Dear FAFSA, Please Do Better

Dear FAFSA, Please Do Better

Please understand that not all families are exactly the same.

Did you know that fewer than half of children in the U.S. live in “traditional” nuclear families? If you work for the FAFSA, then that answer is no.

If you are a college student, you know the pains of filing for financial aid every. single. year. I just recently had to fill out my FAFSA again for next school year, and it was not a pretty experience.

Let’s start with the fact that my mom passed away this past summer. It’s very hard to be required to think of this in financial terms, but the FAFSA makes you do this. I had to file as an “independent” student this year. This means that I would not be required to provide parental information. But I was not approved, therefore delaying and possibly eliminating my financial aid I need for school.

This is because the FAFSA does not understand the concept of having anything other than a “normal” mother-father-child family.

They assume every single college student has this type of family. On the FAFSA you can only put your mother or father as your provider, so other caretakers such as grandparents or stepparents do not count. This makes it almost impossible to understand how to fill it out if you don’t fit in this category.

Just because my family does not qualify as this, I am being punished by having my financial aid unapproved.

Also, the people of FAFSA think parents' entire income goes straight toward their children’s college fund as if they don’t have bills to pay, food to buy, or health problems to take care of. They also ignore the fact that some parents are uninvolved in their child’s life and therefore do not even help them pay for their college. Many students I know struggle to pay for college on their own and owe thousands of dollars in loans because of this.

So FAFSA, please get it together. Please understand not all families are exactly the same. Is this really too much to ask for?
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9 Things Every Procrastinator Can Relate To

You promise yourself you'll never do it again, and yet...

I would consider myself a fairly good student. I've gotten pretty good grades my whole life and I was fortunate enough to get into an amazing school like UF. However, I wasn't able to get to where I am today by planning out assignments ahead of time. I instead, unfortunately, put myself through unnecessary stress by procrastinating and often waiting to start assignments until I absolutely had to. I've gotten pretty good at it over the years, despite it being a habit I hate. If you're prone to procrastinating like I am, you've probably experienced some of these all too familiar scenarios.

1. When everyone else has already finished and you haven't even started.

Everyone else in the class cares about their mental health and their sanity but you like to live on the edge at all times.

2. But you tell yourself you've got plenty of time.

Denial is a great coping mechanism.

3. After writing the header you feel like you deserve a break from all your hard work.

What can I say, choosing a title can be exhausting!

4. There's that feeling of panic you get when hurrying to get something done.

The anxiety usually lasts longer than how long it would take to finish your work in the first place.

5. That eventually turns into a strange sense of calm and numbness.

This special wave of calm can be just what you need to avoid that previously mentioned anxiety attack.

6. Sometimes it can even be your way of getting an adrenaline rush.

Do you like to go skydiving for your rush? I like to finish an assignment minutes before collection. Exhilarating.

7. That feeling of shock when you don't get an amazing grade, even though you procrastinated.

How dare the teacher award a better grade to someone who actually spent time and effort on their work!

8. You promise yourself every time that you'll change your procrastinating ways.

Somehow, you got everything done even though you procrastinated. But, you promise you won't put yourself through all of that stress again.

9. ...but then ending up in the same mess once again.

What else is new? Back to the grind.

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