A Week’s Worth of Painfully Accurate Financial Aid Memes

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These days it’s almost too easy to look around at the state of the world and be like, “wow, everything sucks.” But there also seems to be an inverse trend when it comes to the internet: the worse the world gets, the better the memes become.

Take, for example, the student debt crisis.

Right now, Americans have $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt. An entire generation saddled with debt is an obviously gross situation — and the internet, naturally, has plenty of thoughts. Below you’ll find our favorite financial aid memes that are so true, they almost hurt.

1. The unfortunate truth

Everybody who’s been to college (or paid for it) knows the pain of all the hidden fees! You’ll have to pay for a lot more than you might think, and they’ll charge you for stuff you didn’t even know existed. Pay close attention to that bill and you’ll find out just how true this meme is.

2. What does that say??

If you’ve gotten your award letter from the FAFSA®, you’ll know it’s can seem IMPOSSIBLE to decipher. It’s like reading another language. Everything is confusing, and it’s hard to tell what’s a loan and what’s free money. Even if you have to squint to see, it’s worth it — just make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

3. No aid for you, moneybags

The struggle with the FAFSA® is that you have to report the amounts in your bank accounts, but also your family’s investments, as well as other records of wealth and income. It all affects your EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, which determines how much need-based financial aid you’ll receive. They count every little thing — which is why this meme hits so close to home.

4. Don’t mind me and my giant burden

Student loan debt is EXACTLY like carrying a giant teal JanSport backpack everywhere you go! …Okay, so maybe it’s not that physically cumbersome and visible to others, but that’s what it can feel like. Student loans can weigh on you and really slow you down as you try to make your way through life.

5. Gee, thanks

Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events plays no games, just like the office of financial aid. In situations where you feel completely hopeless, sometimes it feels like the solutions offered to you are as worthless as a pile of rocks. But you can find great resources available, if you know how to read your aid award letter, that is.


Life comes at you fast — and National College Decision Day comes even sooner! This is the day where most high school seniors have to put down a deposit and/or commit to a college. Even if you’ve totally made up your mind as to which school you’ll be headed to in the fall, there are some extra things you might need to know before Decision Day comes. It can all feel overwhelming, so just take a deep breath — you got this.

7. Oh, you fancy, huh?

Textbooks are one of the sneakiest costs of college. They aren’t typically included in award letters as part of the Cost of Attendance, but can end up costing you thousands of extra dollars. It’s important to keep the cost of textbooks in mind as you make your budget for college — and be smart about how you buy your textbooks, too!

Financial aid memes are so funny because they’re so painfully accurate.

Almost everything about the financial aid process sucks, from filling out your applications to decoding your award letter to renewing your aid the following year. Trust us, we get it — that’s why we exist, to make it all at least a little less unbearable.

If you’ve got any favorite financial aid memes, send them our way via Twitter or Facebook!