Parents won't pay? You're out of luck

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Middle-income crunch”
Jan. 25, 2007

To the editor:
I have to disagree with Glen Tigert’s claim that “Western has a variety of Student Financial Services programs.” I am in a similar situation to Danielle Thompson when it comes to OSAP and financial need. I pay for school solely on my own, my parents are middle-class and I’ve had part-time jobs since adolescence.

OSAP has been good to me for the majority of my education at Western, but last year my funding was cut from $9,000 to $1,000. Where was I supposed to get that other $8,000?

So I desperately turned to Western’s Student Financial Services. I didn’t qualify for bursaries because my parents’ income was too high, and there was no way to claim my parents’ refusal to pay for school. OSAP and Western Financial Aid do not make exceptions for parents who have a high income but choose not to pay for their children’s education.

Then I was told by Western’s Financial Aid staff that my only option was a high-interest bank loan, which to me was not an option.

Lastly, I didn’t qualify for Western’s bursary because I made too much money working a part-time job during the school year and two jobs in the summer. Here I was, trying to help my situation, and I was being penalized for my effort.

I cannot agree Western has a “financial access guarantee” where any student accepted to Western gets sufficient financial support in order to attend.

Middle-income students are declined OSAP and bursaries from Western. It is not only OSAP that is the problem. Our government needs to change the standards for OSAP eligibility just like Western needs to change its standards for financial aid eligibility.
"Deborah Wajgensberg
Psychology IV

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette