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With the cost of college rising every year, access to higher education is a privilege few can afford.

The average price of a four-year in-state university in the 2018-2019 academic year, including tuition, fees, room, and board, is $21,370, and $37,430 for those who attend an out of state school. If you're looking to study at a private institution, that cost is $48,510, according to CollegeBoard. Those who do attend often leave with a burden of debt, which was around $37,172 in 2017, Debt.org reports.

While these exorbitant prices are the reason many students can't attend college, one man in Iowa made sure 33 people in his home state could get a higher education, debt-free.

Dale Schroeder, a carpenter from Ames who worked at the same company for 67 years, went to his lawyer and friend, Steve Nielsen, before he died in 2005 with specific instructions to use his money to help send small-town local students to college.

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It was just before Thanksgiving when then-high school junior Angela Sanchez and her father lost their home in Glendale, California.

A perfect storm of financial and family problems left her architect father unemployed, and the hardships soon led to eviction.

They slept in a car for the first few months, keeping up appearances of normalcy as best they could. Eventually, they found their way to a cold-weather shelter, then a family shelter.

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UCLA Optimists

Becca Longo is making history as the reported first female athlete to receive a football scholarship to a NCAA Division II college. But it almost didn't happen.

Becca always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her football playing older brother, but joining her high school's all-male football team was easier said than done. Even once she had proven herself a skilled athlete, she still found herself facing negativity and assumptions that women can't play football quite as well as men. She worked hard and got lucky — her school let her on the team with the boys.

Sophomore year, she was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and running track. She was a kicker on the football team and the team embraced her as one of their own, as they would any other player.

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