Disclaimer: I just want to start off by saying that this is a rant. I would love it if you hung on until the end as I expel the massive frustration that is swelling in my belly but would understand if you did not. In addition, I would also love it if you did not get offended as that is not the intent of this. The intent is to rant that follows the post “I Have Had to Claw My Way To a Point Where I Can Barely Make My Bills in an Attempt to Provide a Descent Life for My Family Only to Find My Eldest Child’s College Financial Aid is Suffering“.
I am getting really annoyed at how is sucks to be white middle class in a stable home this day and age. Why am I upset? Because looking at my eldest daughter and other children’s college funding, I am finding that I should have divorced their mother, dropped dead, then had them take remedial classes and they would have had their college paid for. But since I did not do those things and instead worked to try to provide a good home for them while encouraging them to succeed, they are not eligible for most of the aid out there. What was I thinking.
You might be asking, “Well, why doesn’t your eldest daughter have academic scholarships to cover things?” Good question. The answer is that she has dyslexia which was found back in sixth grade and then again in seventh grade. “Then she should be able to get help because of that!” She should. However, when she opted to take higher level classes because she is an overachiever her junior high school removed the dyslexia from her file (a real no-no but at this point the damage is done). Couple this with her drive to be the best, she didn’t use any of the services in high school. That means that none of the colleges have any record of her having dyslexia and apparently you have to move the moon to get it for her now because it is seen as a ploy and not a reality. That also means that classes like Spanish which are required really kicks her but and drops her grades just enough to knock her out of full academic scholarships.
You might be asking, “Well, surely she got music scholarships after all she is first chair clarinet is a major high school band in this country, right?” Good question. Turns out that she did not get any scholarships on music. Why? Well, the only real answer we got was that she did not make the State Band. Why did she not do that? Two reasons, first there is a sight-reading portion of the audition which she has difficulty with because of her dyslexia–that learning disability that is not showing in her records. Second, she was dealing with a friend who wanted to commit suicide and was helping her through that time. To add to this she had her classes and marching band and just didn’t get enough time to practice. I guess she just should have let her friend knock herself off so that she could go to college.
You might be asking, “Well, at least there are student loans for her, right?” I wish that was the case. To be fair, the Stafford loan does still exist but both the subsidized and unsubsidized together are not enough to cover the local state college with living at home. Anything else requires a credit worthy (and by credit worthy a score of at least 700 or more) cosigner or else they don’t approve the loan. My family does not have that available to them and therefore loans are out. Apparently this was something newly added since the whole banking problems with the foreclosures and stuff that the government tried to bail out. Regardless of the cause, it is preventing us from getting her student loans.
That means that as of this moment, my eldest child who is in the top twenty percent of her class, who is first chair in a major and large band, who has risen over dyslexia in most areas and who is willing to sacrifice to help others can not attend college because she can not get the funding. How messed up is that. And if I had been African-American or Hispanic or died or divorced their mother or worked at minimum wage only then she could not only go but have it all paid for. Sad. Very very sad.
You might be thinking, “Surely it is not like that!” When I went to Rutgers University, I had to go on loans (loans I should point out that did not need a cosigner and I am still paying on). I went to school with a lot of people from all walks of life and have absolutely nothing against anyone. I don’t care what color or race or ethnic or gender or whatever you are, you are alright to me. But I did go to school with people who got full rides because of some of those factors that I do not possess by being white.
You might be thinking, “But that was years ago!” And it has not changed. For example, I know of someone who is not getting married to their significant other because it would mess up their children’s college scholarships which I might add amount to almost full rides for four children. Another example, I know of another person who is getting a free ride to college because their parents are divorced and they are Hispanic. And these examples and hundreds others are of people heading to be freshman in college this fall while we are struggling to get any aid for my daughter.
If I had it to do all over again, I would tell my daughter not to push herself. Take music because that is your love. But don’t take the advanced (IB) classes. Just take the easy classes and breeze through them with great grades. Then make sure that you were showing up for all the dyslexia classes whether you needed them or not because in the end it would mean money for college. Then she would exit high school with all “A’s” and a learning disability seeking to be a music major. From that, she would have been able to get more money. Then I should have divorced their mother and just lived with her (as we were advised once years ago by a social worker) to create the “broken” home so that my kids would have full rides. If I was really committed to their future, I guess I should have just died so that they could get full rides. How dare I think that being around, loving their mother, providing a good home, supporting them in everything, encouraging them to do and be their best and working hard for my family was the way of things. How selfish could I be.
Ok, I think I might be finishing up my rant now–for now. I am just so frustrated at seeing people get handed so much and my family and I have to get blood out of a stone just to get scholarships or banks to glance at us. ARGH!
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