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Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

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[EDITORIAL] FAFSA’s launch leaves much to be desired out of a system that the government seems to care less about each passing day

Applying for federal aid is a reminder that the government is more focused on itself rather than its students.
The+FAFSA+is+the+government-sponsored+application+for+student+aid%2C+however%2C+it+has+suffered+some+setbacks+for+the+2024-2025+launch.
Photo by Dhanveer Gill
The FAFSA is the government-sponsored application for student aid, however, it has suffered some setbacks for the 2024-2025 launch.

June 2023 was a relatively normal month for most Americans, but it was incredibly devastating for many students who were looking to apply for college for this semester: the nullification of affirmative action and the rejection of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan being two examples.

The process of completing the FASFA is unnecessarily complex – to the point where West Chicago Community High School has to put on a “completion night” event for parents and students. (Photo by Emily Ziajor)

However, the rollout of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (more commonly Visit Siteknown as FAFSA) for the 2024-2025 school year has been shaky at best and is an uncomfortable reminder that the federal government is less concerned with the future generation’s best interests than it should be.

Typically, the FAFSA opens sometime in October, however, due to changes in the form’s content, the soft launch officially was released on Dec. 30, 2023. Opening 2 months later than usual leaves applicants with less time to plan tuition affordability for top college choices. Despite having target and dream universities, attending may not be the best option for some, who are depending on the amount of financial aid distributed. Unfortunately, this left both students and parents confused and unaware regarding the future of financial aid. The FAFSA was also incredibly limited to many students in its first week due to a “limited release” of the form, which many students and parents did not know about.

However, the reduction in FAFSA’s length saves a lot of unnecessary headaches. Originally, the form could have up to 103 questions, and that number has been reduced to just 36. At the same time, more students will qualify for Federal Pell Grants, which are monetary benefits given to students who demonstrate “exceptional financial need” that does not have to be repaid. Although extremely beneficial, the topic of inflation has been a worry in terms of qualifying for Federal Pell Grants. Inflation has increased by as much as 20% since the COVID-19 pandemic and isn’t being taken into consideration. Leaving families that may appear to have more stability and resources available than in actuality.

Outside of FAFSA, the Supreme Court rejected President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness in 2023 while the federal government simultaneously decided that there was no problem with PPP loan forgiveness, which highlights the hypocrisy of the government: loan forgiveness is OK as long as the borrower is a corporation, which spits in the face of the over 40 million student loan borrowers who are forced to pay back predatory loans, some of whom are over the age of 40.

This trend of neglecting young people and their needs is, unfortunately, something that the United States government has had its sights on, and as students in an otherwise negligent country, we are concerned with the ways we are going to pay off an insurmountable amount of debt: both for college and the nation.

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Your donation will support the student journalists of West Chicago Community High School. Your contribution will help us cover our annual website hosting costs. We appreciate your support!

About the Contributors
Emily Ziajor
Emily Ziajor, Multimedia Manager
Emily Ziajor is a WEGO senior in her second year of journalism. She attended the National High School Journalism Convention last November, and thoroughly loved the experience. She is a Polish-American (she finished her final year of Polish School in the spring of 2023) with a creative soul and high aspirations. When it comes to writing, she has a sharp imagination, and one of her true passions is photography. Emily is a multi-year member of the AV Club at West Chicago Community High School.
Dhanveer Gill
Dhanveer Gill, Managing Editor
Dhanveer Gill is a senior at WCCHS and this is his second year on the Wildcat Chronicle. Dhanveer is a dedicated Math Team member, NHS member, and senior engineer of WeGo's Robotics Team. Outside of school, he loves to be in the gym, go on long (and he means very long) bicycle rides, listen to music, and write. In the future, Dhanveer wants to pursue computer engineering and minor in journalism.
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