FAFSA and the Middle Class | 10.20.09
Tuesday Rant – Opinion Piece
Here’s something you will never hear legions of die-hard fans chanting at a home game. We’re an average team – neither terrible or great. We’re somewhere in the middle – that’s not open for debate! Woo hoo!
No one wants to be in the middle yet the middle is where many of us find ourselves, the middle class that is.Â The middle classÂ is where mostÂ Americans reside.Â It’s whereÂ money gets tight.Â And when it comes to financial aid, being stuck in theÂ middle earnings category is like a death sentence. Ok, I may be going a bit over bored with that statement but it certainly has some serious disadvantages.
People who come from low-income families generallyÂ qualify forÂ a wideÂ array of financial aid because of their outstanding need. That need is based off theÂ expected family contribution number (EFC)Â generated fromÂ the FAFSA.Â In the case ofÂ lowÂ incomeÂ familiesÂ their EFC willÂ come up zero qualifying them for maximum aid benefits.Â Federal aid, institutional scholarships, and work-study programsÂ allowÂ many to enrollÂ in some of the top schools in the U.S. at a fraction of the cost.
On the other side of the coin you have those who come from high-income families. While they will not qualify for federal assistanceÂ the family can usually afford the cost of higher education with little problem. That only leaves the lonely middle class with their pockets empty.
For the middle class student scholarships are often your best bet, and it’s all about power in numbers.Â Apply for as many as you can.Â You can checkout aÂ scholarship database that houses hundreds of scholarships or enroll in a free scholarship program that give money away each month.Â True, the middle class may have to work a little harder to get the aid for school they so richly deserve, but the money is out there if you put the time and energy into the search, and I know you will.Â The middle class is always willing to work a littler harder.
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