Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why did I fill out the FAFSA again?

I believe that making more bills to offer financial aid to the middle class would make more students able to attend college. Simply making financial aid available to the lower class doesn't really solve the problem because that is only a small portion of students out of the entire population. All students are in a similar situation before college- we're all broke and struggling to come up with the money to pay for college. Students need to have access to more scholarships, grants, and loans in order to attend college for a reasonable price. There are already bills that would make more financial aid available to low income families, but many students in the middle class feel like they are forgotten.

This year I have spent many hours filling out paperwork and trying to get as many scholarships as possible. My parents made it clear that in order for me to attend a school other than a community college I would need to receive a large amount of financial aid. I filled out the FAFSA, along with countless other forms, only to be told that I am not eligible because my parents have already saved up too much money for my college education. According to the government we have enough to afford tuition, but the reality is that a substantial part of the money my parents have saved is set aside for their retirement and my three younger siblings’ college. It seems unfair that because my family has saved money and been responsible enough to prepare ahead of time, we are now being punished and told that the only financial aid we will receive is unsubsidized loans with huge interest rates. Being the oldest of four children, I know that my parents cannot afford to spend all their money on me when they have three other children to send to school. Unfortunately, it seems like the government does not see this.

I understand that low income students are in desperate need of financial aid. However, I would really like to see the government offer more to the middle class as well. Most people fall into the middle class, and yet many of us are not receiving the financial aid we need, and our families are struggling. The cost of college is getting out of hand, and it is also becoming more and more necessary to get a college education. Please help make college more affordable for all students, by supporting bills that provide more financial aid for the middle class.

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