Financial Aid rant!

  1. Hey all!

    Good to be back again. We finally got our car fixed, so maybe me and hubby will be able to go on our date that we missed. Stupid car! I can't wait till I can afford something a bit more reliable.

    Anyways, my latest woe is over the application process for financial aid. I know it is partly my fault for waiting so long, but I didn't know I would if I would even be able to go college this fall until June-ish. So anyways, it's annoying because class starts in a month, and I am STILL WAITING to get the extra paperwork in the mail. I keep filling out papers, and then faxing them back, and whenever I can, I do applications online, all in an effort to speed this whole thing up. First they wanted me to fax them copies of all my ID gunk, like birth sert, ss card, marriage cert., etc., and then I had to wait for them to get all that, and NOW they have decided that I am suspiciously poor (we made less than $18,000 last year, if that's any clue) and they need to re-verify my income information.

    So now I have to send them copies of my W2's, and more paperwork, and I only have ONE W2 that I can't find, so now I'm not sure if I'm going to have to have it mailed to me or what. I'm so scared I won't get through this process in time for school. I don't understand why they didn't just ask for me this stuff ALL AT ONCE that I had some time to get it together. And the paperwork the school was supposed to have mailed out on Wednesday still hasn't arrived. They live in the same state, so what's taking so long??

    Is this NORMAL for the application process?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Rena RN 2003
    ugggg, i hate dealing with this sort of thing. hang tough with what you know you want to do and all will be fine. it has been my experience that even if classes to start, as long as financial aid has been initiated, you should still be able to attend. check with your facility though.

    and i've heard tale of situations like yours from others that i'm in class with. hope you get things straightend out.
  4. by   Carleigh
    I guess I was lucky. The financial aid officer at school was great. I applied at the FAFSA site online which speeded up the process. Didn't apply until late July since I didn't think I would need financial assistance and I have already received my award verification. So I'm set. Sorry to hear that things didn't go as smooth for you. Don't get discouraged. You will make it.
  5. by   GPatty
    oh yea~ sometimes things like this happen, and it always seems to happen to us, doesn't it? Never to anyone else!
    Good Luck, and I'm sure you'll get it all straightened out. Our school starts people that are still waiting on Financial Aid. Maybe you could make a payment or something and have financial aid reimburse you?
    Just an idea....
    Good Luck!
    Julie
  6. by   Mkue
    hi switfee, it sounds like you were selected for verification by the fafsa people, when that happens they request you send in copies of all your taxes, etc.. it's a pain but worth it in the end if you need the $$. sometimes schools will not ask you to pay upfront if they know that your "aid" is going to cover that semester.

    i hope everything goes quickly..
  7. by   Kyle's Mom
    Could I ask you guys a couple of questions? (My first time around, about 14 years ago, I was lucky enough to not have to go through all of these applications.)

    I filed the federal forms online. Checking the status online, they tell me it's all been processed. I hate to sound stupid, but what happens now? I don't qualify for a grant & they tell me our family contribution should be 6523/yr. (If I had $6523 laying around, I wouldn't be needing help!) Do I need to contact my school's financial aid office to find out what to do next? Sorry to sound stupid, but I'm just baffled by all of this! Thanks!
  8. by   Lausana
    Kyle's Mom,

    Usually you will receive notification from any schools you selected on the FAFSA application...to let you know what they are willing to offer, state grants, loans, work/study etc. If you haven't received, I'd give them a call just to check.

    I've had to be a pest before to make sure things got taken care of...but with as many students they are processing it's easy to get lost in the piles of paperwork!!

    Good Luck to all the aid battlers :kiss
  9. by   nursing 101
    I'm not sure but the amount on the fafsa is what the gvt is willing to give you. The school might pitch in depending on your filing status and might be able to borrow the rest. But the main to do is contact financial aid, try going in person if you can. Also track down whoever is working on your file specifically works better that way. And don't ever throw away what they send you you. Make copies if you can. It's always good to have back up...
    Good luck and keep us posted...
  10. by   dianacs
    According to my fafsa, we should have been able to contribute gobs and gobs of money because my husband makes a good salary. But, there is nowhere on the fafsa to list certain debts like my husband's astronomical school loans, our mortgage, etc. Since the fafsa doesn't take this into account, what I did was write a letter to the school's financial aid department explaining our situation and itemizing our debt. I also offered to provide documentation if needed. The school never did ask for proof of our debt, but I did get the loans I needed and then some. Good luck.
  11. by   Momto2Boys
    So sorry to hear that you are going through all that mess. I hear that just pick random applications to verify all the information. Yours just might be one of those "random applications." I hope everything is done in time.
  12. by   pdmt
    I have my own financial aid rant!! According to the SAR from my FAFSA, I have plenty of money to contribute to my education. On speaking with the financial aid department at my school, I pinned the director down to exactly how much I could make and still get some government grant money. Imagine my surprise when she told me I, a single person with no dependents, could NOT make over $10,000 per year and still qualify for any aid!

    Since so many scholarships base their criteria on the FAFSA information, right away those scholarships became impossible for me to get.

    I got the book from the library about "4000 Scholarships" you can get, or something. I found scholarships for people who played on a horseshoe league, for tall people, for midgets, for those with large noses (I'm not kidding), for African-Americans, Lithuanian-Americans, Italian-Americans, Children of the 136th infantry (or something) etc, etc, etc, but only a handfull that I could apply for.

    So I applied. I wrote essays, got copies of transcripts, got recommendation letters, the whole nine yards. I finally got a scholarship to cover my books and tuition for this year based on my academic performance -- for which I am eternally grateful.

    But I still have other expenses -- mortgage, phone, gasoline, food, uniforms, insurance, and so on.

    I work as much as I can while I'm going to school, but it's not enough. I am 46 years old. I have a 4.0 GPA. I will sit the LPN boards after this year to be able to work as an LPN while finishing up my RN. So that being said, I went to the bank yesterday that has an affiliation or association with the school, and tried to apply for a student loan. Guess what -- my "debt to income ratio" was too high -- well yea, that's why I'm there, I need money. I was turned down for a $500 student loan.

    It is so frustrating. It's like they are saying "Yes, we want you to get ahead, but not really". Nevertheless, all of this adversity just makes me more determined to succeed.

    p.s. I even wrote to Oprah and asked her to send me a laptop computer -- but didn't hear back!
  13. by   Mkue
    I feel your pain PDMT.. I've found that a lot of those scholarships are really hard to get.. even if you think you meet the criteria..

    For instance I was going to apply for the Italian-American scholarship.. and the criteria is almost impossible to make the deadlines and they only pick 1-2 for like 500$

    I don't want to discourage you at all. Keep trying if you have the time.

    The only person I know who had any luck with scholarships is the scholarshipcoach.com.. he paid for all of his education thru free money and wrote a book on it.. UGH.. If you have time visit his site.

  14. by   Carleigh
    Ask about Stafford Loans. My SAR said that we should be able to contribute lots of money also but I still qualified for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

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