The First World Problem…

We’ve all heard that joke abput #firstworldproblems. It’s funny. Sometimes.

I love laughimg about the Starbucks girls with their uggs and leggings. Because there’s no way that can legitimately hurt someone.

But I can’t stand when try to debate higher education with me.

I’m not saying that higher education is the best and that everyone should go to college, because school isn’t for everyone. What gets to me os the people who look and me and other people like me like we’re stupid for going to college. Like we’re stupid for not going to trade school. Like we’re stupid because we have to pay for college out of pocket.

And then they start this debate and don’t care about all the facts and figures saying that college is way more expensive than the past and kids aren’t getting enough financial aid to cover it all.

I hate having to hold my tongue (and my hands from going slap-happy) because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to explain that college is important for some people to get certain jobs, like doctors and architects. But they keep looking at college like its a choice people can make and still go about their lives and get the job they want. How would you feel is your doctor came into the room like ‘hey this is my first day, just started, didn’t even have to go to school…’?

So when people ask me why I’m working at [insert retail giant name here] instead of going to school, I simply say that I have The First World Problem: my parents make too much money for me to qualify for government aid and they gave me a great childhood where I didn’t starve and I had a roof over my head so I can’t qualify for 90% of scholarships out there.

Now I’m not nay-saying on all the kids who worked harder than me and got full-ride scholarships or had tougher formative years and are able to get some amazing scholarships. I’m just saying that I’m stuck between a rock and hard place and if I open my mouth the wrong way about it, then I look like a major asshole.

Sure, I am a major asshole, but I’m not against these kids out there busting their asses to get an education.

But I’m saying I have a few critiques of the system.

  1. The financial aid application should not rely on your parents income unless your parents sign a waver agreeing to help with college costs and the propose amount they can help with. My parents aren’t able to help me pay for school because they’re still workong on loans from my older siblings. They should be able to tell the government that they are hnable to help financially.
  2. Colleges should make it easier for kids to petition for financial aid. My best friend tried to petition her school to let them know that her dad had lost his job and that she would need more aid since her mom’s salary would not be able to cover the cost of school. They denied her because they stated that the aid was awarded based of off last years income reported from the financial aid application.
  3. More colleges should allow payment plans. My college which has been around since the late 1800’s just allowed payment plans LAST YEAR. After I had to leave twice to pay off my bills to both school and lenders.
  4. Advisors and financial aid offices should work more closely to help students decide what classes they can take and what they can actually afford to take. Advisors will tell you everything you need to take. The financial aid office will tell you how much money you don’t have to spend out of poclet. But then you have to decide if you can even afford to go taking a full-class load of 15 credit hours at $400 per hour. Because of you’re not full-time you lose your government aid.
  5. The rule for becoming an indepedent student in the eyes of the government don’t even apply to half of the students entering grad school. So the government will look at only my tax information I have to be 25, married, or have a child. I can’t afford two of those things and one is impossible to become overnight. And grad students, kids who have been on their own for years now working and going to school and all that jazz, still have to sit down with their parents once a year to fill out a stupid application for money.

How many of you have been in similar situations? Any one have practical solitions to this mess? Leave a comment or send me an email.

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