Like many other students, we were excited to hear that Rice will be overhauling its financial aid system. While need-based financial aid already pays for our tuition and the majority of other expenses, this policy change will probably result in a small, but very helpful, increase in our aid next school year. More importantly, though, it seems like Rice might finally be trying to make itself more inclusive of people whose families are not financially stable or well off. However, despite the fanfare, we are skeptical that this financial aid overhaul will significantly increase Rice’s accessibility to low-income students. Rice now promises a smoother ride to a low-income student if they manage to make it through the admissions process, but this policy does not make that road any easier. While this change is good for students from middle- and lower-class families who currently attend or might someday manage to get in, economically disadvantaged students still face an enormously difficult challenge in gaining admission in the first place.
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There’s almost no denying this Student Association election has been a total disaster. From the alleged intervention of non-university affiliated political groups to the recent mudslinging between the two major presidential candidates, this campaign cycle has begun to look more like a scene from a Michael Moore documentary than a student government election.