After hearing his interpretation, my jaw hit the floor.
With my argument, I chose to hit close to home, or campus. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families is the program most commonly referred to as welfare.
Let’s get some facts straight. To receive TANF, a family must fall under strict requirements. A family cannot obtain cash assistance for more than 24 consecutive months and no more than five years over a lifetime. Parents must partake in some form of unpaid work for 30 hours a week. Lastly, the average Alabama payment is less than $300 a month.
Have you ever looked at a student on campus and thought, “This person must be on welfare?” In 2010, 128,963 college students in Alabama received a Federal Pell Grant. In all fairness of the word, these grants are a form of welfare.
Did you know in 2008, the average full-time student received $12,700 in financial aid, while a needy family of four received around $3,600 from TANF?
Imagine two incoming freshmen with a GPA of 3.7 are competing for a full-ride. Typically, the student whose single mother makes $30,000 a year would receive the money before the kid with a family income of $100,000 a year.
Here’s the kicker though. If the latter of the students wins the scholarship, the parents would not only let their child accept it, but they would brag about the free money.
In all actuality, financial aid doesn’t differ as a handout. This is why I am asking students to question the morality of their judgments.
We only judge what we do not understand.
Whether we are discussing families on welfare or students whose parents cannot afford rising tuition rates, neither one of these families asked for the cards they were dealt.
Be careful with your convictions about the poor. After all, how do you move forward if you are always criticized from the start?
senior, social work