Student Loan Pain Story
As we all know, scholarship and student loan programs are incredibly beneficial to every college student. This has become ever more true with the fact that college tuition has risen exponentially while the wages of both parent and student haven’t risen enough to pay for it. For example, neither of my parents make enough money to pay for my tuition, and the money I get from working on campus is barely enough to cover my bills. Student loans and scholarships are all I have to be able to attend the college of my choice. Unfortunately, for students like me, even those options are limited. I haven’t been able to accrue enough credit to get a student loan by myself, but my mom and dad don’t have good enough credit to be a cosigner. I tried to work multiple jobs to help cover the costs, but ended up suffering from it because I have extreme anxiety and the stress of having two jobs and two majors led to a breakdown. The breakdown affected my grades, which further lessens the available scholarships that I have to choose from.
No matter where I look, I see that scholarships are for athletes or academic excellence, and student loans require cosigners. There are very few for a student like me. I am not an athlete, I am an average student that struggles with my grades because I have to worry about so many other aspects of my life, and no body in my family is able or willing to cosign on a loan. I am at the mercy of the director of financial aid when it comes to being able to remain in school. Last year, she decided to give me a grant because otherwise, I would have had to drop out.
The thought of the student debt that I am going to be buried under when I am done with school makes it hard for me to breathe. I know that I am not alone with this. Thousands of students each year have to face this decision: leave school and never achieve my goals, or continue and face the possibility of a mountain of debt?
I think a government program should be created to help the students that would otherwise slip through the cracks. While the FAFSA does a pretty good job regarding assistance, sometimes it just isn’t enough. The estimated family contribution that the FAFSA predicted for my family has been consistently $0, yet the school I go to doesn’t give enough scholarships to cover the cost. Every year, I have around $3,000 that I don’t know how to pay. A government program to help students like this would be incredibly helpful and appreciated. This year, I expect to have to pay more, because I have had to stay on campus in order to work. The money I made this summer has gone toward paying bills, so by the end of the summer I will have around $1,000 extra that I’ll have to figure out how to pay. When it’s time to pay the tuition I owe, I have a week or so in which I hate my parents. Not because they’re bad parents, but because my dad never got a job in his field and my mom dropped out of college. I hate them because they never saved anything for a college fund, ruined their credit score so they can’t help, and I feel totally and completely alone. I feel like they abandoned me.
My dad joined the Army and didn’t go to college until he was in his thirties. My mom dropped out to take care of her family after a death took away needed income. My brother didn’t even finish high school. I have to do well, I have to finish college and follow my dreams, because nobody else in my family did. I feel pressure on me every time I turn in an assignment. I have to be able to do this, not only for my family, but because I refuse to leave my future children in a situation like this. Why is it that children of unfortunate circumstances are left to fend for themselves? All around us, the ones who always win are the people who come from already rich and successful parents. A person should be able to have the help they deserve in order to follow their dreams, no matter what financial ability their parents have. I am not the only student facing these challenges. I know for certain that a government assistance program for the students who don’t fit the requirements to receive a lot of help otherwise would have a lot of interest in it. If there were a way to create this program, so many more students would be able to go to college and follow their dreams.
Another program that would be helpful would be one that counsels parents on what they would need to do to properly save for their children’s college expenses. Raising children today is an incredibly expensive venture, and parents are expected to pay for their children to go to college too. Wealthy parents don’t have the worry and stress surrounding their children’s college choice. However, parents who come from families that don’t prepare, become the start of another family that didn’t prepare. Students everywhere are constantly slipping through the cracks because they simply do not fit the requirements for popular assistance programs. To combat this, two programs that would be beneficial to these students would be a parent counseling program to help the parent save up for college at the very beginning, and an assistance program this available to students who would otherwise have no help. This program could be scholarship-based, or it could be a loan program that doesn’t require a cosigner, but also follows the student to make sure he or she completes college and is hired to a job that has a high enough wage to live off of and pay the loan back quickly.