Every year, it’s the same. Fill out forms, follow up with Financial Aid, curse them out under my breath, re-fill out the forms and hope that the financial aid will go through…
Since I lost my scholarship, I’ve been going to school based on how much I can afford to pay, what classes are being offered and whether or not I can work the classes around my work schedule…so my dealings with GW Financial Aid have become scarce but even more of a pain…but I’ve been patient. I know to follow through, make sure I had in all of my paperwork and get on their asses till it gets processed.
This year, something was different. I turned in my paperwork on time for the Spring semester and waited a week for it to be processed as ‘received’…Imagine my surprise when I called to follow up and I was directed to a call center.
“Your files are in the DC office.”
“But I dialed the DC number.”
“We are not in DC”
So I went down to the office to find out that they lost all of my paperwork. ALL OF IT. Have you filled out any financial aid paperwork? Do you know what a pain it is? Lesson: Always make copies. ALWAYS. Stash them everywhere. Preferably in a fireproof box.
So I re-submit my paperwork and repeat. This time, I find out that they have switched to a new imaging system where they scan in all the paperwork…and they are missing only SOME of my paperwork. Basically, I submit everything completely and they screw up and do selective scanning.
At this point, it’s around May…the semester is almost over and GW Banner is still telling me that my requirements are ‘incomplete’.
“Call us back in a week…We’re still scanning in paperwork from April.”
“Call us back in a week. We just started on May.”
So I called on Monday because GW Banner was still screaming “INCOMPLETE”.
“Well, we don’t have your paperwork. Is this for 2009-2010?”
“No..this is for Spring 2009…And I submitted my paperwork back in January and they’ve been lost 2 times by your office.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t see…Let me transfer you to an account manager.”
(Wtf is this, Macy’s Customer Service?)
*cheesy hold music that I’ve come to loathe*
“This is Linda, Can I help you?”
“Yes, I was just transferred to you. Were you given information about my issue?”
“No, just your GW Student ID. Let me take a look. We seem to be missing paperwork.”
“Yes, because my paperwork was lost by your office and I had to resubmit so my loan hasn’t been processed.”
“Well, it’s actually past the deadline for you to qualify for a loan for the Spring semester…”
*blink blink breathe*
“That may be but I submitted everything on time. I can’t get penalized because your office screwed up.”
“I’m just not seeing…Wait, let me check something out.”
*tap tap tap*
“Oh. Well. There they are.”
“Were they in a wrong semester?”
“Yes…all your paperwork was scanned in for 2009-2010.”
“Even though the forms say 2008-2009 on them.”
“Yes. Well. Wow. That is definitely our mistake.”
*blink blink breathe*
“So, what do I need to do now to get the paperwork processed properly.”
“Well, as far as a loan goes, I can’t do anything for you…”
*BREAAAAAAATHE because she seems like a nice lady and I don’t want to scream at her*
“…I think I’m just going to have to give you a grant.”
“And how much would the grant cover?” *Now, I’m thinking 2…maybe 3 grand*
“Well…you owe us $7415.98…The grant would cover $7400…and you’d just have to pay the $15.98.”
“I’m sorry…how much?”
“$7400. Since this was definitely our screw up, there is no way we can penalize you.”
“Wow, thank you so much. ”
“Of course…I’m sorry that you had to deal with so much pain. I’m sure it’s been frustrating.”
“To say the least…I really appreciate all your help Linda…When can I expect the grant to go through?”
“By the end of the week.”
“Thank you AGAIN.”
I checked my account and there it was…within in the hour…Beautiful number of $7400…
A special thanks to Linda for being so helpful, incredibly patient and understanding. If it wasn’t for her, I might’ve had to burn down their pretty new offices…(No, not really but in my head)
See…what GW Financial Aid needs to realize is that instead of screwing up and paying their employees to spend hours on the phone with complaining students, they should get their act together.
Now, if they want to keep screwing up and continue to give me a free ride until I graduate…I won’t complain.
They already own the soul of my first-born. They’ll be using my blood as ink on my diploma…
But I will get that diploma if it’s the last thing I do.
Alright…bring it…We’ve all had our share of Financial Aid and form frustrations…Share your stories!