Middle Class Families and the Struggle for Financial Aid

Madalyn Nolan, Editor-in-Chief

  As the end of the school year approaches, many seniors are starting to concentrate on college decisions and scholarships. Many students are in need of financial aid for college, as tuition alone can cost up to $30,000 at some schools. Most Griffith students live in average, middle class families, and cannot afford college costs like this. Public schools offer very little scholarships to students unless they have near perfect SAT and ACT scores. Middle class families who have two working parents may not receive much financial aid from schools and FAFSA, or none at all. This is because FAFSA gives more money to single-parent households. This makes sense because there is only a single source of income, but houses with two working parents still may be in the same financial situation.

  However, this does not mean that these families can necessarily afford to attend college. With public schools such as Indiana University Bloomington charging nearly $30,000 for in-state students, it is ridiculous for families to struggle to pay fees this large for an in-state school. For families with more than one child, it can be even more crucial to receive sufficient financial aid. Many families have to make double or triple college payments if they have one or more children enrolled in college, it can be near impossible to make ends meet while paying for school on top of all of life’s expenses.

  “Although my parents live together with us, my mom is recently unemployed. It will be hard to get enough financial aid because my dad makes too much for us to qualify,” said senior Avery Seberger. “My brother had to drop out of Ivy Tech because we were not able to pay for it anymore. I am staying home for my first year so that I can work and save for the next three years of school, if I am financially able to transfer. I am trying to retake my ACT exam so that I can try to receive more scholarships.”

  This is one solution for families who cannot afford to leave home for school. In NWI, satellite campuses such as Purdue Northwest, Indiana University Northwest, and Ivy Tech offer affordable tuition, and students can make a fairly short commute to classes. PNW offers tuition for about $4,000 for in-state students, and commuters wouldn’t have to worry about paying for room and board. These schools offer the same courses as Purdue Lafayette and Indiana University Bloomington, and students are able to transfer to the main campus.

  For students who don’t receive enough aid, scholarships are still available whether they’re local scholarships, through the college they will be attending, or national scholarships. Local organizations such as the American Legion and Tri Kappa give one-year scholarships. Colleges offer scholarships based on ethnicity, community involvement, and academic success.

  Whether or not students receive financial aid or scholarships, student loans can always be taken out to be paid off after college. Students can also pick up a part-time job during school if their schedule allows it.