Tens of millions of students and parents who apply for federal student aid are getting an apology this morning from Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after the agency's Twitter account made fun of them for being poor.
The agency's official account posted a screenshot from the 2011 movie “Bridesmaids,” showing Kristin Wiig’s character looking disheveled while on an airplane. She is looking up at a flight attendant, and the meme reads, “Help me. I’m poor.” The accompanying caption says, "If this is you, then you better fill out your FAFSA." The tweet was removed an hour later.
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) June 25, 2014
It is no secret that the cost of a college education is getting increasingly more expensive every year, and FAFSA does not have any explicit income cutoffs on need-based aid eligibility. So, the fact that a government program designated to help millions of students, regardless of income, would mock them spurred plenty of outrage.
“What’s worse, the tweet or the fact that they don’t really make college affordable at all,” wrote @chelsybcoombs. “The American education system described in one tweet. Stay classy @FAFSA,” wrote @dubhe0ne.
FAFSA has since apologized, tweeting to followers, “We apologize for the insensitivity of our previous tweet. Our goal is to make college a reality for all. We’re very sorry.”