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Taking advantage of the system or benefiting from it

By Manny Castillo IV
On March 31, 2014

Like a lot of other students that attend Delta College or any other college around the country, I can’t afford to pay for my education; I depend on federal grants. I believe in this great country of ours, that with education, anything is possible and we are lucky to live in a country that gives every one of us a fair opportunity to attend college to better ourselves. For those of us that cannot afford to pay for college, the government is there to help with financial aid. This government money is designed to help you pay for college, books, and supplies you might need to accomplish those classes.

I step on the bus that takes us to and from Delta College, and I notice it’s packed with new faces. I glance around and guess which students are serious about their education and which ones are just here for the free money they get after the first six weeks of the semester.

A lot of the ones who get the money and drop out are first time college students. I should know. I was a drop out and financial aid abuser back in 2002. I received my money and didn’t return to school and later I came to regret it; that’s why I am on academic probation now. In the article Affirmative Action for Low-Income Students, it states that aid to disadvantaged college applicants began in the mid-20th century with the development of government aid for tuiton costs. It continued with programs aimed at helping students from disproportionately low-income minority groups attend college.

I attend two classes at Delta Main Campus and one at Delta Ricker and I can tell you that after those checks were given out the attendance dropped at both campuses. I got on the bus the next week after checks and I could see that the bus was very empty. I asked the bus driver how much did her count go down and she told me that her count of students had gone down 35% in one week after checks were issued. All I could do was shake my head in disgust as the bus driver read me the statistics for the month, and I was dissappointed for the lack of ambition these students had for their education and for taking advantage of the system that is available to help us less fortunate students.

If it was up to me I would not give out those checks until the end of the semester. I guarantee by doing this you would have a much larger completion rate and less drop outs before the semester was over. Why? Because they would know that in order to get your leftover balance from financial aid, you would have to attend whole semester and finish with a passing grade. The students could look at it like a reward for a job well done. Now, not everyone is here to take advantage of the system sometimes college pressure, transportation, and life can all sometimes be too much for a first year student and issues like these could also lead to drop outs as well.

Of the Delta students who are on financial aid, 85% of them are successful. We should all be thankful for this benefit and remember that these funds do come from tax payers; people who are investing in our education so that one day we will benefit society with the career field we choose by giving something back to the public that was there for us when we needed it.12

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