Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Middle Class "Trap"

I suppose my first real post will be the thing that annoys me the most about financial aid. The so-called middle class trap. (Really though, this can be extended into the middle upper class too). So many schools advertise that they are need blind. They have initiatives to make sure students don't graduate with too much debt! That's awesome for families who truly can't afford it. And let me make myself clear that I don't begrudge them their financial aid: if they come from difficult circumstances or low income backgrounds they do deserve the assistance. But what about those of us beyond the cutoff of meaningful need based financial aid, but not nearly wealthy enough to pay full price? And I think there's a misconception that only the truly middle class has this problem. Trust me, they don't. Even people in the $200,000+ bracket have this problem. (Trust me, I know quite a few wealthy people who had to skip going to their dream school because they couldn't afford it.) In total, my family is expected to put half their earnings towards me and my sibling's college educations. In what world is that reasonable? You know, my parents do have to save up for retirement, and pay their mortgage, and all other sorts of expenses.

In any case, my parents have asked me for my sophomore year to take on a much bigger debt load (how much I am not exactly sure yet). They're hoping my student debt will be an investment for my future.

Ah. What a crappy position to be in. Oh well, such is the plight of being in the middle class trap. I guess I could always transfer next year.

Happy Trails,

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