20 March 2015
Too Broke To Pay Attention
In her essay, “Homelessness on Campus”, Eleanor Bader discusses the cause of homelessness among college students, and how little is being done to prevent or remedy it. Citing the struggles and situations of specific students, Bader illustrates the problem facing the country. Early classes, mid-terms, lengthy research papers, final exams; all college students face these problems throughout their academic career. Imagine though for a moment dealing with these issues while being homeless. According to 2013 FASFA application statistics (USA Today Oct. 2013) there were 58,000 homeless students on campuses nationwide. Who is to blame? What can be done?
One of the biggest causes in student homelessness is the ever increasing rise in the cost of attending school. Since 1985 the cost of education at a public four year university has risen nearly 500%. (Bloomberg Business Aug. 2013) It is because of this increase in cost that students are forced to choose between basic needs such and food and shelter, and their desire to further their education. Given that many of these students see a college education as a way to a better life, or a way out; it is easy to see why they would make the choice to spend the little money they are able to earn while attending school to be able to continue attending. Meanwhile State and Federal government has done little to offer assistance to these students outside of a pittance of financial aid equal to less than 30% of the average cost to attend a 4 year university. In fact most states have passed measures to decrease or eliminate assistance to students including the EBT or SNAP program.
Moreover because of the current federal minimum wage, jobs that will cater to a student’s schedule simply do not pay enough to allow a student with restricted availability to be able to support themselves and pay for their education. Many students are forced to work 40+...
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