Persuasive Essay

| January 16, 2020

Persuasive Essay

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Members of the middle class are rarely helped by the government. They are left out when members of the working class are being given financial assistance in order to cater for their education, health, business and employment needs. Many middle class students lose out on low-interest loans, grants, scholarships and other incentives needed in order to ease their financial burden.

            Dynarski (2000) notes that there many policymakers use existing misconceptions in order to exploit and to deny many deserving students financial aid. Instead of federal programs being needs-based, they are class based.

Today, the federal government offers different types of grants and loans, among them the Pell Grant, Stafford loan and Plus loans. Jencks & Peterson (1991) indicate that Pell Grants do no have to be repaid, while Stafford and Plus loans are meant for students and parents respectively, in both cases, the credit history of the applicant does not bar them from being beneficiaries. In this case, the existing policies are designed in such a way that people with a low credit history are given top priority. Since most of the people with an impressive credit history are the middle class, they are the ones who miss out on such crucial opportunities.

Although the widely held assumption is that academic financial aid is needs based, the factors necessary to ensure that everybody with needs regardless of the class gets an opportunity are rarely considered. On the other hand, a program such as Federal Pell is not a needs-based program. The same case applies to the Teach Grant. Instead of offering the loans to needy people, whether they are in the middle class or the working, they give them to students who have had an opportunity to pursue careers relating to science, reading, foreign languages and math. Those who are eligible for TEACH loans have to promise to teach in a low income middle school for four years immediately after graduation. In most cases, these policies are suited to low class students since to them, even an opportunity to teach in these schools is a great opportunity that catapults them into positions where they can benefit from more perks from the federal government. .

            The greatest burden of paying taxes falls on members of the middle class who are already working. Unfortunately, no form of government assistance is available for these children when they attain the age that requires them to start attending school. Meanwhile, the American federal government continues to levy huge taxes on the salaries of this middle class, leaving them in deep financial difficulties (Stipek & Daniels, 1992).

            As Johnstone (2003) points out, a middle class person has to get into perpetual debt in order to be able to educate his daughters and sons. If scholarships were being offered on the basis of merit, deserving cases even within the middle class would benefit greatly. It is unfair that an average middle class student does not qualify for 90% of all the scholarships which are available in colleges.

            The income-based educational loan repayment program that was initiated in 2007 is targeted at forcing many education-seekers in the middle class to pay hefty loan arrears once they are formally employed.  The program was designed to help graduate consider working in the civil service or to settle for lower-paying jobs. However, the long-term effect of the program is to bring about a situation where the middle class ends up in massive debt in order to survive. Instead of meeting the rising costs of living, the newly employed middle class is required to start repaying educational loans. This is very unfair.

References

Dynarski, S. 2000. Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and its Impact on College Attendance, NBER Working Paper No. w7756. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – School of Education.

Jencks, C.& Peterson, P. 1991. The Urban underclass. Routledge: London

Johnstone, D. 2003. Cost Sharing in Higher Education: Tuition, Financial Assistance, and Accessibility in a Comparative Perspective, Czech Sociological Review, Vol. 39(3), 351-374.

Stipek, D. & Daniels,D. 1992. Characterizing early childhood education programs for poor and middle-class children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,7(1), 1-19.

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