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Financial Aid Woes

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Financial Aid Woes

by tdixon

There is so much social pressure to go to college and earn a degree these days. For this very reason, student enrollment rates continue to grow at universities across the nation. Knowing this impressive reality, wouldn’t schools and administrators want to ease the process of getting into college and ensure that their students stay in? It would certainly simplify things. Simple does not really coincide with the terms of the FAFSA, however. Countless students have found its inner workings overwhelming. The required steps are too complex, redundant and often overlap with other aid programs, which in turn prevent young men and women from getting the proper aid they are seeking. In addition to filling out a complicated form, students have to face the horror of institutions continually increasing their tuition rates each year, making it virtually impossible to realistically afford to attend on one’s own. Even with coupling grants, scholarships and work study programs together, students simply cannot cover the full tab of their education and generally have to seek financial aid. Again, knowing this, shouldn’t we move towards simplifying things? Wouldn’t it be rewarding to keep students in school and allow for them to reach their full potential? Making the application process easier would not only enable more students to stay in higher education, but would also open all doors for all students across the socio-economic fabric.

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Open Mic Comments

I think simplification of the process is not the only step that needs to be taken. I think that more realistic standards need to be set in regards to how much each family should contribute to their child's education. Many families, like mine, fall through the cracks because they are not poor enough to qualify for a grant, but also are not rich enough to afford the $20,000 + per year in tuition and fees that FAFSA defines as "expected family contribution." I'd like to know how a regular, working family can be expected to contribute that much.

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