Fight for Your Right to Studyyyyy: Part 1

beasties

Yeah, I totally just nerded up the Beastie Boys with that post title, which I understand is borderline blasphemy.  #sorrynotsorry

Okay, I’m just going to say it.  Everything about enrolling at the Technical College of the Lowcountry has been great so far, but for one very important thing: It’s like pulling teeth to deal with their Financial Aid department.  I finally broke down and emailed the Financial Aid counselor who, according to the website, is supposed to be assigned to me (and also who I’ve never met or spoken with).

I know that I’ve been rather mum here about what’s been going on with all of this, but I’ve realized I’m doing myself a disservice as the entire point of this blog is to chronicle the highs and lows of going back to college.  So I figure the easiest thing to do is to just post the letter I sent tonight with names omitted (because I’m not an asshole), that way you, the reader, can get up-to-speed on what’s been going on.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts, or if you have any advice for what else I can do if this doesn’t work!

Good afternoon, xxxxxxxx!

Thank you for taking the time to read what has turned into a rather long email.  I am in need of help and I feel like I’m running out of options, so I am turning to you because (according to the TCL website) you’re to be my assigned Financial Aid counselor (due to my last name).  I sincerely hope that you can help me, since nobody else I have spoken with has had any interest in doing so.

I have big exciting plans to begin attending TCL in the Fall!  However, like most people, I will be unable to do so without Financial Aid and student loans (if only to cover books and supplies).  In mid-April of this year, I began the application and registration process, following all the steps as detailed by TCL’s Admissions office.  On April 27th, I came to TCL to take my placement tests and complete my registration for the Fall semester.  While there, I visited the Financial Aid office.  At that time I was informed that while my FAFSA had been received the day before, I still needed to complete an 17-18 Independent Verification Worksheet, as well as obtain a 2015 Tax Transcript from the IRS.

I did both of those things and brought them to the Financial Aid office on May 8th, which has been nearly 6 weeks ago now.  However, when I log into WebAdvisor and look at “My Documents,” both are still marked as Not Received.  Needless to say, this is quite concerning, as it appears as if I haven’t done my part in this process, when indeed I most certainly have.  I turned them in that day to xxxxx xxxxxxx.

About 3 weeks ago, I began calling the Financial Aid office to try to speak to somebody about this issue.  I called on 3 separate occasions, several days apart from each other.  During each of these calls there was no Financial Aid counselor available to speak to me, but I was assured that one would call or email me about this status of those documents within 24-48 hours.  Never once did I receive any return calls or emails.

On my 4th call, the young lady who was answering the phones that day placed me on hold to look into the matter (as happened on all my previous calls).  However, this time instead of being told that all of the counselors were busy, she informed me “The Financial Aid counselor told me to tell you…”  I thought it was interesting that a counselor was available this time but yet refused to speak to me.  But I digress, what was relayed to me was that “they do have your (my) documents, but they haven’t been processed yet because they are still working on packages for the Summer semester.”

Not only did this make me feel like my concerns were being completely disregarded, but this conversation occurred on May 26th… a week after the first day of summer classes.  To think that financial aid packages were still not awarded by the first day of class, when a student becomes officially financially liable  for the cost of those classes, is rather distressing should the same hold true for the Fall semester.

More importantly still, I have been keeping up with TCL’s “Important Dates” calendar for Fall 2017, and I see that June 30th is the deadline for Priority Financial Aid Processing for File Completion as well as the Student Loan Application Deadline.  With today being June 15th, and those deadlines being a mere 2 weeks from now and my documents still showing as “Not Received” in your system, I am quite worried that I may not be able to attend TCL this Fall.  Because of this hold-up, while I have been Accepted, I remain unable to be officially Admitted.

Can you please advise and/or assist me in this matter?  I would be most grateful for any assistance you can provide in resolving this issue in a timely manner.  If you prefer to speak over the phone, I can be reached during normal business hours at my office, xxx-xxx-xxxx.  Any other time, feel free to call my cell phone, xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you ever so much for your time and consideration.

Billie Shoemaker
Student ID #xxxxxxx

2 thoughts on “Fight for Your Right to Studyyyyy: Part 1

    • I hope so too! Sadly, based on a lot of the feedback I’ve been receiving on FB about this post, it’s not uncommon for schools to not have finished issuing financial aid award packages before the semester actually starts. Which to me is absolutely mind-blowing, the idea that it’s widely accepted to tell students “Go on, just go to class and become financially liable, it’ll all work out somehow.” That shit is terrifying to me.

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