The following are my opinions on financial aid. First-year college students should not be eligible for financial aid, only those with a sophomore standing or higher and a B average or higher.
The ease of financial aid availability and forgiveness promotes unrealistic views of money, the time and effort associated with higher education and the real world (how many banks offer forgiveness on their loans?). Too many students see only “free money,” then learn the hard way of what happens when they don’t maintain decent grades.
If college freshmen pay their own way, they will take their studies much more seriously. Sports scholarships are also ridiculous and are no different than the idea of poetry scholarships at vocational or tech schools. Monetary assistance at universities should be based on academic, not athletic, ability. Scholarships are meant for scholars. Athletic scholarships encourage athletes and pro sports to view college as a meaningless stepping stone to a professional team — look at the football scandal at Oklahoma State.
I also feel that the ease of financial aid is responsible for the increase in disruptive behavior in college classrooms. It allows people into college who do not have the necessary maturity and academic background. Too many students see college as an extension of high school and act accordingly.
The motto of financial aid should be, “If you want it, earn it.”
Thomas H. Morse,
Mathematics and chemistry professor