Students squander FAFSA funds

CN/Bonnie Regaldo

By Bonnie Regaldo

For plenty of years students have been used the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  to help out with school expenses.

Those who qualify, know that it’s a relief knowing their needs for school will be taken care of with the money they have qualified for.  The money received should most likely go to school expenses, assuming that is the reason they signed up for it in the first place, and living expenses as well.

A handful of students misinterpret  “living expenses.” Let me paraphrase it for you, living expenses means paying your rent, using the money for gas needed to get to school and utility bills. Living expenses are not buying your next ticket to go see some DJ perform in Las Vegas, or buying narcotics that will leave you dumbfounded.

There was one incident, when on my way to my health class, I heard  two students talking. They were both very excited about the money they had received. As I overheard their conversation, one brought up how relieved she was to receive the money in time to buy her ticket to attend an event that was coming up. To my disbelief, neither one of them brought up the  thought of purchasing books for their next semester classes.

Is it fair to the students who do not qualify for financial aid, for a student, who did, to have the money spent on non-school related reasons? Those who qualify should appreciate and respect the money they are receiving each semester.

We all know the popular saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees”  simply speaks for itself. Instead of spending your financial aid money on reasons that are not school related, consider working for it so that you will have the chance to buy them with money that you earned by working. Buying personal items with money earned will surely have you feeling as if you have accomplished something for yourself.

As there is a beginning to everything, there is also an end. If the money isn’t used wisely, you won’t have enough for books and classes. Yes, financial aid is set to help students, but it should not be considered “free money,” as some like to call it. Financial aid was set up to pursue the educational dreams of a student and to receive a degree of some sort in the next several years. A few students end up on probation due to the lack of effort in classes and find it difficult to qualify for financial aid again once they wish to return to school. Should it really be considered “free money” if the whole point of it is to stay and finish school?

So, the next time you log onto your Higher One account to view your funds, and you see that you have received your money for next semester, ask yourself, how much of all that money will truly go to your school expenses?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *