Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

42 notes

This is the state of higher education.
Here’s my financial aid calculation for the last semester of my undergraduate career. After federal financial aid was severely restricted, I lost the Pell Grant for the spring. It was slashed in the fall from a full Pell award ($2775) to what you see above.
The University of Wyoming estimated that it will cost me $17,726 to attend for the 2012-2013 aid year. My expected family contribution is $0 because of my income bracket. I was awarded $7,985 in financial aid. Now, the estimated cost of attendance is a little higher than what it actually costs me to go to college because of cost-cutting measures I take myself. However, that still leaves a difference of $9,741 — which, of course, exists even though UW and the Department of Education are basically saying, “You’re too poor to be expected to contribute anything towards this cost.”
The difference is worse for low-income students not attending a school as cheap as UW. Our tuition is heavily subsidized by the oil and gas industry.
So when folks like to write in and castigate me for being a drag on the U.S. taxpayer by going to college, I’m not sorry. I’m barely hanging on, and what little aid I do get is going to enable me to finish. I may not get to eat three meals a day, but I will graduate.
There are other students who have it rougher than I do. But there’s way too many people who think we’re all living it up on federal aid dollars and we’re definitely not. If that’s all a student has for college expenses, trust me — they’re not living it up so much as trying to not wind up homeless.

This is the state of higher education.

Here’s my financial aid calculation for the last semester of my undergraduate career. After federal financial aid was severely restricted, I lost the Pell Grant for the spring. It was slashed in the fall from a full Pell award ($2775) to what you see above.

The University of Wyoming estimated that it will cost me $17,726 to attend for the 2012-2013 aid year. My expected family contribution is $0 because of my income bracket. I was awarded $7,985 in financial aid. Now, the estimated cost of attendance is a little higher than what it actually costs me to go to college because of cost-cutting measures I take myself. However, that still leaves a difference of $9,741 — which, of course, exists even though UW and the Department of Education are basically saying, “You’re too poor to be expected to contribute anything towards this cost.”

The difference is worse for low-income students not attending a school as cheap as UW. Our tuition is heavily subsidized by the oil and gas industry.

So when folks like to write in and castigate me for being a drag on the U.S. taxpayer by going to college, I’m not sorry. I’m barely hanging on, and what little aid I do get is going to enable me to finish. I may not get to eat three meals a day, but I will graduate.

There are other students who have it rougher than I do. But there’s way too many people who think we’re all living it up on federal aid dollars and we’re definitely not. If that’s all a student has for college expenses, trust me — they’re not living it up so much as trying to not wind up homeless.

Filed under Financial aid college policy politics education higher education University University of Wyoming Wyoming

  1. simianhighway said: I love you for this.
  2. sevdolo reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
  3. tamaraleach reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  4. schatten-geist reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  5. katiacambia reblogged this from america-wakiewakie and added:
    I have at least two semesters left AFTER the one that starts soon, and I’m $46k in. Wage slavery system workin its...
  6. steenuh reblogged this from america-wakiewakie
  7. america-wakiewakie reblogged this from cognitivedissonance and added:
    I feel your pain Meg. I just finished my Bachelors and luckily between working almost full time, grants and scholarships...
  8. rae-rose reblogged this from cognitivedissonance
  9. mallowtree said: Correct me if I’m wrong, but did you mention you had native status at one point? If so, doesn’t that provide you with anything? If not, disregard! P.S- How do you work out the cost for grad school? Are there other grants/scholarships you can get?
  10. cognitivedissonance posted this