Student Says Her Parents Make Too Much to Qualify for Financial Aid — but She's the One Paying

Tatayana Yomary - Author

Jul. 13 2023, Published 5:20 p.m. ET

Although most high school students look forward to the next chapter of their educational journeys, some find themselves dealing with anxiety about how to fund their college expenses. Truth be told, going to college can cost a pretty penny, especially if you’re considering a private education or heading out of state.

As such, many students across the country rely on financial aid — frequently provided through the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) — which helps students secure various grants and loans to cover some or if not all of their expenses.

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However, FAFSA usually comes down to your parents providing tax returns and other documentation that shows their income. And if your parents make too much money — per the government — they may have to foot the bill for your tuition and more. Some scenarios may consist of receiving a grant that can relieve some pressure.

So, when one TikToker shared that her parents make too much money to qualify for financial aid, folks have been feeling her pain. Here’s the full scoop.

A TikTok logo outside of U.S. office
Source: Getty Images
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A TikTok user shared that her parents make too much to qualify for financial aid.

Some of us have unfortunately been here! In May 2023, TikTok creator Maddie Irwin (@maddieirwin) posted a video where she shared her struggle of learning that her parents make too much to qualify for financial aid.

“Make it make sense,” Maddie captioned the video.

As the video begins, Maddie is seen sitting on her bed with a solemn expression on her face.

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The text reads: “POV: Your parents make too much to get financial aid but you’re the one paying for your tuition.”

As the video continues, Maddie has her face in her hands seemingly saddened by her circumstances as an audio clip that says “Don’t cry, don’t cry” plays.

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Unfortunately, some students don’t have the luxury of their parents paying for their college expenses. The reasons can range anywhere from not declaring a major their folks approve of, to parents simply sharing that they can’t afford to send their kids to college.

So, it’s understandable why Maddie looks so grief-stricken.

TikTok users completely understand where Maddie is coming from.

Unfortunately, the scale the government uses to determine who qualifies for financial aid based on their parents' salary seems to be off. Some people can make just enough to get by and the government would say that their child doesn’t qualify for specific grants.

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On the flip side, some people who make a considerable amount of money may choose to decide not to pay for their child’s education, essentially leaving their child with the brunt of the bill. They may also find themselves getting various grants.

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So in light of the harsh reality that is paying for college, TikTok users completely understand where Maddie is coming from.

“Dude the middle class is absolutely SLAUGHTERED when it comes to college,” one user shared.

“SERIOUSLY what does it matter how much my parents make if IM THE ONE paying every dime of it,” one user also asked.

“They also count your parents' income as yours until like 23! A lot of kids are on their own at 18,” one person chimed in.

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It should be a crime for college to be so expensive, but unfortunately, this is the country we’re living in. It pays for students to search for various grants offered based on race, GPA requirements, community service, and more that can help with the cost of education.

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