I like to think I had a great college experience. I liked my campus, I liked my classes (especially my journalism classes), and my professors were amazing (at least the journalism ones were). Of course, it all would’ve been much better had my grand total in loans not added up to $39,000, buuut who’s keeping track?!
Tonight, as I was discussing with a friend all the reasons we will/won’t miss college, we realized there are several big reasons colleges suck…literally.
1. They don’t tell you when your loan limit has been reached.
About two weeks had gone by before I grew suspicious of why I hadn’t received a refund on financial aid. I had received a refund every term so far, so what happened? My roommates had gotten theirs… The only other person I had to commiserate with was my best friend, who also hadn’t received her refund and was wondering what had happened. She finally called the financial aid office for both of us only to find out her loan limit had been reached. So I called the office, too. Sure enough, I had reached my limit. I had never received an email letting me know of this before even signing up for classes and buying books. Thanks, college!
2. They screw you over on books.
This last term, I took my math book to the bookstore to sell back. I paid about $97 for it at the start of the term. In just 10 weeks, the book’s value somehow depreciated $40 because I only got $37 when I sold it back. The cashier smiled at me and said, “Ohh, thirty-seven dollars!” like it was a great deal and I should be thrilled. Someone doesn’t have very high expectations…. someone must also have a very low “that’s a load of shit” level.
3. You aren’t in charge of your own money.
Who cares if I’ve reached my loan limit? I’m paying it back, right? If I’m already $39,000 in debt, what does it matter if I add another couple thousand? Let me be in charge of how much I borrow.
4. Their financial aid process makes no sense.
OK, so if my parents are denied the Parents PLUS Loan, then I’m eligible to get another $5,000? Why even offer my parents the money in the first place then? This goes back to #3. If I’m the one paying everything back, wouldn’t you think financial aid would just let me take out however much I want? My parents aren’t the ones going to school for me. I am. Maybe I just don’t understand loan limits in general.
5. You can’t get financial aid for just one class.
Nope, you have to be taking at least six credits (FYI, most classes are four credits) in order to receive financial aid. So, you’re saying if I only had one more class to take, I really would have two to take because I can’t get financial aid without that extra class? What kind of logic is that? Is that them saying one class isn’t worth getting financial help for? Listen, some of us just can’t afford $650 + $250 in fees for one class. Don’t assume what you earn in one month is applicable to all students. Can we say “poverty”?