Federal Student Aid Office Apologizes For FAFSA Tweet That Seemed To Mock Poor People
(CBS SF) — A U.S. Department of Education division well-known to many college students has apologized for a tweet that prompted an outcry over what critics called its lack of sensitivity.
Federal Student Aid, which administers the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), tweeted a popular meme of actress Kristen Wiig in a scene of the movie Bridesmaids with the caption ‘Help me. I’m poor.’
The image was accompanied by text from @FASFA saying ‘If this is you, then you better fill out your FAFSA: fafsa.gov.’
The attempt at humor generated a wave of criticism on Twitter from people who felt the government was mocking poor people, while others noted students need not fall below the federal poverty line to qualify for student financial aid.
Just wow. Really. RT @dailydot: FAFSA draws ire for meme making light of poverty: bit.ly/1wxGAlk—
Ainslie Binder (@ainslieann) June 25, 2014
Higher ed in the U.S. is devastatingly inaccessible for many. This social media manager should have thought twice. bzfd.it/VnI58O—
Courtney Pomeroy (@CourtneyWNEW) June 25, 2014
Being able to afford everything w/o any help is pretty damned privileged. Being poor is not an aspiration. @Heavenforreal @ProPublica @FAFSA—
❤ Menace (@38_28_38) June 25, 2014
The tweet was quickly deleted and followed by an apology tweet from @FAFSA, saying ‘We apologize for the insensitivity of our previous tweet.’
We apologize for the insensitivity of our previous tweet. Our goal is to make college a reality for all. We're very sorry.—
Federal Student Aid (@FAFSA) June 25, 2014
Not everyone found the tweet to be offensive, however.
FAFSA tweeted the Bridesmaids meme "Help me. I'm poor." I think that's hilarious.—
SAM GALLEN (@SJGallen) June 25, 2014
@FAFSA I'm probably the only one who didn't get offended. I thought it was funny. Thanks for the reminder to fill it out! #sensitivepeople—
ariella martinez (@ariella_22) June 25, 2014
The deadline for submitting a FAFSA in order to be considered for federal student aid for the 2014-2015 school year is June 30 at midnight Central Time. California and other states have earlier deadlines for state aid.