my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

The great financial aid debacle of fall 2006

Is that really how we spell debacle?  I'm too lazy at this moment to look it up.

The day began with two calls.  One, the eye doctors office, was to set up an appointment for a contacts exam on Thursday.  They were pleasant, sweet and accomodating.  Everything people who actually render service to the public can be.  Which is why I called them first.  I don't know if I've ever bothered to mention it before, but I am not a morning person.

Call number two was to UT Financial Aid.  Can you hear the rolling thunder of doom begin?  I should've.  I've called them every week for most of this summer, and other than them telling me they couldn't tell me much and that my financial aid counselor would get back to me, I haven't really had much luck but I haven't been that worried.  I kept getting told that I simply needed to wait.  That my financial aid awards were there they just were locked up in that mysterious bureaucracy they call administration, and that everything turn out allright.  But tomorrow, tomorrow tuition is due.  So I decided today that I was going to get answers, no matter what. 

The answers I got were the worst kind.  A little while ago I was told I qualified for a Pell grant. Today I was told that I categorically did not qualifiy, nor could I ever have, and I should not have ever seen it as a line item in my financial aid.  

I threw a tantrum.  I know, it's the most horrible thing to do, but after all these weeks of calling them and asking if everything was going to be ok, and having them half-heartedly go 'sure, sure, sure' to have them rip away 1/4 of my tuition the day before it's due because some idiot didn't realize I already have a bachelor's degree (hence my disqualification - apparantly if you've got one, you're forever barred from getting a Pell grant).  It's not like I've EVER hid the fact that I already have one!  It's not like I started a conspiracy and pulled it out of my transcript and tried to pretend that I was something I wasn't.  Heck, everytime they confirmed my identity I actually had to tell them the name of my former university because that was the most recent data in my file prior to UT.  So when they tell me that my financial aid counselor, a woman I've never actually been able to get ahold of, despite calling numerous times on different days, was the one who'd gotten my financial aid wrong and told me I could have money I couldn't, when this is supposedly the woman who's familiar with my case and been managing my financial aid for the last two years, I pretty much lost it.  Completely.

Hey, who said old fashioned tantrums aren't fun? 

I did finally get in touch with a supervisor, calm down, explain myself rationally, and she dug up some money somewhere for me that was immediately put to use.  Apparantly she found me some kind of an out of state Texas tuition grant (and I wonder if they made it up or something?), and then all I had to worry about was dealing with finding some money to live on.  I mean, Neil's willing and all, but care and feeding of Kates is quite expensive.

By 11 am, we'd finished filling out all of the paperwork, and I trudged into work.  Where it was actually a pretty fabulous day - we got work done, I was introduced to new makeup (sometimes it is fun to be a girl) and my boss-lady was a sweetheart about the fact that I arrived an hour and a half late due to the evils of the UT financial aid system. 

So I guess all's well that ends well.  I just don't ever want to deal with those FinAid people again.  And I've got at least two more years of this crap.  Something to look forward to.

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