Hey ElizaB. That's a very interesting background you have. Kudos to you for making it out of Matagorda. I used to surf a lot in high school so I had a bunch of good friends from Matagorda. These guys were all smart and capable fellows. When we talked about our futures I couldn't understand why they had decided to work at the local chemical plant rather than go to college. Of course, they had money issues. But it was more than just that. It's like the mentality of a small town like Matagorda is just to accept your fate of working at the local plant. It would have been sad if they wanted to go to college and were trying to figure out a way to pay for it but couldn't and worked at the chemical plant b/c they had exhausted their options. But it's even worse, a complete tragedy, when going to college is such an alien idea that they don't even try.
I can certainly understand why UT gives a leg up to people from under-represented areas of Texas.