Financial “Aid”: Response to Carvens Lissaint’s TED Talk

This morning in CILT, I was asked to deliver a proposal to host a financial aid workshop for our students on behalf of our lead counselor. My urban high school has been very fortunate to have counselors as well as other partners like Education is Freedom and the Go Center to help our students to get financial assistance to gain more access to a post-secondary education. Unfortunately, many students have not taken advantage of these services.

Then, I happened upon this TED Talk where slam poet Carvens Lissaint challenges the notion of Financial Aid of achieving its purpose. This is an empassioned call to reform the post-secondary system, specifically rising tuition costs. Lissaint’s performance forces us to reconsider financial aid and all of its ramiifications. Does financial aid help students to attend a post-secondary institution but also leave recipients in a degraded financial state? How can these resources be used more effectively? How can students, especially those historically less represented in colleges and universities, gain more access to post-secondary institutions?

Take a moment. Watch it. The desperation makes me further reflect upon the apathy of some my own school’s students. Do they know something that I was now just made aware of from Lissaint? As tuition costs continue to rise, I expect more and more people to feel Lissaint’s urgency.

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