FAFSA doesn't aid students efficiently

While the office of Federal Student Aid helps more than 15 million
college students receive a better education by granting more than $150
billion in grants, work-study programs and loans, it isn’t necessarily
as helpful as it should be.

At the beginning of this month, most students were probably frantically collecting forms, documents and trying to decipher W-2 information to complete and file their FAFSA applications on time.

Some students will be delightfully surprised when their Free Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, is returned with a note that a large amount is on its way to their school to help with the increasing costs of college.Other students may be discouraged to find that they didn’t qualify for any financial aid and ultimately might not be ableto afford to pursue their dreams.

Each student has a different situation; each story is different and the
FAFSA can not effectively determine each student’s needs or situation.
This results in students who deserve to go to school but can’t
afford it to be overlooked. It is unfair to exclude students who also
cannot afford school because of the impersonal way of deciding who earns those funds

According to an article in US News, financial aid is given to families with an annual income of about $40,000.If a family makes more than the school’s cutoff, the student won’t receive money from the Federal Student Aid. It would make sense that the students in a lower income bracket would receive more money, but students who come from middle- and upper-class families still may not be able to afford to go to college.

Just because mom and dad bring in a large paycheck doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an endless amount of funds to send their children to college.A large indicator of the amount of funds awarded to a student is the estimated family contribution, or EFC.By looking over a parent’s yearly income and tax reports, the FAFSA assumes the amount of money a family can contribute to send a child to college.

This report can be flawed and not accurate for some families.This number doesn’t take into account that a family has more expenses like a house and car payments, or more children to send to college later.Most families cannot afford to go into debt trying to send their child to school. It also doesn’t take into account students who pay for their own school, but are still claimed as a dependent under their parents. These students would deserve some financial aid if they are struggling to pay for their own school without any parental aid.

The process in which the funds are distributed also can be inconvenient for students who do recieve federal funds for school, and can ultimately not aid their education.

According to studentaid.ed.gov some first year students are required to wait for 30 days before their first disbursement. After the financial aid money has paid for tuition and housing many students need to purchase books and materials, but a month into a semester, most students will have already taken a quiz or midterm, which would be hard to do without the proper materials.This way of distributing funds is not helpful to students and is an ineffective way of covering the costs of school.

Another way that financial aid has begun to hurt students is that it is driving up the cost of tuition, which is a result that will cost students more in the long run.

In an article from CNN, Andrew Gillen’s argument for The Bennett Hypothesis 2.0 is quoted concluding that more upward pressure is put on tuition by the rising need of financial aid.The higher the tuition of college is raised, the morethere is a need for financial aid, and we as students find ourselves in a no-win situation.

The more expensive it is for students to attend college will force fewer students to pursue an education. The fact that the amount of financial aid distributed is forcing these costs to rise is not aiding students, but deterring some from getting an education. It isn’t helpful, and only hurtful.

Students can attest to the fact that the price of school is rising each year.Just in the last five years the cost per unit at Palomar has more then doubled.In the 2008-2009 year it cost students $20 per unit to take classes. In the 2012-2013 year that cost rose to $46 per unit.

It cannot be disputed that the FAFSA helps students by providing money for college.But FAFSA and the way that it distributes its funds to students is flawed.While it does aid some, it can deter other students who deserve that financial help just as much.It skips over students who really need help when paying for college and in the end it is going to drive up the costs of tuition, making it even harder to pay for college.

Author: Sydney Davison

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