Riccardi: Should you beg for college funds?

By JACK RICCARDI 

Mom Riccardi often told us “heaven helps those who help themselves”, which I think was a quick way of making sure that we both prayed for AND worked toward our needs and wants.

It might be good advice for a nice kid named Emily Stutz, who hails from the blue-collar town of Lowell, MA. Emily has done her work: 4.0+ GPA for four years, three parttime jobs (so many kids haven’t a one) and even some volunteering. Still, after some tenders of financial aid, she finds herself short on funds to study psychology/pre-med. With me so far? Here’s where it gets…strange.

CBSBoston reports Emily’s taken to panhandling, spending one recent Saturday outside her local Target. And she has an online fundraising page.

I’m trying to be positive here, because it’s not like she’s dealing drugs or carjacking, but I think this young lady is on the wrong track. She seems to have gone from trying (and failing) to borrow her way to a degree straight to begging for one. In between is something called deferred gratification. You work, possibly even full time after high school, socking away savings for college. You compete for academic scholarships, as well as seeking out affinity scholarships, which are awarded for everything from ethnicity to hobbies, and much more. It might not happen right away, but it might happen.

Work is trading your labor for something of value. Begging is a last resort, to survive. I’d like to see Emily do more of what it sounds like she’s been doing, which is be a hard, eager worker. She says “anything helps”. I think some better advice from my mom might help right now.

 

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