Up the creek without a paddle!
July 13, 2012 10:00 PM Subscribe
Was lied to by my school about my degree-- required to commute--got a (not so random) grant from my college for transportation costs. Then I received a not-so-nice e-mail about my financial aid. How to proceed through these murky waters and still make it out ahead? (Rather long) details behind the cut.
posted by camylanded to Education (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I attend a local community college and I major in social work (focusing on addiction counseling). I have completed 55 credits currently. I was offered a spot in an honor's society that promised me extra scholarships and grants if I go ahead and get my associate's first. It seems legitimate, but I am still deciding on if it's worth getting an AA before transferring to a 4 year college. I have an excellent cumulative GPA (3.7) and take my schoolwork very seriously. At this point, it would be financially responsible of me to continue the full AA at my local college-- all of the credits will transfer for a BSW-- I've already checked.
I found out last semester after trying to go for my AA that I cannot take all of the required courses for the degree online or in person at my local school-- but rather, I'd have to commute to another branch of the community college-- roughly 40-50 miles to this branch each way. After writing a polite e-mail explaining my concerns, the chancellor pulled some strings and gave me a $1,000 grant for the commute.
Of course, once he gave the go-ahead to the financial aid office, they noticed that I'd registered for a non-required course next semester-- and thus cut my un-subsidized loan in half and said they would not be able to fund that class unless I dropped it and took a class on their approved course list for my degree. OK- Understandable.
Truth is, I need the money. I have no job prospects currently. I can't work more than 20 hours and carry my course load and make good grades (I've tried-- twice-- and ended up almost failing a class because of it). I dropped the non-required class, but the issue is with the financial aid office at my school. They're awful! They're rude and you can never talk to the same person-- and because of this, you never get the same answer twice so you never know what's true and what's not.
First off, is the cutting off the un-sub loan normal? Now that I'm in a required course, will they be able to give me back the loan amounts? Secondly, if I were interested in work study, how would I go about that? Obviously I'm willing to work, I just haven't found anything willing to work with me around my school schedule. Also, is it even worth it to get the AA before getting a BSW? Any advice, experience or other findings would be very helpful.