I made a mistake in my last year's application

Hello all,
I sincerely hope everyone is doing good and safe from the COVID-19.

This post is more of a confession and an ask for advice post. Many of you might hate me for what I did, and you have every right to do so. I feel like a disgrace myself. But I want to say that I have learned my lesson, and I want to be a better person.

So, few background info:

  1. I am an international student.
  2. I applied to a US college for the first time last year.
  3. I got accepted to few places but didn’t receive expected financial aid. Others? Rejected me.

So what had I actually done? I had applied to the colleges saying I was a first generation student. What was my stupid reasoning?

“My mother is the only one who went to college. It was honestly a very small community college, and it shouldn’t really matter. Plus, hey, we are international students, I come from an unprivileged background, and we haven’t had any advantage with understanding colleges regardless of whether my mother went to a college or not.”

I was honestly very okay with the reasoning in my head last year. But this gap year has finally taught me a lesson. For the past 3 months, I have been feeling extremely guilty of my actions, and hence, I am here today. I have been crippling day in and day out. It took a lot.

So my question for help stands here: What should I do now? There are few colleges from last year I’d like to apply because I believe I fit there. But I DON’T EVER WANT TO LIE again. However, I am honestly very afraid I will be caught, which has been intensified because of my poor mental health and anxiety issues. I am also contemplating on changing my entire colleges list. The only problem? I will be missing out on places where I really want to go or missing out on potentially aid giving schools (again, the fin aid ughh).

Any advice would be heartily appreciated. Please help me.

And finally, I apologize for my actions. I truly do.

Although I do not know the exact questions on all the college applications, as far as I am aware there is no box where you mark “first generation” so you left out under your mothers educational background that she did not attend college? The colleges determine whom are First generation students.

That said, it is good you recognize you lied and need to be honest on your applications this time around.

So are you reapplying to schools that rejected you or schools were you did not receive enough financial aid?

Are the schools you are applying need aware for International applicants? Are you still in need of the same amount of aid? What have you done during your Gap year that is significant enough for these colleges to change their decision?