Tuesday, July 16, 2002
( 1:07 AM ) Jackie
As many of you may know, it is illegal to fail to register for the draft. There are severe penalties for non-registration--up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 fine. In a marvelous example of double-speak, these penalties are found under the heading "Benefits and Programs Linked to Registration". Fortunately, these penalties have not been applied to date.
However, nonregistrants are penalized in other ways as well. They are ineligible for student financial aid under Title IV and are ineligible for government jobs. Many states have additional penalties. In these states a nonregistrant may be ineligible for state financial aid for education, ineligible for state jobs,and in some states even ineligible to attend a state school.
In other words, nonregistrants are financially penalized for behaving in accordance with their conscience. And, of course, the burden of these penalties falls most heavily on the poor who have fewer options for financial aid and on those who have fewer resources for searching out other options.
I recently learned about an organization whose mission is to address this injustice by making supplementary education loans available to nonregistrants. The Fund for Education and Training (FEAT) has developed some alternative sources of financial aids for nonregistrants.
They describe these sources as "modest". To me, their very existence is an affirmation of the acts of conscience performed by nonregistrants. I say Hurrah for them. And let's support them financially to help that modest program grow. You can send your checks to
Fund for Education and Training
1830 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009-5732
Phone (202) 483-1242, Fax (202) 483-1246
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