then let me explain a bit more. First off, I was writing with passion, which left me saying things less clearly than I would have liked to. As for the situation - I was offered a job with the school's research branch over the summer. It was a work study job that is paid partially through governement funds. Basically, the school pays half of what I get paid, and the government foots the other half of the bill. This is great for the school, and works for the student - most of the time. During the summer, a full time work study position is paid out of the total amount of money you can take out for loans. So the money I was gaining over the summer was money that was being directly removed from fall quarter's funds. Upon reaching fall quarter, I was surprised to find that my loans wouldn't cover tuition, even though I was paying far less now that I had a few waivers this year. I then found out about the summer work study issue. So I asked them to increase my loans to the maximum, in order to just pay tuition, and found that at that point, I had only 200 dollars left per month to pay for the basics - rent, food, school supplies. This was a bit of a shock. Thankfully, there's a very good work study advisor here who found every last dime I could make. This left me with around 600 a month, which was fine, but my rent, although low comparatively, would leave me with 50 dollars left to pay for everything else. That's when I found out from another student that this happened to them last year. I spoke with the school about it, and then found out that, according to the state's rules, I qualify. I had no intention of scamming the system, I simply explained my situation. In their words - "that's great, you're the person we'd like to help because you'll help us as soon as you're out of school again making money" And they are right.
So that's the story. I had back up options. My IRA's still cranking along, but the money in there is money I cannot touch without stiff penalties. And if you wonder why I would avoid touching that money now, you don't understand the goals of saving. I'll need it more when I'm older. I have a strong family, but with my age, and with my parents reaching retirement (and having suffered from the stockmarket crash), I felt burdening them was a last resort, used only when I was out of other options. I'm still working with the research group, as that money, although still counting against my maximum loans, is money i will not have to pay back. This issue came out of left field, and I was left frantically searching for any financial help i could find. I took the help of a program that's set up for just that event.
One final side note. I found out after I applied for the stamps that my parents, too, had lived off them when my older siblings were young. My father was in grad school too at the time. Although I've never asked how much my father makes, I'm starting to realize that during his best years, I would imagine he'd be up closer to the top 2%. Don't quote me on this. I bring this up because my family is exactly the type of people that you want. People willing to work, to succeed, to do what needs to be done. And we aren't looking for hand outs. But there are times when we need to seek out help. In our case, we took advantage of the programs that were available to us, rather than to burden our families who have spent so much time and money already helping us get to where we are. Either way, it's asking for help. And in my father's case, he repaid both his family and his country ten fold. It's every bit my intention to do the same.
So with that said, lumping everyone in the bottom half into poor planners, lazy workers, and idiotic fools drives me up a wall. That's a ton of hard working people that are being written off as entitled freeloaders. It's, admittedly, this stereotyping that makes me want to immediately respond with a call to eat the rich. that's not helping either.