DETROIT (WJBK) - Joshua McIntosh, the valedictorian for Cass Tech's class of 2018, got the news he was waiting for. He got into Georgetown. But he quickly found himself in a situation many know too well -- how would he pay for school? Georgetown's tuition is $74,000 a year.
He's an academic standout, but Joshua says his quest for aid was hurt by his family's financial status. His parents' income was high enough to disqualify him for scholarships and grants, but still not great enough to foot the bill. It's a problem many college students are familiar with.
"It's just that hardship of the middle class family where you're kind of lost in the sauce of it, that's what they say," he says.
But then Georgetown University stepped in and provided Joshua a four year academic scholarship. He was relieved that this financial burden had been lifted, but Joshua says he knew there was still more for him to do. What about all the other middle class kids?
He started an initiative to help take care of them, too.
"My initiative is called Consider the Ant. It's from scripture; it's where an ant was working hard and they focused on what they had to do and God took care of other things that they needed," he explains. "I want to take care of those middle class kids, such as me, who work hard that were told just get good grades, get good test scores (and) the money will be there -- which isn't 100 percent true."
As Joshua gets things in order for his Consider the Ant foundation, guidance counselors say help available but you have to know how to "play the game."
"College is a big game and you have to start early," says Monica Jones, a college counselor at Cass Tech where Joshua graduated. She says waiting until your senior year to apply for scholarship is a big mistake.
Though she does admit students in middle class families can face additional challenges, so she encourages those students to think small.
"Everyone is going to apply for the $20,000 scholarship; those small scholarships add up. $250 times four is what? $1,000."
Joshua is preparing to leave home in just a few weeks to take up Pre-Med at Georgetown. He's also working to raise money for his scholarship initiative he says will benefit students who attend Detroit Public Schools.
"I'm looking for middle class students. You don't have to have a 4.0 or a 1600 on SAT. I'm looking for those kids who show that they work hard," he says.
You can follow Consider the Ant's progress on his Facebook page here.