Financial aid debacle

In case you haven’t heard, the proposed state budget for Texas will reduce the number of recipients the need based Texas Grant from 86,830 to 27,135 by 2013. Texas has long been known for their attention to education so this comes as a complete shock (I wish there was a sarcasm font), but I kid Texas.

Apparently, there are too many people with their hand in the education cookie jar, and shame on all of us for being educationally obese. In addition to this genius proposal, other financial aid programs are about to be chiseled from the budget. Work-study aid would be cut 41 percent, which means that all the countless minutes that I’ve waited on hold for a financial aid or admissions assistant to give me a wrong answer will increase (“um, dude – what was your question again…”). A scholarship program for students ranking in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes would be cut 79 percent. Never has it sucked so much to be an overachiever or poor.

I find it appalling and pretentious of this budget proposal that there should be such a significant cut in educational spending. Oh wait I get it. Tuition has been increasing significantly over the last 10 years, so the best answer to combat these rising costs is to reduce aid to the future generation of Texas.

Does anyone else feel like we’ve been overtly screwed by previous generations? America is trillions of dollars in debt and rising. We have a healthcare system that everybody would rather blame each other for, rather than fix. We are fighting a war that has spanned over a decade, pouring more money, hoping something democratically magical will happen. Oh, and you first generation college students that are the most economically challenged – sorry. In Texas, we’re trying to find the quickest way to ensure that you don’t get that education and remain in poverty. Then when you need more government assistance because you don’t have a good paying job, we’ll call you selfish, lazy, looking-for-a-handout and a cancer to the state of Texas and America.

But it doesn’t stop there. Many of our fabulous teachers insist on using the newest and priciest textbooks. I’m pretty sure I don’t need an updated example about how Facebook relates to calculus (“see kids, calculus is cool, fun, topical and will better the quality of your life”.) Oh, and I sure am glad the new teacher books provide those lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, and test banks for teachers to really show us why we’re paying them more to do less.

Here’s an idea for the state of Texas. College students are the poorest people on the planet. Most of us spend our time balancing work, school, family, social life, and procrastination. With the reduction of funds, there will be less of us to participate in orgies, binge drinking, drug experimentation and learning. So how are we supposed to fix the problems that you’ve left us with? Suck on that Texas…suck on that.