If you live anywhere that makes you deal with the process known as financial aid, you probably know how stressful it can be. I’ve never had a good experience with financial aid at university.
My first year I was short a couple thousand dollars and no matter how many times I went to speak with financial aid, never once did they help me find out how to get a loan. Mind you, the financial aid offices at my school have you talk to a group of people who seem to not know how to do their jobs instead of being able to meet with the people who actually process your information. Why? I don’t know.
While at community college the process was simple. Turn it forms. Receive award amount. No issues. But now as I’m preparing to transfer back to the same university it’s nothing but problems.
As many students, I receive no financial help from my parents. My mom hasn’t been financially responsible for me since around first grade and my father and step mom have always made me work for what I want. I pay my own rent, insurance, bills, and loan interests. Along with food and other necessities for living. I’m currently in the process of finding a THIRD job just to make sure I can support my rent this fall.
For some reason the financial aid office assumes I know what my family is up to 24/7. Apparently my father and step mom went through a rut and where separated around tax filing time, so they filed separately. Also during that time I completed my FAFSA and worked on the forms for the school, so they were based on my father being separated.
For reasons unknown, the office found errors in my paper work a month and a half ago and I went in to figure it out. I guess my father needed proof of separation, such as different addresses, but by this time whatever the issue was had been worked out and my father and step mother were back together. Since just taking time apart doesn’t mean divorce there isn’t a real way to document that. So I turned in a copy of my step moms irs forms and told them about the situation and was told all was well. I asked twice if anything else needed to be done, and I was assured all would be fine and my aid would be processed.
Well here I am a month later and I’m told all is not well. My father needs to amend his taxes and such.
Now, I try not to make a big deal about how things work in this country, but I find this absolutely disgusting. I wonder how many students go through this. Those of us who are required by colleges to base aid off of parents who don’t lend a penny to our education or support our lives. How is this right for us?
So because of these stupid ‘rules’ I could be at risk of losing aid and not being able to attend fall semester. For what? A relationship that isn’t mine being on the rocks during tax season?
Right. I have a meeting tomorrow with an actual person who does the processing and I am hoping I can become an independent student.
Wish me luck?