Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Financial Aid And Its Frustrations
By Jennifer Rozasnky

A few weeks after sending in my FASFA student aid form a lovely letter issued to me arrived in the mail from the Pennsylvania department of financial aid saying I will not be receiving any help from my home state. But why did they not help me? It clearly is a nice little letter stating if you are attending any school in any of the states surrounding Pennsylvania such as, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, they will not help at all.

From the state of New York they actually helped me a little but hardly at all, claiming my Dad makes too much of an income which, if that were the case I would be living in a beautiful apartment instead of a closet and driving a Hummer not a Sunfire.

Within the same week of receiving the letter from Pennsylvania, I received a call from my aunt saying that my cousin received full financial aid because she is 18 and has a baby. So, congratulations you got pregnant out of wedlock we will fully help you with your school tuition.

Hearing news like this really frustrated me and made me almost want to go to a sperm bank or get hit by a fancy car hoping whoever was driving had a lot of money to pay for my tuition. The reality is it is not cheap to become well educated and get a successful job. There is a price to pay.

After interviewing Christina Bennett, the Marymount Manhattan College financial aid advisor, I realized there are many people like me. That made me feel better, but at the same time, it still makes me angry that I’m struggling with financial aid, but still getting good grades, while my cousin in Texas is having such an easy time with financial aid, but getting lower grades than me. Or that all my “richer” cousins got it well made and again I’m struggling.

However, with all of these frustrations my parents do an outstanding job of reassuring me that I’m doing an excellent job in school, and that living in New York and being away from my small, hick hometown, and getting some fabulous opportunities.

Although, financial aid has not been that great in my world I do see people like my friend Theresa who receives financial aid because her mom is a single mother and she shows that she is very appreciative for it, and knows she is lucky.

The situation that bothers me the most is seeing people like my cousin take advantage of it and show no gratitude, and do not realize how lucky they are for getting the help that they do. I realize not everyone is like this, but there will always be those “bad seeds” that make it look bad for everyone else.

In the end, I feel grateful for the extremely little amount I do get. But I wish when the FASFA department looks into people’s “financial need” that they take a closer look and make sure they are giving it to the right person who is going to do good, and not to someone who is going to blow it off like.

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