Pardon me for being so crude, but I simply cannot think of another way to express my feelings here other than to ask the question: how many more ways can we fuck over our young adults in this country? We brainwash the poor kinds into thinking that the MUST have a college education in order to succeed in this society (even as that becomes more of a cruel lie with every passing year), send them to institutions of alleged higher learning which charge them exorbitant fees and then saddle them with massive amounts if student loan debt. And then, when some of them have the audacity to try to help support themselves by applying for food stamps, we cut off that meager support because its "too expensive." Here is a local Georgia television station with the story:
Georgia's college students are facing the prospect of the HOPE Scholarship paying less and less toward their tuition in the next few years.Here are two students' appalling stories:
So how are they dealing with rising tuition and fees?
Many are working whatever part-time jobs they can rustle up, mornings, nights and weekends. But they're also tapping into an unconventional form of student financial aid: food stamps.
The "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" is providing college students who qualify with $200 a month toward their groceries, making them part of the 20 percent of Georgia's population currently receiving the benefit.
"With the budget cuts, students are definitely going to have to think of different ways to get money and finances for things such as groceries," said Danielle Ford, a GSU Junior. "So food stamps will definitely be a big help, absolutely. Without food stamps, they wouldn't be able to eat."Alas:
Taylor is a full-time student with a part-time job.
"As a full-time student, my bill usually comes up to about almost $5,000 a semester. That's tuition alone," he said.
On top of that are his books and fees and his rent for an off-campus apartment, which is $600 a month.
One of the reasons he moved out of a campus dorm, Taylor said, is that GSU was requiring him to pay, in addition to his room cost, about $1,700 a semester for the university's meal plan.
Now, living off-campus and buying his own groceries, he understands why students are tapping into the SNAP program.
"I mean, I think it helps," said Taylor, "because these are students that I know that [like me] are working, like, jobs! And they're really tight on money. These are people who actually really, really need it, and they tell me it's a big help."
Last year, Michigan cut 30,000 students from its food stamp rolls by tightening up the requirements for approval, in order to save $75 million a year.Sadly, these kids don't know it but they are learning some hard lessons about the new realities in modern day America. They'd be much better off dropping out of school and joining the Occupy movement than driving themselves ever deeper into debt chasing an American Dream than has long since turned into an epic nightmare.
Bonus: "Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders...here are the young men, where have they been? We knocked on the doors of hell's darkest chamber...pushed to the limits, we dragged ourselves in"