Cognitive Dissonance

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

Posts tagged higher education

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

96 notes

Sallie Mae has done this nearly every single day for three weeks even though I faxed them enrollment verification for in-school deferment. Supposedly, it’s being processed. In other words, I don’t owe ‘til I drop out or graduate. You don’t get to blow my phone up all day because you’re incapable of processing a two-page fax in a timely fashion.
But as one rep explained, “It’s not harassment because you, like, owe money.”
Uh-huh. Google Sallie Mae’s history of hounding people until they pay – legitimately or not. And this is why you never, ever take out private student loans.
You know what would help stimulate the economy? Forgive student loan debt. Or at least let us go through some kind of modification.
Things like this exist in America, where you’re apparently nothing without a degree, and getting said degree costs you everything. Meanwhile, I keep telling them to process the paper and they promise to quit calling if I just give them a payment, y’know, just while we’re waiting on that deferment to process.
Loan sharking, kids. That’s pretty much what this is.

Sallie Mae has done this nearly every single day for three weeks even though I faxed them enrollment verification for in-school deferment. Supposedly, it’s being processed. In other words, I don’t owe ‘til I drop out or graduate. You don’t get to blow my phone up all day because you’re incapable of processing a two-page fax in a timely fashion.

But as one rep explained, “It’s not harassment because you, like, owe money.”

Uh-huh. Google Sallie Mae’s history of hounding people until they pay – legitimately or not. And this is why you never, ever take out private student loans.

You know what would help stimulate the economy? Forgive student loan debt. Or at least let us go through some kind of modification.

Things like this exist in America, where you’re apparently nothing without a degree, and getting said degree costs you everything. Meanwhile, I keep telling them to process the paper and they promise to quit calling if I just give them a payment, y’know, just while we’re waiting on that deferment to process.

Loan sharking, kids. That’s pretty much what this is.

Filed under Sallie Mae college politics profiteering higher education student loans student debt harassment

88 notes

So you can go to college on Pell Grants — maybe I should not be telling anybody this because it’s turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century. You can go to school, collect your Pell Grants, get food stamps, low-income energy assistance, Section 8 housing, and all of a sudden we find ourselves subsidizing people that don’t have to graduate from college.

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) voicing his opposition to subsidizing higher education back in April. And sure enough, Tea Partiers are attempting to cut Pell Grants.

I could fully rebut this, discuss how hard it is to get Section 8 housing - virtually impossible without dependents. I could point out that Pell Grants are disbursed to the university first, and the student does not receive anything if tuition is not paid in full. I receive the Pell Grant. It’s $2,750 a semester, $5,500 a year. This does not go far. I could go into more details, but I’m tired of this shit. This guy’s net worth makes him the 14th richest member of the US House, though he thinks he’s “cash-poor” and “struggling like everyone else.”

Here’s my message to those people like Rep. Rehberg, who think it’s perfectly acceptable to make it even harder to go to college:

(Source: thehill.com)

Filed under Pell Grant politics Denny Rehberg Montana college tuition education higher education

3 notes

Trends in College Spending 1998-2008

Trends in College Spending, 1998–2008: Where does the money come from? Where does it go? What does it buy? is the third in a series of reports on college and university spending from the Delta Cost Project. The findings presented in this report concentrate on the 1998 to 2008 time period—the last academic year for which spending data are available, and what in retrospect may turn out to be a high point in funding for higher education.

This is wicked fascinating if you’re a data nerd.

Filed under Education Spending College higher education university Where does the money go? Tuition