The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey /
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Editorial: Financial aid is for school, not for play

Find the rotten egg.

Most students go to college for two reasons: to educate and prepare themselves for the future. But upon looking at statistics over the past couple of years, another sinister reason for attending college becomes clear.

On this campus and hundreds of others around the state there are students who drop out of school after receiving financial disbursements. In other words, they attend college just to receive free money for personal gain. Not only is it unfair to students struggling to get in to over crowded classes, but it puts a strain on our already tightened budget.

The amount of financial aid dollars distributed across the state each year is astonishing. Hundreds of thousands are given out to college students, so the opportunity for fraud is plenty. Community colleges are especially vulnerable because of their automatic enrollment process.

City College professors were told this academic year to drop students from the roster who miss three or more classes or stop attending. Students who stop attending after receiving financial aid put the college into debt. According to City College’s financial aid website, it is still accountable to the federal government for loans given to students who do not officially drop classes.

“Students who receive aid and withdraw, either partially or from all their classes, are required to repay any unearned portion of the aid they receive,” said Roy Beckhorn, the Los Rios College Director of Financial Aid

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“A student can appeal twice once they’ve been denied,” City College Vice President Michael Poindexter said.

That means that, potentially, a student could enroll for one semester, appeal for their financial aid, complete a second semester, appeal again, and enroll for a third semester while failing every class he or she has taken. That is three semesters of financial aid that has the potential of being wasted on unmotivated students.

Those who take advantage of the financial aid system are putting future students in jeopardy of not receiving money they actually need towards their education. Financial aid should not be used to feed hobbies, purchase expensive electronics or a brand new pair of Chucks.

“The best solution is for students not to do it [because] there could be stipulations on future financial aid,” said Poindexter. “Financial aid is to assist you in going to college; it is to provide additional funding for students to be successful. Your books, where you live, your car, [but] other [extracurricular activities], financial aid isn’t supposed to be used for that. It is not to be an end-all for how you pay for college.”

For those who abuse the privileges of financial aid, think again. Putting your fellow students’ education in jeopardy just for money is not fair to them or to the college.

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