By Melissa O’Beck |Staff Writer|
I believe single parents soak up all of the “free” financial aid money while other students drown in debt.
In my opinion this creates student inequality.
With the recent 9.1 percent increase that went into effect this fall, tuition is at a record high, according to USA Today.
Education is becoming less feasible for the average student.
The CSU claims to offer affordable, accessible and quality education. But that’s no longer the case.
“I graduated from Riverside Community College last year, but I am waiting until I am 24 to transfer to CSUSB so I can be eligible for some sort of financial aid,” said Matthew Lewis, 23.
“Even though I work two jobs and pay for my own schooling I am still considered a dependent of my parents. I simply cannot afford $2,300 a quarter before books and parking permit without some kind of aid.”
The aid and options seem to be endless for single parents to go to school no matter what their age.
But where is a lending hand to the average student who works anywhere from one to three jobs while trying to stay on top of their studies?
They fall into that middle class category although they are over 18, due to their parents income which they have no entitlement to.
It seems these students’ graduation date keeps getting postponed because the aid is not there.
They have to support themselves, which ultimately leads to a higher debt ratio among graduates, making it difficult to finish or even go to school.
Higher education should be helping pave the way to a life of opportunity, not financial disaster.
However, Pell Grants are limited to only specific individuals and which do not have to be paid back.
The rest of the students under 24 are only offered student loans, which do have to be paid back.
“In my opinion, it is fair. Being a mother going to school is hard. We have more financial obligations than most students. Besides school finances like books and classes, we also have to worry about finding and paying for daycare while we are at school,” said student and parent Cara Golightly.
While this rings undeniable truth, we live in a country where government handouts to single parents are endless.
If the parent is not receiving child support, is that not what welfare, WIC, discounted housing, free healthcare, Head-Start programs, food-stamps, and the continual list that goes on are for?
We even have a daycare right here on campus at a more affordable cost than most other day care centers.
I am in no way discriminating or suggesting that single parents should be stripped of these privileges.
I agree that single parents deserve opportunity, and fortunately, there is plenty of it.
But I do believe that when it comes to education there should be some form of student equality. We are all here for the same reasons, trying to achieve the same goals, striving for brighter futures.
If the government is going to give funding to organizations that single out parents and minorities then there should be funding for other students that are not minorities or single parents, but are working just as hard.
At 18 we are all legal adults. We should not be discriminated against because of our parents income since we are no longer under their legal guardianship.
We all come from different walks of life, but when we enroll in this school a certain unity is formed.
We are all students. We all deserve equal opportunity to succeed, and we all deserve a fighting chance.