This fall I received a Pell grant for the first time. For me this is great because unlike a student loan, I am not required to repay my Pell grant. The only circumstance I would be responsible for repayment would be in the event that I failed or received an incomplete for a class. At first I was a little bit nervous about this. What if something happened to me or my family? What if I just couldn’t get it done? Something had to give right? I mean the only reason I qualified in the first place is because I can’t afford to pay it myself. If I can’t pay for my classes I can’t pay for this. Then I started to really think about it. How many kids I went to school with that just slacked off in class, hardly even showed up, didn’t do homework, and just plainly didn’t care too much. If they could get away with that and be receiving financial aid, it would be worth it to stay in school and get bad grades just for the money.
I feel like having a basic GPA requirement filters out people like this who are just at school to be there. I think if you really are trying to accomplish your goals and improve your life, you should be rewarded for that behavior. It would be easy to take advantage of the system if they didn’t hold everyone to a standard. The standard has to be enforced to everyone in order to be fair and that is where it is arguable that you should have to repay your financial aid. I know that I worked a little harder in my classes this semester because I need and appreciate that money. In life though, there are certain things that are beyond our control, car accident and injuries, illness and family emergencies, Sometimes you have to take your dog to vet. I often work six days a week to make ends meet and doesn’t leave a lot of time for studies and homework. If everyone had a list of things they needed an exception for, things wouldn’t run smoothly anymore. Everyone would be taking class at different time and turning in homework when they felt like it. To me one of the most important skills to have in life and school is the ability to take responsibility for one’s actions and inactions.
Currently, students a required to maintain a 2.0 GPA which in most cases is fairly easy to do by just doing homework and doing average on tests and quizzes. In my opinion, 2.0 is a great way to separate the people who are having an off semester and people who have just given up. I definitely think the GPA requirement is an incentive and a good motivator to keep grades up. I worked harder this semester because I simply cannot afford to repay my Pell Grant. In cases such as student loans that need to be paid back anyway. Maintaining your GPA so you can qualify for the loan the following semester is the same thing. GPA requirements are fairly common for athletic teams certain academic programs and even entire schools. I don’t think financial aid should be any different.
At one point or another everyone will experience being held to some form of standard and you might as well get used to it. If you could go to work everyday sit in the break room for eight hours and still get paid…Where can I sign up please? Teachers and administrators face the issue everyday with students, giving into one means giving into all. A line needs to be drawn and a 2.0 GPA requirement is the perfect line.