Social Benefits

By Tineka Montgomery

What does financial aid mean to you? Is it money that is available to anyone, although not everyone receives the same amount? Or is it assistance available only to those whose parents make less than $60,000 per year? Financial Aid is money given paid or loaned to help pay for a type of vocational school or college. Financial aid comes in different forms like grants and scholarships, and work-study. So both definitions are correct.

Just imagine being told by your peers and teachers about this form that could help you receive extra money to help pay for your schooling. You’re sitting around waiting for your results. You have heard that if your parent/guardian really doesn’t make a lot of money then you have a good chance of getting a higher amount of money. You are really looking forward to continuing your education but you also know that you can not afford to go to school and so you not it’s not possible without a big help from financial aid. Then when the results arrive you are disappointed because you thought your EFC would be much lower. But in reality, your EFC is actually higher then what you thought it would be.

Why is it that the FAFSA application form determines your future? FAFSA is the acronym for Federal Application for Student Aid. They federal government uses the FAFSA to calculate students Expected Family Contribution (EFC). And then financial aid uses it to come up with a total cost that you would pay for tuition, living expenses, miscellaneous, etc. Some people lie, or should I say use false information on this form just to get a large sum of money, which ends up being the extra money that they neither need nor deserve. For example, a student could be living with their mother and has been for some time now. They decide to use their father’s information because they know he doesn’t make any or a lot of money and this is odd because they may have only seen this parent maybe twice in their life. Since the government only gets a limited amount of money, I feel this could be used to pay someone else’s tuition that is in much more need than others. I really don’t agree with this decision because I think it isn’t fair to take money that is not needed. I think majority of the people put some kind of false information on the form. So is it right or wrong?

There are a lot of parents and other college students (like me) stressing day after day to figure how they are going to continue to pay for their college education. I am in a situation where my mother is the only one in the household who works. My father lives with us but is not able to work under his medical condition and it has been this way for a while. My mom makes a decent amount of money. So when she puts that on my FASFA form it’s like they’re thinking mom makes enough so she can pay majority of her child’s way through school. It is not like that when she has a son who just graduated from college, maybe 2 years ago and then is ready to send another one off. On top of all this, my mother pays for my father’s monthly meds and the bills by herself; it’s hard.

I am a part of one of those many families struggling to make it. I am the biggest fan on not agreeing with how the whole social benefits system works out. We all know of those that are supposed to qualify for certain benefits. So why is so hard for someone in my family to get what they need. I am tired of having to look at someone in my life struggle because they don’t fully meet the standards. If they can’t work and their spouse isn’t making ends meet at home then why should they suffer? All I just want is someone to take the time out to read this and understand where I am coming from and maybe if the right person reads it then they could luckily make a change.


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One Response to “Social Benefits”

  1. leftoverkumquats Says:

    It’s very frustrating. For one, you want to feed the people that lie to their undeserved advantage to piranhas. You want the system to work, because you need money and somehow the people down the street get more financial aid than you even though the mom drives a bmw and your mom drives a seven year old minivan.

    Not only is it hard to get financial aid, it is hard to pick which schools you think you’ll have the best chance at for aid. Schools with large endowments don’t necessarily give the most aid; some schools admit a higher percentage of the neediest kids to give full rides to. I feel like the middle class is stiffed in this process.

    My mom pays for my sister’s private high school and paid for mine until I graduated last year. Now she pays for everything but the 8,000 my dad gives towards my college (and none for my sister). He refuses to pay for my or my sister. He is also married and their joint income screws my mom over on financial aid forms.

    I wish there were time and the resources for fin aid forms to take into account people’s lives outside of paper.

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