I’m looking at the award letter from GULC and I’m thinking, “Is this a joke?”
I mean, it’s got to be a joke.
Compared to every single other offer this is absolutely appalling.
Looking at the accompanying “helpful advice letter” I have to wonder if this is just an institution-wide thing, or the figures have been mail merged for me alone.
Among such useful bits of advice for making sense of this “budget” (which makes no sense) is “If you have credit card debt, pay it down, or better yet, eliminate it entirely.” Oh (Light Bulb goes off above Scoplaw’s Head) that’s a brilliant fucking idea. Why did I never think of it? I’ll just click my ruby slippers together and eliminate my credit card debt entirely! The medical debt will be the next to go! Then those pesky student loans!
Other gems (which prompted the institution/merge wondering):
“We estimate that your loan debt upon graduation from GULC will be $55,000 in Federal Stafford and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans and approximately $18,000 - $45,000 in commercial student loans. Monthly loan payments on these loans will average $975-1465 over ten years under the current federal and Law Center repayment requirements.”
“Live like a student while you’re in school so you don’t have to live like a student later.”
Let me show off my literary training. The above is known as “irony” both on the face of it and given the following:
1) Those of us with existing undergraduate and graduate debt (perhaps I’ll just “eliminate that entirely” – what a great idea!) are going to owe way more than that.
2) The GULC figures are very conservative, given that their own total budget is $48,000 per the Nine Month academic year.
Perhaps aliens will come down from the mother ship (currently somewhere above Mexico) and suck up the time and cost difference – God knows they’ve already made off with the brains of whomever devised this mysterious and undisclosed “Grant Eligibility Index”.
The condescending and out of touch tone of the whole thing suggests that the author missed their true calling as one of Bush’s economic advisors.
I’ll be calling the aid office on Monday, obviously, and will gently and politely massage whomever I get to review my file.
Perhaps there’s a glitch somewhere (the divorced parent situation always bites me in the ass – schools like to count all the income but not all the individuals and expenses in the actual households). But while we’re on that subject (parent’s contributing), I have to say, I’m over 30, have lived apart from them for 10 years and legally, I’m pretty sure I’m considered a separate adult. I mean, if I can’t take them to court to collect their “contribution” to my education, does Georgetown have any grounds for expecting it will be produced? Let’s say it’s a shaky moral leg the parental contribution rests on – what if my parents abused me? Does Georgetown have a right to demand I interact with them, that I beg them for money?
In other mail news, UConn just offered me another scholarship. This makes the cost of a year’s tuition at UConn come within two thousand dollars of my entire 3 year grant offer from Georgetown. Or to make another comparison, UConn’s total tuition costs would be less than one year at Georgetown.
I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful brat or anything (which I probably am, but that’s beside the point) – but I’m just going on the assumption that schools overcharge on tuition then repeal it in various ways for needy students. In this case my sense of. . .what it is really? Not outrage over, nor anger for, nor disgust at, nor embarrassment for, nor being spurned by, but something rather like all of them. In any event, my emotional response is probably due to the fact that the Georgetown offer is so completely out of line with the offers I’ve gotten from all the other schools that accepted me. I expected it to be the least. I didn’t expect it to be only nominal.
Obviously all schools must have a similar system of need assessment, given their published figures for aid awarded and their public statements of equitable need-based distribution. Brothers and Sisters, I kid you not – I am needy and it seems all the other schools had no problem realizing this and offering fair packages. So either Georgetown didn’t (glitch), or they did and sent me a “fuck off” offer, in which case they could have simply typed that and given me the conversational distinction of not receiving any school based aid.
This kind of stuff gets my fighting blood up. It all goes back to economic class and the winnowing of social (or should I say “civic” or "civil"?) opportunities.
I need to take a deep breath and think about the LRAP (the great equalizer). Or go biking. Biking it is!
I’ll be all smiles and politely concerned graciousness by Monday (or would be this evening, if I had to be). But right now I’m just going to indulge the dark side.