career Center or independently.

One thing Guerrero thinks is especially important to know is that students at Tech aren’t limited to solely summer internships. They can take fall or spring semesters off and have tuition waived if they get an internship.

“I feel like a lot of people limit themselves to those few weeks during the summer,” said Guerrero. “But you can do them during the regular semesters, too.”

Paying for college hasn’t been easy, but Guerrero believes Tech is worth the investment, especially for Georgia students.

“Even loans are an OK option, especially if you find other things to cover the majority of your costs and keep your HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarship to cover your tuition,” he said. “Evaluate what’s right for you. When you look at the starting salary of most Tech students after they graduate, usually any debt is something they can pay off very quickly.”

To hear more about financing an education at Tech, visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid or read more student stories.