Regarding this financial aid wank going around my dash:
I’ve worked in FA off and on for like, the last 5 or so years (most recently as an FA counselor at a for-profit, at least until I moved back east and became funemployed) and quite honestly the average person has no fucking clue how higher ed financing works in the US. Even supergenius college juniors who have filled out their FAFSA all by themselves for three years~ People hollering “BOOTSTRAPS!!!!11” understand even less. First of all, there is a difference between loans and grants. All that “free money” people think is being thrown at poor POC by Uncle Sam isn’t necessarily free. Certain programs have strings attached. And you can kiss your federal aid goodbye if you get busted on a drug-related offense (bear in mind who is disproportionately affected by the War on Some Drugs again?). There is a method to which you can qualify again for loans but you won’t ever be able to get a grant again regardless.
I can also testify to the white whine on this subject. I experienced it on a near-daily basis. My job was done 99% over the phone and email, so almost none of my students ever saw me. I have a bland WASPy name and manner of speaking, so I’m frequently assumed white over the phone. And let me tell you, the shit I heard from colorstruck white parents when they thought they had a sympathetic ear was disgusting. I had one parent, after we went over her son’s award letter, go off about minorities. This woman made a shit ton of money in real estate and her husband made 6 figures as the owner of a construction business and she was absolutely livid that her son didn’t qualify for need-based aid. She went on a tirade about how “if we were blacks or illegals on welfare we’d get all the money we wanted”. Direct quote.
The truth is, I did a lot of research into scholarships, due to working at a for-profit (which has obscenely high tuition compared to state and private non-profits). Many if not most of the students I worked with were low income, a lot were the first in their family to go past high school. Of all races. And let me tell you, it was exceptionally easy to find money for my white students, all they needed was the wherewithal to apply. That figure about most scholarships being available to white students is right on point from my experience. Not just the ethnic-based ones such as for Polish, Italian, etc. students. There aremetric fucktons of scholarships from rotary clubs, social and affinity groups like the Knights of Columbus and shit that are majority if not entirely white in membership, and from religious organizations that had their basis in white ethnic communities. This is one of the legacies of white privilege, connections like these that POC, particularly black people, don’t have access to for the most part. UNCF, the Urban League, and similar groups have programs to help bridge the gap but the truth is, a lot of those scholarships are much smaller and tend to get snapped up quicker. Children of undocumented immigrants have an even rougher time, regardless of their own status, they face many more obstacles in trying to attain funding.
Not to mention POC, particularly lower income POC, are more likely to be the targets of the kinds of predatory lending practices that destroy credit and subsequently make it difficult to qualify for private loans. Also, in the wake of the subprime mortgage boondoggle, many lenders have tightened their belts and eliminated subprime student loans altogether, further impacting these students.
Even the magical tribal gravy train that white people think exists is bullshit. Being based in AZ and working with a lot of native students and families (mostly Navajo but a few other nations such as the Yavapai), I have experience with how tribal scholarships work so let me go ahead and nip this particular bullshit idea some white people have that All NDNs Go to College Free in the bud, ok? That isn’t how it works. Out of the huge number of native students I worked for, maybe three had a full ride from their tribe. Most had partial scholarships, or things like room and board weren’t covered, and we had to hustle through other means to meet their funding gaps. The money available for these types of things varies from tribe to tribe, and each tribe has its own methods of determining who gets these limited funds.
And let me just add, the tiny handful of students who did have full rides? The most motivated students I had outside of military vets. They were by no means “lazy”, they always had their paperwork in on time and never missed our appointments. These kids appreciated the opportunity they were given and were determined not to squander it, to better themselves and their families. And I include the poor/working class white kids in with that statement. Their work ethic was just as strong as the more well off white kids. If not stronger. They wanted to succeed and it showed. You want to know who blew off my phone calls, lost paperwork, never had their shit together and were just generally pains in my asses due to entitlement complexes? To damn near a one, middle class white kids.
tl;dr: foolish people need to take some seats.