Students use financial aid for more than school

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Pete Moye'

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Patrick Dolly and Patrick Dolly

Pete Moye’
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Financial Aid is something that is intended to supplement the cost of education for students that qualify due an income specific spectrum.

It allows students that may not otherwise be able to afford to attend school the ability to do so at the expense of the United States government.

For some students, this is seen as a blessing, and these students relish the opportunity to be able to afford classes, books, supplies, as well as other school related items.

However, other students have a totally different perspective which is to “show me the money.” Some students only want to cash in on free money with no intention of taking the classes once they receive the financial aid allotment.

That is utterly sickening. Any student that takes advantage of something like this should be ashamed, and repulsed by their actions.

People don’t generally fully comprehend the severity of something like this until they themselves are placed in a situation where they provide a service, or act to someone else to be used for a specific purpose, and it is used for a different purpose than what the giver intended it to be used for.

Any student that enrolls in a class with the intention of dropping the classes after receiving financial aid has no moral backbone at all.

There are students at Cerritos College that don’t receive financial aid in any capacity, but have an extreme need.

There are students that wish that they had even the smallest amount of help to cover even one of their books.

There are students that are so desperate that they would even be willing to accept financial assistance to cover supplies such as pens and backpacks.

Regardless of the need, semester after semester, Cerritos College students chomp at the bit to receive financial aid knowing full well that they have no desire of remaining enrolled in classes.

There is no other way to phrase something like this except to call it exactly what it is: selfish!

That same money could go to a student that will properly utilize it for the purpose in which it was intended.

Time and time again, Cerritos College students walk around campus with cocky and smug expressions with full expectations of anticipating their financial aid money so they can buy a car, pay rent, go on vacation, or even buy some type of gaming system.

There are probably several words that come to mind to describe an act such as this, but only seems to fit the description with absolute certainty.

It sounds like nothing less than embezzlement. Embezzlement is when money is fraudulently appropriated while being given to someone, but in essence is owned by someone else.

If memory serves correctly, financial aid money belongs not to us, but to the United States government.

By fraudulently or dishonestly spending money that the government provides to students with the express written purpose of attending school on ANYTHING other than that is in essence breaking the law.

If anyone of us in a work setting, or professional environment embezzles money or property, we are subject to being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The same should exist within our schools.

It is time that Cerritos College students know that there are consequences for breaking the law, which is exactly what spending financial aid money on anything other than education related desires means.

It is totally understandable that a student may need to buy gas, or a bus pass to get back and forth to school.

There is nothing wrong with going to the school book store and using financial aid money to purchase a shirt to show school pride.

It is even understandable that students get hungry while studying and need to eat.

But if a student intentionally drops a class but keeps the financial aid money, that is a HUGE problem.

It is time for some changes pertaining to financial aid. If a student drops classes and fails to pay back the financial aid money, they need to be subject to the same criminal charges that the rest of society must be in compliance with.

We are all at least eighteen years of age which means that we are all adults regardless of our level of life experience.

There is a saying that many retail stores use that says “if you break it, you bought it.” That is exactly what needs to happen with this situation.

If a student drops a class, they need to be FORCED to pay back the financial aid, and if they don’t, they need to be charged with embezzlement and prosecuted. It is a guarantee that students would think twice before deciding how to spend that money.