So poor was the education she received at her public high school, Pilar Vega Martinez had to take an extra year to study for the Prueba de Selección Universitaria — the Chilean version of the SAT.
The work paid off. Her score on the exam was good enough to get her into the top-rated University of Chile. Vega is now in her third year, studying to be a nurse. And thanks to an important change in government policy, life got easier after that: She didn't have to pay.