The amount of money that a family is expected to contribute toward the price of the student’s education from its income and assets are determined by the expected family contribution, or EFC. Some students receive little to no financial aid simply because their parents collect too high of an income. Clear to say that this is the parent’s income, not the students.
Many college students move out of the city or out of state to go to a good school. Relocation of a student generates payments such as rent, textbooks, food, gas, and other personal necessities forcing them to get a job of their own to cover the rest of the expenses.
UTA sophomore Evan Pham, 22, received no financial loans this year due to his father’s high income that he collected last year. This caused his family to take out a loan from the bank in order to pay for not only his tuition, but for his brother’s tuition as well.
“Both my brother and I are in school, so my dad has to pay for two separate tuitions, two apartments, and two monthly expenses for groceries and gas,” says Pham.
Pham’s parents have decided for the boys not to go out and get jobs so that they can focus on their grades but this decision has put a heavy burden on the family’s financial health.
Amy Troung, 20, is a communications major at the University of Texas in Denton. Troung received just enough loans and grants to pay for her tuition but unfortunately living at home is not an option for her. Troung works two jobs at a sushi restaurant and as a sales associate at a shoe store in order to pay for her apartment and food. Work has taken a toll on her grades.
“At times I come home from work so late that I’m up till 3 a.m. working on homework that’s due the next day only to wake up in time for my 8 am class. It gets tough but it’s for my education and what’s important to me is to be able to say that I did this on my own and succeeded,” she says.
Financial aid is determined by the amount of total income a family receives in the household. Executive director of UTA’s Financial Aid office Karen Krouse believes that the EFC does a pretty good job at determining the amount of financial need given to students but says that at times it does shorten certain students. The greater the financial need, the greater the student’s financial aid eligibility.
“It is sad to hear that some students are having to drop out due to low financial assistance. Students that are hurting the most are those that can only rely on loans and students with families in low to mid income families who aren’t capable of fully helping the students with their educational costs,” she says.