Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Tribulations of Financial Aid

I think I already posted something similar to this, but it's such a nuisance.

The application for financial aid is exhausting and takes weeks to process what should take only hours. Someone needs aid, you provided it to them last year, they want the same thing this year...
Seems confusing and difficult, I know...

After this process, I have to fill out a separate form for Lesley indicating that I'd like to take courses there (despite having already declared in writing at the beginning of the program, having registered for courses, and having paid my deposit...). This form can only be printed out and mailed in--there is no electronic option (for this reason, I do have to commend the FAFSA people for issuing the e-version a few years back.)

After this form, I was told that I would have to fill out a separate form, which is essentially a form explaining what job I had and why and when I became unemployed and if I 'expected to seek work again soon.' No...I thought I'd be insouciant and live off some kind of welfare for the remaining of my life...

The form does say optional next to it, which is nice, but if you're offered the chance to fill it out, you are required to send a letter to your institution saying you don't want to fill it out. I could not fill mine out because it would have required me to have become unemployed between Jan 08 and Dec 08, which I was not, so I didn't even qualify for it. Yet filling out the form is a necessity. Perhaps wording the section more carefully would be in order--did you become unemployed during 2008 or 2009 is simple, exact and would erase the need for all this extra paperwork and hassle.


Now the waiting game begins as everything is officially in (though I started this months ago), and I have approximately two weeks to come up with the money for the semester or I face a penalty (it's a small amount, but it's still a penalty--it's not like I'll be ousted from the program.) Perhaps I'll need to fill out more forms! Let's hope now.

Isn't financial aid fun?

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