EBRUARY 1989 Student Body
U. THE NATIONAL COLLEGE NEWSPAPER 23
1oney no barrier between 'have' and 'havenot' roommates
By Jonathon Danek
The Daily Illini
U. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Patrice Mitchell, sophomore in en-
gineering at the U. of Illinois, Cham-
paign-Urbana, was born when her pa-
rents were still in college. Although she
was eight years old before they held full-
e jobs, her parents' current occupa-
ns have led to an extremely secure
financial status. Her father is a dentist
and her mother is a high school
Mitchell drives a Renault Alliance,
and she owns most of the electronic
equipment in her dormitory room.
Mitchell's roommate, Julie Stropes,
sophomore in commerce, works during
the summer and applies for as much
ancial aid as she can. Her contribu-
tion to the room is a fan. "We don't fight
Continued From Page 1
putting himself through college was dif-
ficult, but he's known students who
went to outrageous lengths to come up
th their college funds.
"I've known people who cut corners so
closely they wouldn't turn the heat on
until there was an inch or two of snow
on the ground," Parker said.
Had the minimum wage risen with
inflation since 1981, according to the
Consumer Price Index, it would now be
$4.51. For students like Parker, this
gap has led them to spend more time
orking and less time studying.
Parker said he paid for his schooling
with part-time jobs, and no financial
help from his parents. Not only has the
minimum wage remained low, he said,
but Athens, Ga., wages tend to be low
anyway because employers have little
incentive to offer more money.
"In Athens, it's a captive work force
because they know they have a lot of
people wanting jobs, so they can keep
he salaries low," Parker said.
Despite the difficulty he incurred in
funding his education, Parker said
some of his problems could have been
alleviated by applying more strenuous-
ly for student aid. Reagan's cuts have
made aid harder to come by, but far
from unobtainable, he said.
"I thought I couldn't get a scho-
larship, so I didn't even try. Now I wish I
had, because there's a lot that go un-
sed," Parker said.
Gary Tacker, a senior Italian/market-
ing major, is another student feeling the
pinch of higher tuitions. He's had sever-
al part-time and temporary jobs be-
cause he receives almost no money from
his parents or from grants, he said. In-
creasingly tight government regula-
tions concerning student financial aid
haven't helped matters, Thacker said.
"The money my parents have is
*nough that I can't get financial assist-
ance," he said. "My sister graduated in
1985, and it was easier for her to get
financial aid. To me, there's a trend in
cutbacks in money. My freshman year, I
could have gotten a loan if I'd wanted,
but now, it's harder."
Having to work and go to school at the
same time has given his social and
studying time a beating, he said.
"I think the biggest thing is that hav-
Ong these jobs will be helpful in getting
me a job when I get out, besides just
paying for school," he said. "I've talked
to companies that said this experience
is definitely an advantage."
over what each other brings to the room;
she brings it all," Stropes said.
The financial disparities of college
students today are becoming in-
creasingly more apparent. In a year
when a $300 tuition increase may mean
the end of an academic career for some,
other students blink an eye.
Last summer, Stropes had two jobs.
During the day, she worked full time for
the Rock Island (Ill.) Arsenal. At night,
she worked as an usher at a local minor
league baseball park.
"I have everything," Stropes said of
her financial aid package, which in-
cludes a full loan and a Pell Grant.
"I usually feel bad that I can't say
'Here, my parents will pay for you
(Stropes) too,'" Mitchell said. In the
past, Mitchell said she has offered to
lend Stropes money.
Poorer students who earn their way
through school have a greater apprecia-
tion for the money they have, Stropes
said. "I think that's the difference be-
tween rich people and poor people.
You're more conscious of (money) if you
Having to worry about how much
money she has at a given time has made
her life a little different from other stu-
dents, Stropes said. Money decisions re-
quire a lot more thought.
"You just can't pick a school," said
Stropes, "you have to see how much it
But hard work and time spent in long
financial-aid lines have not led to re-
sentment of the affluent. "Someday I'll
be rich," Stropes said.
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