As history has it, there was such a thing as a “free lunch” and refers to the practice by saloons during the 1870s of giving out a lunchtime meal. The idea was that by attracting patrons with the promise of a lunch, the customers might, in turn, buy one – or several drinks.
These days, when it comes to college financial aid, there is usually some similar quid pro quo arrangement. It’s very unusual for a prospective college student to be awarded a “full boat” as they say. In other words, no cost to the student for either tuition, room and board, books or expenses. Rather, far more often, a student may be offered some combination of scholarships, tuition waivers or reimbursements, grants and loans.
This may include work-study, as well, which means that the student has to work at a campus-generated job to earn some of his or her financial aid. In order to get the money, some work has to be performed. It could be quite easy work, such as shelving books at the college library or answering phones for the environmental studies office, however, the work study money is really not free.
Just like with most things in life, you give a little, get a little and with any luck, you give a little and get a lot.
Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr.