Joke of the year: FAFSA

Jayla Shepherd, Staff Writer

FAFSA is a government program that has been around for almost fifty years. Now it is 2018 and it is officially a joke. It is a program that gives funds to students based off their parents’ income. But times have has changed and a lot of students can’t rely on their parents to pay for their college tuition.

FAFSA should not be solely based on your parents’ income, because some parents won’t be paying for their child’s tuition. Most kids do not receive help from their parents because they’re 18 and they believe funding is their responsibility. According to CNBC, “23% of college cost are covered by parents income and savings. And in 2016-2017 families paid $5,527 to $23,757 on college, which is the lowest since 2009.”

A lot of parents will send more than one kid into college so they won’t be able to pay for two tuitions. Only 21 percent of families are considered upper class in the U.S. and they are the only ones who would be able to pay for more than one tuition, according to the New York Times. FAFSA’s website says they give out 2.7 billion dollars each year. It may sound like a lot but it averages out to $4,000 per student who applies.

I am a twin. My brother and I will be attending a 4 year university this year. My parents will be paying two tuitions, which will average out to about $50,000 per year. FAFSA is offering my brother and I less than $1,000 each in grants. The grants are renewable each year, but it feels like absolutely nothing.

Some may say that it is the student’s choice to go to college and it shouldn’t be the parents’ responsibility to pay for it. According to a Fox Business article published in March 2016, Mark Maiewski of StopOverPayingForCollege said that “College is not an entitlement program, it’s an opportunity […] With an opportunity comes a cost.” Although this is a good statement according to Georgetown Education, by 2020 65 percent of jobs will require a college degree. So going to college for those sixty five percent of students it is not a opportunity it is a requirement.

FAFSA should look at students’ plans for funding their education. If their parents are paying for their tuition, then FAFSA could take that into consideration. But if a student is getting absolutely no funding from their parents, they definitely should get more funding than a student whose parent is helping them out.