Don’t waste your time

Federal money is running out, and we can’t stress the importance of making the most of our time at YSU.

According to YSU’s enrollment statistics, 5 percent of students are unclassified, meaning they have yet to declare a major. More than 10 percent of graduates have not declared a field of study.

As the financial aid clock winds down, dwindling federal resources are pressing students to graduate on time.

We’re not saying it’s fair.

But it has become evident by systematic federal cutbacks that students can no longer hide in academia. We have to graduate and get jobs.

And now we have to do that faster than ever.

It’s always alarming to consider that it took students an average of 5.87 years to earn a two-year associate degree in 2010. That year, it took an average of 6.28 years for the average YSU student to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Now, let’s consider the fiscal impact of the revamped Pell Grant, which has been reduced twice in the past four years.

First cut in half in 2008, the Pell Grant award amount will be slashed by an additional 33 percent in July. This means that students taking full advantage of the Pell Grant and still seeking a bachelor’s degree after six years will not receive another Pell Grant.

As grants and scholarships fade away, the burden of affording college falls on personal income and student loans. Loans and grants wouldn’t exist if we could afford college, and we now know that student loan debt has exceeded credit card debt.

Either way, the fed is making it nearly impossible to get a degree after six years without adding long-term debt to your resume.

So, declare your major soon. Know how much grant money you have accepted and how much is still available.

And, lastly, don’t waste time.

After all, this latest Pell Grant revision, unfortunately, won’t be the last cutback.