Infuriated and need feedback. - page 2
hello everyone! my college has set up a new "financial aid" policy within our college. the new policy applies out student loans/grants to the college bookstore. 15 days after the quarter begins,... Read More
Jun 4, '07At my school the fall semester starts mid Aug. and the checks aren't mailed until the end of Sept. I wish we got them 15 days after the semester start.
Jun 4, '07Did you end up sending that letter? The one issue I had with the letter is that you were stating that their actions were "illegal". As someone who works with the law,I wouldn't recommend putting that in the letter, especially considering you cannot back up that claim.
It is obviously their legal right because most do that. Every school I have attended withhold your money for a few weeks until after classes have started to refund your money.
What I recommend doing is toward the middle of each semester, figure out what your books will cost for the following semester and take out a small private educational loan, such as CitiAssist, SallieMae, etc. and that money will be given to you almost immediately. Thus you will then have some spare cash to spend on books the following semester.
Jun 4, '07The community college where I go issues pell checks the day after class starts i do not know about loans though I go to school in north carolina
Jun 4, '07I have two kids in CC's and one in a full University. One CC does it like that while the other CC and the full University do not.
One thing that bothers me about the CC's more than anything else is that they DO NOT list the ISBN book numbers. You actually have to go to the school's book stores a week or two before classes begin and look these #s up on your own. The University, however, lists the required class books with ISBN's on their web site. It sure makes it a snap to shop on line for the necessary books.
One semester I saved over 1/2 using the net compared to the campus book stores USED prices! All but one book arrived in time for classes! AMAZING!
BTW, the savings was nearly $600/semester. Not chump change in my situation!
Perhaps this may be the way to go. Good luck!
Jun 5, '07wow! thanks for all of the feedback.
i actually modified my letter and took out the "illegals" and used "unethical". i even started a petition, i've already gotten 130 signatures so far, even from students from other educational programs within our college.
unfortunately, i doubt anything will change their decision. i sure i hope make someone involved the decision making process feel bad and question the ethics themselves.
as far as books, i ordered my summer books from today. not a dime of mine will go to that student bookstore, darn it.
only 4 more quarter to go! again, thanks so much for your responses.
Jun 5, '07Good for you, Danibanani. I am sorry to hear that your school is pursuing this policy, as it sounds clearly unethical and manipulative. This makes no sense... once the fed. gov't disburses the cash to you (and the school re-routes it to the bookstore), YOU are paying the interest on money you don't yet have access to. That right there is enough to make me write a letter of protest. I know the fed. money has stipulations that the money be spent on "education-related expenses", but I've never seen a clause indicating that your money must go to Follett, Pearson, or whatever private firm your school is contracted with.
Not only that, but what kind of paternalistic, overbearing, and profiteering system would justify these actions by saying "We don't want you to drop classes". That's great. The school should certainly voice their concerns about this and offer support to students to minimize this occurrence, but they may claim no right to withhold your desperately needed fin-aid funds at a critical time and then say they're HELPING you? Sheesh. Insulting and yes, infuriating as you said in your original post. My hunch is they assume most students are either unaware of their ability to protest this, are afraid to rock the boat, or just don't think they deserve more respectful treatment. Props to you for taking the time and energy to craft a response.
I haven't ever heard of this policy. My school has a system that allows electronic deposit of federal aid money directly to your acct. if you choose to register it. Since I choose the e-transfer, I receive my money a couple of days before the semester even begins, otherwise I would have to stand in line for my paper check on the first day of classes.
Oh, and I haven't ever taken my money, dropped out of school and run off to Tijuana or whatever the school is "afraid" I might do with my bounty. Even if I do receive it 2 days prior to classes beginning. Keep me posted on any response you get. Power to you!
Jun 5, '07Another poster wrote:
"It is obviously their legal right because most schools do that. Every school I have attended withhold your money for a few weeks until after classes have started to refund your money. "
No. Most schools doing something does not make something legal. Note the very recent loan scandal that ended with high-level resignations and prosecutions. Illegal practices were being used at NYU, Colombia, John's Hopkins University, St. John's University, Syracuse University, Fordham University, University of Pennsylvania, and Long Island University to name A FEW. Hardly fly-by-night, shady diploma mills, eh? While this doesn't make the practice the OP describes at his/her community college illegal, many schools practicing it doesn't make it copacetic either. :spin:
Jun 5, '07oh boy... financial aid crisis at my school is the norm. here is how bad it is... we don't even get our money until 6-8 WEEKS AFTER classes begin! My classes started January 20th and I received my financial aid the second week in MARCH!! They withhold the funds for 30 days, then they do attendance "verification" to prove you are still in the classes. Then, the funds get to the school...go to the main office...they DEPOSIT them into their account... then process and print a check from the school for your refund!! CRAZY.
It was so bad that I actually took out a loan I didn't really need in my last semester of pre-req's at the local community college just to put in the bank and use for purchases my first semester of nursing school!
It's really hard to get by when you receive your check after 1/2 the semester is already over. :Crash:
Jun 5, '07Every college I ever went to held fin aid until after add/drop period.
This is AT LEAST 2 weeks into the semester/qtr. It makes sense b/c otherwise students could collect the $ and then drop the classes.
Was your schools policy to give you the money first day of classes?
Jun 5, '07If a student collects financial aid money, whether the first day of classes or the post-Add/Drop, the student alone is responsible for paying it back. Before loans are disbursed, the entrance counseling materials detail the obligation to immediately repay a particular amount if we drop below full-time status. I have explicit instructions from the direct Stafford loan people to send my money to the Dept. of Education in Atlanta, GA: not to my school.
Maybe someone can clear this up for me. HOW is it the school's business when/how I pay back my student loans? If I default, I do not owe my school money, rather the FEDS are coming knocking on my door for it. What gives with schools involving themselves to the point of withholding funds? As adults, we are capable of accepting responsibility for our thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt. Why do our schools (the recipients of these wads of cash) deem us collectively incompetent to manage our own enrollment and loan repayment responsibilities? I just don't get it. And how cute is the little confused smiley guy?! Totally adorable.
Jun 5, '07The way I managed this was by paying for my books with a credit card. Then when I was issued my student loan money I paid off the credit card before I acquired any finance charges. It might be risky for some, but if you are disciplined about paying off the credit card as soon as you get the money, it's not a problem.
I was also lucky enough to know someone who was a year ahead of me and she let me share her books with her. We were never in the same unit at the same time, so it worked out fine.
Also, as someone suggested, you can get books from Amazon.com. If you really like taking a risk, I have noticed that most of the required books can be found in the library. It's a pain in the butt to have to go to the library to study all the time, but if you don't have money it's one option to consider.
Jun 5, '07Quote from IShallWearPurpleI'm not exactly sure, but I think the feds DO look at the default rate of schools, and make decisions about how they set up financial aid programs based on their default rate. I don't know for sure what the repercussions are because I really wasn't paying attention when I went to the financial aid information session. I had to go to the session in order to get financial aid so basically just jumped through their hoop to get the money. Anyway, the talked about it in the seminar. Wish I had listened more closely.HOW is it the school's business when/how I pay back my student loans?
Jun 6, '07Quote from NatkatYes, this is the reason, why schools don't want to give you the money upfront: The default rate of so many people just not paying back their loans.I'm not exactly sure, but I think the feds DO look at the default rate of schools, and make decisions about how they set up financial aid programs based on their default rate. I don't know for sure what the repercussions are because I really wasn't paying attention when I went to the financial aid information session. I had to go to the session in order to get financial aid so basically just jumped through their hoop to get the money. Anyway, the talked about it in the seminar. Wish I had listened more closely.
"I shallwearpurple", unfortunately, not all people care about paying back their loans, like you and me. I would never dream of not paying back money which was not mine from the start, but in todays world lots of people somehow forgotten that concept. And just as I stated in my first post the schools somehow get shortchanged by the the Government if their default rates on loans are high. I don't remember either what the details where, but I remember them talking about that at the mandatory loan seminar we all had to attend.