Post Classifieds

Who's in your class now?

By Ashley Miner, Times Staff Reporter
On September 25, 2012

First days are filled with questions like: "What program are you in?" or "Is this class required for your program?" asked in classrooms so packed that someone has to sit in the front chair with no desk. 

There are classes that were waitlisted or packed to capacity and the teacher still let students add the class.  

Have you ever had a teacher joke that the class will be down to "normal" size in a few weeks? Think about it for a second and let me ask this, "Who's in your class now?" 

Checks have come out. But this semester the refund from your grants will be mailed out on September 19 and loans on September 26. It has been said the two-week disbursement will make a difference in the sudden drop of student population that we often see. Let's be honest here; some people only come to school to get the refund check. 

It's not really a problem to some but it does affect others, like me for example. I've been attending MATC since 2010 and each year I check yes for work-study. 

It's a grant that I'm sure many others have applied for that is awarded on a first-come first-serve basis. But if the first applicants never get or apply for the work-study job, then that money is just sitting there being unused and kept away from someone who could really benefit from it like me. It's carelessness on a lot of student's part, sprinkled with what I feel like is a little selfishness. 

My second issue is, you go through all this work to get into a program, you choose classes, and you get books and school supplies. Then on the first day of school, we have many, many busy bees buzzing around school making sure our funds are right for school. 

We're standing in long lines trying to figure out if we need to take out an additional loan to cover our classes or book deferments. We also line up for course change or add-a-course forms in registration.  

Then once you get the your refund, school is not so important anymore, especially when the money runs out after you go shopping or get a new car or something of that nature. This is something along the lines of refund checkjacking. 

Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with spending your refund check on whatever you please. Financial aid is meant to be spent on items that will help you further your education. Like tuition, books, school supplies, book bags, laptops, or even a car if you need transportation.

If you have children you may need to spend the money on daycare. If you end up buying clothes that's OK-it's been said that if you feel good you do good in school, that is. 

Wendy Thompson, a 44-year- old student here at MATC in the Human Services program with two sons in college states, "This is not a game; this is a platform for how you spend your money for the rest of your life."

Another question that I have is: Don't you know that if you receive a loan you will eventually have to pay that money back? 

Sallie Mae is not one to play with because she will intercept your taxes if need be. So eventually you'll be paying this money back and my hope is that you would at least have some credits to show for it. 

What's even more significant is you may be jeopardizing your chances at going back to school or interfering with the 150 percent rule the Department of Education has in place.

When asked how he felt about the financial aid issues, Neil W. Hanbury, Liberal Arts program student, had this to say, "Students using financial aid for non-legitimate reasons is a disgrace to MATC, as well as to any student who utilizes financial aid for valid reasons. Abuse of financial aid will inevitably lead to disadvantages for these students." When asked about the distribution this semester he said, "I also believe that financial aid refunds should be given in one lump sum as opposed to two separate payments."

Finally, let me stress that the refund check is just that, the refund check. It is the remaining balance after you've paid for classes and hopefully your books. 

Don't let this experience be wasted or take the place of someone who really wants to be in school. So go to class and get your money's worth. Get your education because you are paying for it-if not now, you will be later. 

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