Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Is college getting too costly to expect anybody to afford the tuition bills?

It seems there’s a new “scam” involving ways that parents make their children out to be indigent so that they can qualify for extensive financial aid to help pay for a college education.
Their reporting may motivate the feds to act

Which some view as a problem in that there is only a limited amount of money available with which to help lower-income families in need, and these students of wealthier families theoretically are taking funds away from others who might also need the money in order to pay for college.

ALTHOUGH THE REALITY may well be that college has become so costly that just about everybody thinks they’re amongst the financially needy who need help in covering the cost of tuition bills.

I suspect many of the families whose activity has been uncovered by the ProPublica Illinois non-profit news organization think they’ve done nothing illegal, and probably think they’re the ones who are being harassed for trying to ensure that their children will have the opportunity to obtain a higher education – thereby giving them a chance to succeed in life.

They may also think that it’s not their fault they figured out a way to qualify for more financial assistance.

What the news organization, whose reports are being picked up by newspapers everywhere, has found is that there are instances where parents deliberately turning their teenaged children over to legal guardians.

WHO THEN ACKNOWLEDGE they’re doing nothing to provide for the 16- to 17-year-olds financial well-being. Which means that when the students fill out forms seeking financial aid, they can claim to be indigent and in need of help in terms of covering the entire cost of tuition.

Putting them in a much higher-priority financial aid status than they’d be able to claim if they had to admit their parents were still supporting their living expenses. Which isn’t technically illegal – although University of Illinois admissions officials called a “scam” because it alters the perception of who is indigent and who is not.

But I have to admit to sympathizing with anyone who’s trying to deal with the cost of a college education in today’s day and age. Personally, I don’t know how I’d be able to afford the cost if I were having to deal with it now.
Is this the real problem?
Heck, it seemed excessive some three decades ago when I actually was in college.

SO IT WILL be intriguing to see just how this issue plays out in the arena of public perception. Will these parents become some sort of equivalent to the actress Lori Loughlin – who now faces criminal charges for allegedly paying bribes to college admissions officials in order to get her children into the University of Southern California?

With several wealthier parents facing such charges, but prosecutors seeming to focus their attention on Loughlin because of her so-called celebrity status.

Or will this become a case of college costs having grown far out of control – to the point where perhaps we need a serious review of just what an education ought to cost and what it is worth.

Because maybe people wouldn’t be eager to “give up” their children (theoretically, that is) if tuition hadn’t skyrocketed so high that it’s a wonder anybody seriously thinks anyone is capable of paying a tuition bill without some financial help.

WHICH, OF COURSE, then gets us into a conversation into just what kind of help ought to be available. With some people touting the ideologue argument that college isn’t for everybody – and that some ought to set lower goals in life.
LOUGHLIN: No longer into noble causes

That wouldn’t be such a cheesy argument to make EXCEPT that it reeks too much of certain people arguing that the purpose of colleges ought to be to weed out certain elements of our society from trying to advance their lots in life through higher education.

An attitude that we need to advance beyond for the good of our society.

Unless you’re of the sort who thinks there’s some truth to the old gag about people who can’t get their way through college by saying, “Somebody’s got to deliver pizzas.”


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