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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Students push for change in financial aid requirements

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financial aid

As tuition payments are underway with parental income being the foundation of financial aid requirements, Texas State students who receive little to no monetary support from their parents are finding it hard to qualify for financial assistance and struggle with the burden of tuition.
The basic eligibility requirements for financial aid rely heavily on expected family contribution, otherwise known as EFC. This is the amount of assistance the student or family is expected by the federal government to contribute toward the tuition cost.
Throughout the pandemic, Texas State has provided students with Bobcat Cares COVID-19 relief grants, which are extra payments to help alleviate financial burdens brought upon by the pandemic.
Psychology senior Sarah McWright has utilized financial aid for the last three years at Texas State and qualified for a Bobcat Cares grant.
“My experience with using financial aid has been pretty pleasant for the most part,” McWright said. “But I do have some friends that have struggled with it, because their parents make too much money on paper, so they don’t get enough financial aid and have to take out a lot of money in loans.”
For students whose parents qualify as low-income, financial aid has proven to be helpful in providing funds to get them through college.
This raises the question of whether parent-based income indeed correlates with a student’s ability to fund a college education. Students like McWright feel as if financial aid should be based on personal income instead of parental income because having a guardian with a high income does not always equal them helping with school.
“Even though financial aid is based off of your parents’ income, a lot of my friends’ parents aren’t willing to help them with school,” McWright said. “Sometimes I think financial aid shouldn’t have anything to do with that because of those situations, but at the same time, my parents’ lower income helps me, so it’s a tricky topic.”
In cases of students like Mcwright’s friends, who do not qualify for financial aid and do not have the funds to pay for their education, they find themselves forced to take out student loans.
Texas State alumna Lydia Crow used financial aid at Texas State for a total of six years.
“There were some years where I didn’t qualify for some grants that I had previously qualified for,” Crow said. “I will say, as a first-gen student, financial aid was like reading another language, so once I was able to secure funding, I didn’t worry until the next semester.”
Christopher Burr, assistant vice president of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Texas State, oversees student applications.
“I think often other routes for students in a situation where their parents may provide no help is looking into scholarship opportunities,” Burr said. “Unfortunately, for some students, it also may mean investment in their education where they may need to get additional student loans as well.”
According to Burr, these “additional student loans are always an option of last resort” and scholarship opportunities should be explored before taking such drastic measures.
Making students more aware of scholarship requirements and how the application process works is a goal Murr said the office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is working toward.
“We’ve been working for the last several years to consolidate and get most of the scholarships on campus onto a central application system,” Burr said. “The Bobcat online scholarship system, or BOSS, allows students to view what types of scholarships are available and how to submit an application.”
Making the scholarship application process as simple as possible is made easier due to the website’s student-based information system. A student’s GPA, major and other personal information is recorded within the website, making it easier for the system to recommend options for students to explore based on those specifics.
For more information on scholarship opportunities and financial aid, students can visit the Texas State Financial Aid website or the Bobcat Online Scholarship System.

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