Jump to content

Infuriated and need feedback.

Students   (3,016 Views 29 Comments)
by Eirene Eirene, ASN, RN (Member)

9,232 Profile Views; 499 Posts

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, the "left-over" money is mailed to us. this makes it impossible for an average working family to purchase books elsewhere, let alone pay for basic necessities like daycare and gas to attend class and clinicals. is this a normal policy for financial aid at your colleges? i've called 4 different community colleges in my area and it is not their policy. i'm curious to know how it is in different areas.

if you have the time, please give me feedback on my letter of dispute that i mailed to the president and the pr director.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[color=#993399]to whom it may concern,

i am making a formal complaint with the new financial aid procedures coming into effect for the 2007-2008 school year. i'm contacting you first before taking this to the federal student aid department.

i believe students need an explanation why this "new process" of financial aid disbursement isn't illegal. the website mis 500 project at mtcputting you online, not in line is a misleading document. this website/document (removed, if you'd like the link, please im me) [color=#993399]is intended to make us, as students believe that the fafsa law change mandates that there is a disbursement delay, but it does not.

for **** college to withhold the students' financial aid for two-weeks is illegal. *** will not be paying students interest that *** makes on that money while it is in the college account, nor will you reimburse us for the interest accrued on the loans to the students for those two weeks. the policy is clearly illegal.

most of the students at *** are non-traditional students. we have families. we work hard. by "establishing a credit" at the bookstore is forcing us to purchase books from the company with whom you have a contract with is unethical and perhaps even illegal. as a nursing student, i can buy my textbooks used, online for 60-75% cheaper than i can purchase them at your bookstore. unfortunately, myself, as well as other students, need our financial aid in order to purchase the books elsewhere. we cannot wait two weeks after the quarter begins to purchase them from another source. this leaves us no choice but to purchase them from your bookstore, in which you make a profit from. i enrolled at *** because of the remarkably high reputation of the nursing program. i have always felt empowered with knowledge that *** instructors have given me. it's unfortunate that i have to question ***'s business ethics regarding these procedures.

i need to know the process of how to get my financial aid refund at the right time, not fifteen days after the quarter begins. again, i would like to resolve this within the college before taking my complaint to the federal student aid department.

i look forward to your response. along with this email, i will be sending out a certified letter for your copy.

[color=#993399]~~~~~~~~~~~~

[color=#993399]thank you in advance to any suggestions or feedback, whether you agree or disagree with my stance.

[color=#993399]

[color=#993399]dani

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mysterious_one is a ASN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, Tele.

587 Posts; 6,701 Profile Views

I don't know if this is a "normal" policy, but my community college does the same thing. You will not get your left over money until way after classes have started. Their explanations was: they want to make sure you don't drop your courses. I did not understand that either, because if your financial aid is a loan than it is no free money, and we are responsible to pay it back. But then they had another explanation: unfortunately depending in what area your college is, there are many people that default on their loans and I think this will hurt the college in terms of federal funds. I'm not sure how this works, and I'm not sure if I remember this right, but I believe this is the way they explained it. I usually pay everything with a credit card, and as soon as I get my money from the student loan/college, I will pay the card off. I totally understand your frustration, I felt the same way. When you really need help, it seems like you can't get it.

In terms of the books, I always go to the on line section of my college's bookstore and see what the ISBN numbers are and then order them from Amazon, used. No way I am paying full price for those books. I bought a box of books which came with an on line access library the first semester for $600.00 , and still regret I did that. I don't use that on line library that often, I still can open my book the old fashion way and look for the things I need. I don't necessarily need a computer for that, I could have saved $300.00 buying these books on line. That's what I am doing now, and I always pay half of what my classmates pay that still buy the book boxes from the college bookstore each semester.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DaughteroftheKing specializes in Neuro ICU.

213 Posts; 8,491 Profile Views

Id say that doesnt sound too bad..

At my school, I wont get the rest of my loan check until two weeks after classes start.. I guess Ill have to put in a couple extra hours to save up money for my books!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,927 Posts; 14,511 Profile Views

I've attended CC but have never qualified for finacial aide (govt says I make too much money as a CNA - ha!). However, when I transferred to a 4 year college they did the same thing they did to you. Even if they want to wait to see if you drop out, when you sign on the dotted line it says that if you drop out you will be responsible for paying back the money loaned to you asap. I don't believe they will give you the 6 month grace period.

I ended up putting my books on my credit card and then paying it off after receiving my financial aid check THREE months later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28 Posts; 1,185 Profile Views

Same thing with my school, I'm forced to spend outrageous $$ for books during open registration.:madface:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

499 Posts; 9,232 Profile Views

urgh. i was hoping you guys would say... this isn't right! i've never heard of that!

thanks for your replies, i really appreciate it. i just don't understand how they can sit on our money that we have to pay back. i just need to be thankful the loan process is there and that i'm able to go back to school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DaughteroftheKing specializes in Neuro ICU.

213 Posts; 8,491 Profile Views

Yeah It definately does suck.. but stick with your classes & soon youll be done with that...

I can only imagine that day.. when all I have to do is work.. .

:monkeydance:

Only three more years!! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

138 Posts; 3,763 Profile Views

Our school issues book vouchers for us to purchase books, if you want to purchase books elsewhere you can go and request a check. Otherwise leftover money from tuition and books is not dispersed until the drop deadlines have passed. This is usually a month or so after classes begin. It can be frustrating but I don't see where the legalities of the policy are in question. I am not really sure, but I bet they have it sitting in an escrow account of some sort and that keeps everything legal. I can't imagine a credible institution (especially more than a few) doing something that would put themselves in jeapordy.

I am sure the policy has something to do with students taking out loans and then dropping classes once they receive the money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

117 Posts; 2,011 Profile Views

That's the policy at my school. They mail out grant refunds 4 weeks into the quarter and loan refunds 6 weeks into the quarter. I don't get my books at the bookstore unless I can get a used one for a really good price. I suck it up and use my savings to buy what I need, then replace the money with my refunds. I'm a single mom with three children and I'm no longer working, so it isn't easy, but I make it work. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,714 Posts; 8,548 Profile Views

A lot of schools have seen that problem, especially in younger students who don't have a lot of experience with money and debt. (I'm not knocking younger students, but they do have less exp) I learned those lessons with my first credit card - it's really not free money. That's exactly why most places don't release money early anymore. If it's only 2 weeks, why don't you just put it on a credit card? You can send them money as soon as your aid check comes in so you won't even owe the finance charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woodenpug is a BSN and specializes in MPCU.

733 Posts; 7,266 Profile Views

The letter is a bit strongly worded. I would suggest an approach of "this new policy creates a serious burden for me." Then ask for help, not a change in policy and definitely no threats. Try to get them on your side. My SON has an interest free emergency loan program, your school may have something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

156 Posts; 3,199 Profile Views

this is definitely the norm.... the university i attended and the CC i am at now both opperated in this manner in regards to financial aid

i feel your pain though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×