Sure, I'm a broke college student who's resorted to somewhat desperate measures (like stealing toilet paper from the gym. There aren't cameras in there, you know.), so maybe I'm a tad jaded, but STILL. I have an opinion. You can't discredit me because I'm broke. For christ's sake, I should be the one you're listening most carefully to.
I'm sitting here trying to submit my FAFSA and I can just feel the government peering down through narrow spectacles, "you're a scammer". No seriously!! I'm poor as dirt, promise. Cross my heart. Pinky swear. Want my firstborn?
First of all, I'm classified as a dependent. I'm NOT a dependent. But because I wasn't born before 1989, orphaned as a child, part of the military, or homeless, I'm a dependent. So bam, I've got to report my parents' income. Whoop-de-doo.
Secondly, okay fine, I'll file as mom's dependent. Cool. Problem is, mom made significantly less in 2011 than in 2010. Thanks budget-cuts that laid off a bazillion teachers. Thanks. When I report her adjusted gross income, FAFSA says "There's a problem! Your mom's technically broke too!" No shit, sherlock. So now I have to report my dad's income. Well, dad makes bank, but this college kid doesn't see it, sooo....lovely. FAFSA's gonna see a fat income that means nothing to me. I can just see my Pell and CA Grants swirling down the drain. They're waving.
It's a system that's not designed to recognize the complexities of socio-economic circumstances. You know, not everyone fits into a nice little box. I'm terrified my dad's income is going to nullify any possibility of getting a single scholarship. I'd be sunk. Officially. Gonna start holding my cardboard sign on the corner...."help a college student BE a college student!!"