It can be hard to accept, but some students deserve more financial aid than others


photo by Cassidy Kufner

With the ever-increasing cost of college, it's unreasonable to expect that everyone will receive abundant financial aid.

Cassidy Kufner, Reporter

Amid the intense stress of college, most notable is the largely unavoidable debt a majority of us will fall into. The FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, was created to help ease this financial burden on families. Specifically, the FAFSA serves to enable those not as financially capable to attend college.

While of course all design is to some extent flawed, it is true that any amount of aid for families, some below the poverty line, is monumentally helpful and something for which to be gracious. Much to my dismay, I have heard numerous peers complain about not receiving any money from the FAFSA. I understand the disappointment, and I respect the stress of others, but I cannot understand the ignorant attitude.

I believe this ignorance is due to a certain blindness to the struggle of others. Many of us are perhaps unaware of the real amount of aid given to those for whom financial assistance is a must in order for attendance. It is especially bothersome when there is an acknowledgment of how much money some parents earn, which is often far in excess of five times the poverty line, yet complaints about not receiving aid persist.

To be financially privileged and feel deserving of the very limited funds, funds given to those less fortunate, is wrong.”

According to the government website for student aid, the maximum Federal Pell Grant amount awarded for the 2018-2019 school year is 6,095 dollars. From data collected by the College Board, the average cost of a public in-state university in 2018-19 was $21,370, and out-of-state was $37,430.

Put into perspective, the amount of aid given to those deemed the very poorest is far from enough. That said, hearing students of parents who are surgeons, neuroscientists, and engineers complain about their lack of financial grants can be upsetting.

I understand not everyone’s parents will pay for their college, and that is unfortunately something for which the FAFSA does not account. It does, however, account for what can be measured — expected family contribution, cost of attendance, enrollment status, and the like. If a student does not receive money, it has been determined they don’t “need” it.  With all of those things taken into account, to be financially privileged and feel deserving of the very limited funds, funds given to those less fortunate, is wrong.

It’s not that anyone complaining of not receiving FAFSA money is irrational — it’s completely understandable to want what is often deemed “free money.” Yet, taking into account the insane amount of money needed for a college education, salaries earned by parents, and the true amount of funds able to be rewarded, it should be obvious that not everyone will receive grants. The plain truth is that some people just need the money more. 

Yes, the realization that you have not received funds can be disheartening, especially when considering the hefty, overblown cost of going to college. It’s human nature to think of ourselves before others. To be truly considerate is to realize that at times certain things aren’t especially meant for you. In the case of determined financial status, a FAFSA letdown can be a disappointment necessary to accept.

Given the nature of the FAFSA, no one really gets enough money. Realizing this, I hope that next time a student of wealthy parents feels cheated, they will consider just how much federal financial aid does not cover.