Equal Opportunity?

OHS students and staff discuss the amount of grant money students receive.

Nicholas Robles, Sports Editor

As the college application season rolls around, many Oxnard High School seniors are deciding where to go to college and more importantly, how to pay for it. For those students who receive a large amount of grant money, paying for college may not be as difficult a task compared to someone who does not receive as much financial help.

This brings up the question: Is it fair that some students receive more financial aid than others?

According to Federal Student Aid, the maximum amount of grant money a student can receive is $5,775. This is based on financial need, cost of attendance, and their status as a full-time or part-time student. 

OHS senior Christopher Samadzadeh believes that it is not fair that some students get a small amount of money. “It sort of hurts us when we can’t get any money for college because that means I’ll have to get into debt to pay.” According to College Board, the average amount of debt people get into when taking out student loans is $26,500.

OHS AVID coordinator Ms. Wendy Henchy believes that low income families should receive financial help. She said, “If parents who don’t make enough to meet general needs want to change their life, an education should be a clear way to move yourself into the middle income bracket.”

She added on behalf of middle income families, “I do believe [that] there needs to be more help for middle income students because the cost of college has skyrocketed…sometimes it keeps those students out of school.”

Senior Dianne Foronda also believes that the middle class needs more financial help. She said, “Sometimes the middle class or upper middle class students are kind of left out and have to pay for it themselves.”

However, Foronda added that students from upper class families do not need the financial help. She said, “No, they should not receive more [money] because they have the means to pay for it themselves.”

With the high cost of college, some students may be discouraged from attending at all. Samadzadeh said that he might go to community college first to save money. “Personally, I’m probably going to end up at Ventura College for the first two years of my college education…it would be a lot of money if I go to a university.”

Foronda, on the same subject, said, “I think [some students are] scared that they’re going to be in debt for their entire life.”

Paying for a university is not an easy task for students, regardless of their income. But while lower income students receive a large amount of grant money, some middle class students may be left out and have to struggle to pay for college.