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Another FAFSA Dilemma

Lexi Studabaker, Staff Writer

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) sounds shiny and exciting, especially to seniors in the fall as they are applying for colleges and getting excited for the future.

However, the FAFSA results come back, scholarship season flies by, and many seniors find themselves in a different place than they had planned at the start of the year due to lack of money — by either taking out a hefty student loan or maybe even not going to college at all.

I am no stranger to this situation — the FAFSA gave me the “opportunity” to take out a student loan that I get to pay back by myself.

Because my parents have a good combined income, I am categorized to have an Estimated Family Contribution (or EFT) of around $20,000; however, this is unrealistic since I am paying for college on my own. Yet, despite this fact, I am still considered a dependent.

While I was growing up, my parents had their own student loans to pay off, so they had no opportunity to start a college fund for both my sister and me.

For this reason, I am pretty much going to college with no money in my pockets. I would never blame my parents for that; however, I do blame the system that was put in place to help those who need money to get an education.

So many others share this story, but many more have it worse. It seems unfair that although someone is footing his own bill for college, he is still considered a dependent of his parents.

The system needs to change — possibly by focusing more on what bills a family has to pay, whether or not the student is getting help paying for college, or whether or not that student has a college fund.

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