Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


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Do school assisstance programs for the less fortunate seem to set up their users to FAIL?

I had an interesting revelation today, and it seemed as though I felt as a victim myself from this system.

At my current residence of education, there are programs that grant you money if you fulfill certain parameters. These parameters seemed to be reasonable when I didn't question it, but after I started questioning the system, my paradigm seemed shifted.

Programs for less fortunate individuals have requirements such as, at least "said" number of units (usually means a large class load for those students who have other things to deal with), maintain "said" GPA (what about those students who need extra help or have undiscovered learning disabilities?), have less than "said" income a year (what if you just work your butt off and you have a family and elderly parents to take care of or other extreme scenarios?), and there are other parameters for each separate special needs programs.

My biggest issue would have to be, what if you aren't completely free to take more than 1 class a semester or what if you have things to take care of at home that is private? What if you learn at a different pace than others?
There is just so many different possibilities, like you had a bad teacher/professor and they never gave you the time or day to help you with your problems, but I could go on and on.

Do you feel that these programs discriminate against less fortunate individuals if you aren't wealthy, extremely intelligent, or have zero external distractions, then you will most likely are destined to fail and drop out of your current education to work at some full-time middle to low wage job for the rest of your life? Or can you enlighten me with some new perspectives and/or skills?

Do we need to reform funding programs or reform everything?!

Thanks for reading my thoughts. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Update: new ted video added

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    Apr 18 2012: Derek, My background: I was taken by the court and put in an orphanage, finished high school, went to college, military (retired), Aeronatical engineer (retired), state civil servant (retired). I gave all that to say this. You sound like you want to be a victim. Programs have rules and requirements. Meet them and follow them or not is your choice. Nobody owes you anything. Work for it. Blogs that use terms like discriminate, victim, unfair, etc ... raise a red flag to me about the writer. You may be a great guy but if I was interviewing you and this came up and you stated it likie you just did ... you would not be in the running. This sound like a giant whine. I would be less than honest if I accepted your question and endorsed it. That would not be me. If your offended sorry, but I have no regrets in writing this. Even though I was harsh to your question I still wish you the best. Bob.
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      Apr 19 2012: Hey Robert,

      whining, possibly, but I was wondering what advice you could give if you want to complete an education, want to not live in an unnuturing environment that gives constant discrimination, and feel like you can't support your own life if you were to move away from your current settings? On top of that add some irrational fears and paranoia. Who can help you aleviate those issues if you aren't getting the help to empty one's own mental trash bin? I think school and assisstance is great and all, but does it allow for you to take some time to take out the trash and baggage, and at the same time continue to recieve assisstance while getting an education and learning/retaining that information?

      I personally learned that a high EQ is just as important as a high IQ because our mind doesn't necessarily have the skills to rationalize all the events we encounter in life. Though, I continue with my traverse trying to find answers as well as finish my courses.

      Thanks for reading my thoughts.
    • Apr 22 2012: Financial Aid is not for everybody. It is in essence an agreement made by the student and the government that both will be investing in the prospect's education. What the student does with that education it's entirely on his or her shoulders. Many take advantage of it and go forth to make a good life for themselves and their families. And then there are the ones for whom Financial Aid was not invented. The ones who believe wholeheartedly that an education, a sheet of cardboard saying they have a degree on this or that guarantees them a good life; these are the ones who fail and are sorry they ever accepted the aid. You see, Financial aid is not bad, it gives you a running chance, a chance to get in the race. At the end of the day it's the effort the student puts into the long race ahead that makes the difference.
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        Apr 22 2012: Cesar,

        That was very beautiful! Thank you for sharing that comment! I just completely got blind-sided by notions of grandure, but that brought me down to Earth. It felt poetic, thanks! =D
      • May 1 2012: I like the race analogy. How about this, Financial Aid is the entrance fee for the race, how a student finishes the race is determined by how much preparation before the race and how well they run the race.
  • Apr 17 2012: Not completely related, but something I've thought of post-college is a year of doing something such as peace corps, military, heck even working a job. This serves multiple purposes. One, it allows us as individuals learn time management and how to deal with responsibilities and a course load (whether part time or full time.) Two, it helps us learn more about ourselves so that the majority of the courses we take are in subjects we're interested in. This serves the purpose of increasing retention, reducing major changes/drops, and enhancing the community eventually. Three, it helps us bring more relevant ideas and examples to the table when it comes to assignments and discussions.

    Something more on point, I've never understood the insistence on a full course load in order to receive a scholarship or other financial assistance. Not everyone can follow this template, but one of the greatest innovators and contributors to our society, Steve Jobs, was able to develop by taking courses on a part time basis. I truly believe it allows you to absorb and process versus just getting through all your courses and doing the bare minimum.
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      Apr 17 2012: I mostly agree with Dana. Except I don't believe Jobs received any public assistance.

      The problem with making it more "fair" is where do you draw the line? When you pay someone to have problems or handicaps they get real good at having handicaps. Is it fair nope but that is irrelevant. Now I want you to cogently explain your problems to someone starving in Zimbabwe.
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    Apr 11 2012: As with most things anywhere, anything can be improved. While I agree that the system is not perfect, I do find that by having those requirements it does keep the applicants in a more select group. I do not find that to be an all together bad thing though because as you have stated there are people that have other issues to deal with and can not take the full load required. I myself feel that that is a good idea because it requires the people that have those "issues to take on only what they can do at the moment. Sure the funding is not the same if there is any at all for those students but it does require you to be creative in continuing your education. I see so many people today that use their grant money to fund not only their education but also their lifestyle items as well. They have that when my money comes in I will get my new clothes attitude vs. create my future by getting the best education I can.
    Basically there can be reforms to the programs and also to the attitudes of those that just use the system to have "funds available to them".