No. of Recommendations: 4
I'll try to say something reasonable before the whole discussion turns into a flamewar:

Being realistic, 99%+ of parents provide at least the expected family contribution based on their financial ability. Obviously there is still those few who, for whatever reason, refuse.

The students who are in that leftover fraction are in a tough situation, because through (usually) no fault of their own, simply don't have the money. Prices and aid packages are set based on the expected amount of money they are supposed to have, and don't have flexibility if they come up short.

However, there is no way to deal with this without opening up the system to abuses. If you are willing to give more aid to students whose "parents are unwilling to assist" then you would find that suddenly, nobody's parents are "willing to assist" any more, and the whole financial aid system would come unglued. (Of course, most of those parents will undoubtedly find a way to funnel an endless stream of $100 bills to their children off-the-record).

The system sucks if you happen to have uncooperative parents, but it's impossible to fix - not only because there aren't that many people affected, but because nobody can come up with a better system. It is just one of those cases where life is not fair.
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