Will You Be Drafted through the FASFA?

Rebekah Chun and Iman Owens

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Every year, millions of students across the nation apply for Federal Student Aid through a free application form known as the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). When applying, male applicants are required to register for Selective Service to receive aid. 

At the start of 2020, panic swept across the internet through Google searches and Twitter memes as U.S foreign relations with Iran intensified. President Donald Trump, whilst in the process of an impeachment trial, ordered an airstrike that killed Iran’s military force leader, Qassem Soliemani. Headlines such as “WorldWarIII” ensued the spread of misinformation amongst worried young adults and college students about the implementation of a military draft. In contrary to the rumors, the Federal Student Aid (FSA) affirmed that “the U.S. military has been all-volunteer since 1973” and “Congress would need to pass a new law to institute a draft.”

The FSA has reported that “21 million students applied for the FASFA last year.” Out of the 21 million students, males “who fail to register with Selective Service before turning age 26 are ineligible for Federal student loan and grant programs.” According to National Public Radio (NPR), failure to apply for Selective Service is technically illegal. However, the last case of prosecution dates back to the 1980s. 

Roosevelt students were no exception to the flood of frenzied posts that confused teens circulated through social media platforms. Senior Kofi Boateng recalled searching online what the “FASFA draft” meant. “I did because I didn’t exactly remember signing up for it…I personally don’t mind too much, especially since the draft most likely will not be a thing in the future due to our surplus in military and technology.”

Junior Lade Tinubu acknowledged the impact of FASFA on his future. “I will apply to FASFA because I can not go to college without financial aid. I learned about Selective Service after hearing about World War III memes”.

 While technically constitutional, drafting has historically been controversial. During the Vietnam War, “there were more conscientious objectors than actual draftees” according to the University of Washington. “I believe that people shouldn’t be forced into a position that they personally do not believe in…I don’t think it’s fair or constitutional because this will impact lower-income/middle-class people as more people cannot keep up with the cost of college” said Tinnubu. “It’s kinda weird how the only situation the government has to the rising college cost is to join the military.” 

Senior Alexis Ayuketa also stressed the necessity of financial aid in students’ lives. “It’s not fair to make people have to give up their lives to relieve the cost of college.