Letter to the Editor

Don’t let the financial aid fool you

Though I commend the author, the inclination in the column “Rich student, Poor student” (Jan. 17, A4) to defend GW of its high tuition, almost stating that the financial aid awarded each year offsets the monetary strain on the students of middle class families. I nearly doubled over with laughter in my sweet office cubicle.

I am the child of a single working mother of two who makes at most $32,000 a year. This minuscule salary is not only supposed to go towards the mortgage on our home, send a child to a private middle school because the public education system in the state we live in is so poor, pay for the basic necessities of a home and of course food, but it is also supposed to go towards paying for my $50,000-plus tuition a year at GW. A big stretch, don’t you think?

Now you can see why I was overcome by such a fit of laughter. Yes, GW provides financial aid and I’m ever so grateful for this. However, a good chunk of that need based “help” are loans. And with that, some of these loans many of us “second-rate” students are not eligible for. Then there are the loans that can be deferred till graduation. These are my oh-so-favorite kind because they build up from the year before with those oh-so-awesome interest fees and, of course, the deferred loans you received for last year’s tuition payment.

Thus, by the end of your four-year GW education/experience you’ve still accumulated at least $100,000 of debt. So, really, how “helpful” is this “super commendable, applause worthy” financial aid? Is it helpful because I won’t be up to my eyelashes in debt when I leave GW, but just up to my collarbone? I don’t think so. All I’m saying is, before you go running your mouths on things you really don’t understand, nor are heavily affected by, think about students like me who are actually working full time jobs (yes, that’s plural) to not only pay for their GW tuition and loans but to send some monetary aid back home to their families.

Kimantha Burnett, Sophomore

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