In a recent attempt to get more students, who don’t have any money, to fill out their FAFSA form online some brilliant (please note the sarcasm) marketing person decided it would be funny to include a meme of a situation from Bridesmaids where one of the actresses tells a stewardess on the plane that she needs help because she is poor. I guess the people in the FAFSA department thought this would be funny to those that really do need money in order to go to college.
No Colleges have offered any response to the rising prices of tuition except to say that they are necessary in order to keep up with the changing demands of the economy. Translation, we can’t stop building stuff that students don’t really need but we say that they do so we keep building it in order to have a reason to keep raising prices every week and then hold elections by our boards to make it look like a justified effort.
For those millions of students who have to give up on their dream school because the price of tuition is just too high, consider giving yourself a real education by the price of nothing. Take some MOOC courses, read this article, and check out these books (Don’t Go Back to School, Hacking Your Education, Better Than College) from your library. You might end up being smarter in the end for doing so, because hey, if you can save $100k in tuition money and still get the same quality education then who is the real idiot?
The key thing to learn from all of this is to not insult who your target audience is. The form requires very detailed personal information and for many who come from disadvantaged backgrounds getting that information can be difficult. FAFSA does not make it any easier on you if you leave out a small detail or can not provide the information necessary in order to complete your applications because you do not know it or can not get access to finding out. They did learn their mistake about what they did because after one hour people were very mad to see how insensitive they were to students’ needs.