Friday, September 21, 2007

Financial Aid

Ok, so hows this for a screwed around thing....

Checked with the Student Services office today, since there's been a sign up for a week that loan disbursements will start on the 21st. I had a loan, so, I checked.

Walk in, hand over my student ID, say I need to check on my loan disbursement, and as she's keying in my information she notes my name and says "Oh, I'm glad you came in, we have a problem."

"What? What problem?"

"Well... you aren't in the dorms, are you?"

".... No...."

"Ok here's the deal, somehow they gave you a housing scholarship, when you aren't eligible, because you aren't in the dorms. So you owe six hundred and some dollars."

This is the point at which I began to hyperventilate.

"But... I thought all of my fees and tuition was covered with my financial aid and Pell grants... Isn't my loan check in yet?"

"Oh, it is. But you see, we issued this check," and she waved a check and stub with the state flag emblazoned on it, along with "WARRANT," while I tried in vain to see the amount, "and it includes that six hundred plus that you aren't entitled to."

"So... I owe six hundred and some odd dollars, that's what you're telling me? I don't have six hundred and some odd dollars...."

"No, no, that's not what I'm telling you at all!"

Wait.... what??

"But you just said..."

"Well, you do owe that money back, but I can give you this check today, you endorse your loan check and I'll take the six hundred dollars out of that, and issue you a check for the remainder. Otherwise we'd have to re-issue this check."

"Ok, so... I'm still getting all of my aid money.... I don't actually owe anything?"

"Not once you endorse this check." And she handed me my loan check. Seventeen hundred dollars and change, in that check.

"Ok... so, just to make sure I have this straight... I endorse the loan check, and give it back to you. You give me the Pell check, and take the six hundred dollars extra that they gave me out of the loan check, then issue me another check for the balance of my loan, right?"

"Yep, but the loan check won't be ready before next Wednesday."

"I see. Ok then, gimme a pen."

Once I'd straightened all of that out, I looked at the Pell check. It was issued the sixth.

My question is... once they knew that there had been a mistake, why didn't they just go ahead and re-issue the check? They've had two weeks. I wasn't aware that there was a problem, I wasn't contacted, I got no letter saying that they'd screwed up and the disbursement of the remainder of my financial aid would be a little later than everyone else's.

No, all I got was a heart attack. I figured it up before school started and I knew that my grants and scholarships should cover all of my tuition and fees. The student loan was to help cover my living expenses while my income is restricted. So when she told me I owed money, I danged near fainted dead away.

But, I have about half of my "remainder" financial aid in hand now, and it takes away a good deal of the pinch I was feeling in the bank account area. Just as soon as I get motivated I'm going to go open a savings account to hold this money, and the rest of my loan.

What? Why have it sitting around doing nothing when I can put the biggest part of it in a savings account and let it earn interest in the mean time? It's not a huge chunk of money, but it's going to total up to about two grand, when I get the check for the remainder of my loan. Enough to earn some interest and at this point all the extra pennies I can get are more than welcome.


Farmmom said...

So are you going to get all of the money you thought you would? Or is this gonna put a pinch on the financial affairs?

Farmgirl said...

I'm still getting roughly the amount I expected, just not all at once.

Anonymous said...

You're doing better than I did. When I was in college, I was also living at home... actually I'm still living at home. ***epiphany*** Where else does anybody live? ***shrug*** My aid covered everything I needed except for most of my books. (And I still have all the books because use of them next semester was either limited or discontinued... the rip-off was in history. I really ought not gripe too much since I wanted to keep 'em from poli sci and Vietnam anyway.)


Anonymous said...

yeah...I used to work in the financial aid department at my college. I have never heard of our department not at least calling as soon as we find an error. That really sucks that they didn't let you know what was up as soon as they found the problem.