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Woes of Financial Aid

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!

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Cassie June 18, 2009, 11:13 am

    OH, I hated ALL things from the institution of college while I was there. I LOTHED FA and the Registar’s Office….I waited in so many damn lines and talked to so many disgruntled workers….it was a WONDER that I DIDN’T burn that G-D place down!!!!

    Now, the actual going to classes and such I had no problems with, it was all the BS you go thru to GET to that point!!!!!

    AND, I owe the State of LA my first born calf and a half my body for good measure, but the education was worth it!!!!

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 11:40 am

      I even have a problem with going to class because some of the professors are fucking IDIOTS!

      At this point, I just want to get through and get my diploma. Even scheduling classes is a pain in the ass though!

  • Lauren June 18, 2009, 11:23 am

    OMG, financial aide is the WORST!!! I just graduated with my bachelors and you have to have an “exit interview” with financial aide. uhm, yeah, that’s when they tell you how much you owe them, when they expect your first born and lecture you on how you will be paying them for the rest of your life.

    And at the end, they hand over a nice little folder, smile brightely and say “Congrats on graduating”

    Seriously?!? I think the lady definitely gets off on giving you the worst news ever and then smiling and sending you on your way feeling sick to your stomach and wondering how the hell you are supposed to pay for this shit.

    The worst part? It was on my birthday! What an f’in downer!

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 11:41 am

      Exit interview? *blink*

      That is if I make it out alive…

      Dude, that fucking SUCKS that it was on your birthday though!

  • justjp June 18, 2009, 11:47 am

    Yea, I owe a shit ton of money. Attend a private school and pay the rest of your life. Let’s just say I may not have been present the day in economics where they explain return on investment.
    .-= justjp´s last blog ..WRW Edition of TMI Thursday =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 11:51 am

      Honey, I go to the most expensive real estate company school in the country.

      I think I’ll be paying for the next 5 lives.

  • Carol June 18, 2009, 11:47 am

    Wow…what a good result for your headache! I will be learning my way around this system in teh near future. i want to go back to school something fierce.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 11:51 am

      Good luck with that!

      What do you want to go back for?

  • f.B June 18, 2009, 11:59 am

    Yeah… There isn’t enough space in this virtually limitless box to talk about all the financial aid drama I went through with GW. I’m just glad your story worked out in the end.
    .-= f.B´s last blog ..NYC Prey School =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 12:02 pm

      It worked out THIS time…I’ve had issues with them every year…and it’s a pain in my ass.

      But I know you can relate. I can’t wait till I’m out of there…

  • Big Money Tony June 18, 2009, 12:00 pm

    Sorry to hear of the trouble, but at least you only had to pay $15.98.

    Back in my days of college, financial aid sucked worse. Still endless paperwork, but advisors literally told me to lie on my application because they took one look at my poor ass and said I wasn’t poor enough to qualify for $1 in grants.
    .-= Big Money Tony´s last blog ..Remembering =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 12:12 pm

      Well, I’ve paid them thousands of dollars, even with my scholarship so I think I’ve earned the $15.98

      Yeah, I don’t qualify for grants…What sucks is that they told me I made too much money last year…I’m like …I made LESS than the fucking tuition…How’s that ‘too much’ money?

  • Tanya June 18, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Ugh, Financial Aid IS a nightmare. Even more so as an adult learner. I worked in Admissions though when I was a student before…so I had some inside knowledge that helped!

    I thought all the FAFSA stuff was done online?

    I’ll be returning in the fall with luck…so I’ll be going through all of it again. *sigh*

    I’m glad they helped you. I could feel my pulse racing as I read along thinking OH NO…so I’m happy for YOUR happy ending!

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 12:13 pm

      The FAFSA stuff is done online but you have to fill out the school forms, the loan forms and take in copies of w-2s and tax forms…I’m hoping that since I’m independent now, I won’t have to give them my parents’ tax information next year…Getting that is a pain in the ass!

  • Alice June 18, 2009, 12:10 pm

    i was lucky and all my financial aid went through fine at w&m, but i’ve had similar experiences w/insurance companies. the first place i worked switched insurance companies at one point, and the new company kept “not receiving” the paperwork for a claim for OVER A YEAR, despite the fact that both i and the hospital faxed it to them every 2 months, until all of a sudden the statute of limitiations on the claim were up, or something like that. so it no longer mattered that i’d done everything right at the hospital, the hospital had submitted the claim properly, and i’d followed up repeatedly over the course a year…. the claim was then “too old” so they no longer were “allowed” to pay it. SEEEEETHE.
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..the fruits of my labor =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 12:14 pm

      Ohhhhhhhhh, insurance companies…Yeah, my aunt has had shitload of problems with insurance companies.

      I’m hoping that I won’t ever have to have any major procedures that lead me down that path.

  • LivingWicked June 18, 2009, 12:11 pm

    I don’t deal with financial aid … per say.

    I deal with the VA. The lady is an idiot. I D I O T.

    I would rather shoot myself in the face than deal with her … yet I have to deal with her every quarter.
    .-= LivingWicked´s last blog ..TMIThursday: You Just Love My Doggystyle? =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 12:14 pm

      My fucking advisor keeps changing too…It’s a pain in the ass to explain my situation with scheduling to a new advisor every two years.

  • Lusty Reader June 18, 2009, 2:06 pm

    ooo i was on the edge of my seat scrolling down your post! and was SO pleasantly surprised by the happy ending! yay PQ and Linda!

    and when i did summer school at NYU (summer before i left for France for summer abroad *foreshadowing*) they lost my CLASS registration paperwork and no one told me until my prof tried to enter my grades in the computer system in AUGUST but i didn’t show up in his student database. i had to resolve everything over email since i was in FRANCE but it actually didn’t get fixed until i was back in the States for xmas.
    .-= Lusty Reader´s last blog ..Famous figures in historical fiction =-.

    • Lusty Reader June 18, 2009, 2:09 pm

      that is supposed to say “study abroad” argh
      .-= Lusty Reader´s last blog ..Famous figures in historical fiction =-.

    • PQ June 18, 2009, 2:20 pm

      Haha, I like that my blog kept people at the edge of their seat…

      Yeah, there is ALWAYS a problem with registration…and paperwork…I worked at the school for two years so I know how annoying it is…


  • miss rambles June 18, 2009, 2:59 pm

    i hve never had to deal with financial aid dramas but damn it sounds tough but at least you got something for it so well done to you:)
    .-= miss rambles´s last blog ..thursday confessions =-.

    • PQ June 18, 2009, 3:44 pm


  • LiLu June 18, 2009, 3:37 pm

    The Lauras of this world keep me from getting stabby.

    Well, no. They don’t. But they keep me from ACTING on it.

    As far as you know.
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..Thanks, W: A Different Kind of TMI =-.

    • PQ June 18, 2009, 3:44 pm

      Seriously. If it wasn’t for her, I might’ve had a psychotic episode on Monday.

  • Patrick June 18, 2009, 4:36 pm

    Wow I thought this would have a bad ending but you cashed in big time! Congrats!
    .-= Patrick´s last blog ..Why Your Mom Shouldn’t Be On Facebook =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 4:38 pm

      I was pretty surprised too…but I get lucky once in a while.

  • MinD June 18, 2009, 4:44 pm

    This makes me WISH Penn State messed up all my paperwork. Now, I owe 50Gs. Ha.

    I had amazing scholarships my first two years. Aside from that built-in Stafford Loan, they practically paid for the rest of my tuition. I was told the scholarship applications for my junior year would be due at the beginning of the spring semester my sophomore year. I got all the paperwork, brought it home to fill out over Christmas break, but when I went to return it, I found out the office was mistaken. The forms were actually due in OCTOBER! So I was late and they wouldn’t be accepted.

    Needless to say, that’s a BIG reason I owe so much money now. I had a damn 3.98 GPA at the time. I would’ve received scholarships, but those bastards screwed me over.
    .-= MinD´s last blog ..You look like a monkey, and you smell like one, too. =-.

    • PrincessQ June 18, 2009, 4:51 pm

      It’s only for one semester. I had a scholarship but it still didn’t cover my tuition…and the tuition went up 5% every year while my scholarship remained the same.

      I owe a lot of money but it’ll be worth it…

      It’d be worth it more if effing FinAid didn’t give me problems every year!

  • jeluttrull June 18, 2009, 6:13 pm

    I know the pain and hassle of filling out the FA forms. But, fortunately for me, I have not had to deal with the problems you have. I will just be glad when I get my degree and no longer have to worry about filling out and submitting the forms on time. But, then again, I am not looking forward to having to repay all the loans that I have accrued, either.

    Congrats on getting the grant to cover 99.99% of you Spring term. Just think what would have happened if you would have lost your cool and started yelling at them there. 🙂
    .-= jeluttrull´s last blog ..Gotta love pleather seats! =-.

    • PQ June 18, 2009, 6:24 pm

      I’m really glad that I kept my cool too…It was driving me insane.

      I really really hate filling out paperwork…Gah!


  • The Northerner June 19, 2009, 10:56 am

    My husband is at GW and he didnt get his financial aid check last year. Why? They forgot to print it. So we had to ask my parents for rent money because they didn’t send it to us until like two weeks later. AWESOME.

    • PrincessQ June 19, 2009, 10:56 am

      Isn’t it the BEST?

  • Rachel June 20, 2009, 2:09 pm

    If my financial aid experience ended up as good as this, I probably wouldn’t’ve dropped out of college so many times.

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