This post is not infertility or pregnancy related. It’ll be a nice break for all of us.
As you all know, Chief has gone back to school. He’s been back in for 1.5 years now. He got his associates last year at the local community college (BTW, he says it was nothing like the show, Community. How disappointing) and now he’s doing his last two year at our local four year college.
And the local four year is just fine. It’s not Harvard, but it’s a good school. It’s got a large enrollment and it’s a part of our state university system. Chief has mostly enjoyed his classes there.
What we HAVEN’T enjoyed is dealing with the financial aid office.
A little backstory: Chief went to this university over 10 years ago when he was just out of high school. He’ll admit-he was kind of a dummy, like a lot of just out of high school boys are. He didn’t really apply himself, and then he decided to join the Army and dropped out, so his last semester of grades were dismal.
When he came back they automatically put him on academic probation. It bugged him, because he’d done so well at the community college, but he understood. They said that once he had at least a 2.5 for one semester he’d be removed from the probation list. Last semester was his first semester there and he got a 3.0. Full time student with a full time job AND a part time job-I’m pretty proud of him.
So we get this letter that says he’s off academic probation, HOWEVER, he still doesn’t qualify for financial aid until he has another five passing classes to his name. We knew about this last semester and went through an appeal process and won. They went ahead and let him take classes and gave him financial aid. The GI Bill and National Guard Tuition Assistance pays for most of his school, but not all of it, so we always need another $500-1000 to finish off the total. Then we have always used the excess for fertility treatments (whether this is responsible or not, I can’t really get into. The interest rate was cheaper than any other loan and the Guard in our state helps to pay student loans back, so we went with it). THIS semester, we’re depending on the excess aid to help pay for my maternity leave, since I’m taking 12 weeks, most of which will be unpaid (Thanks America. Thanks).
So anyway, we didn’t find out he’d have to go through the appeal process again until after the last semester had ended AND the financial aid office had closed for the year. So he couldn’t start it until they reopened this month. Two weeks ago he turned in all the paperwork and we expected an easy process. After all, they had approved it last semester and his grades had only gone up since then. But no, we were rejected because his adviser signed a form electronically that had to be signed by hand.
That was annoying, but okay. Fine. I personally feel like they could have said “Oh, this is all fine, but have your adviser sign this to make it official.” But no. They just rejected it and said “start over bitches.” So he saw his adviser in person, she signed it, and then he turned everything in again. Fast forward to today. We haven’t heard anything so he calls up there. They tell him they’re missing some forms. He’s like “Um. Fuck no. I turned that shit in” (in reality, Chief was very nice and polite. That’s how I would have addressed the situation). So then they look and oh, by golly, yes he did turn it in. And they hadn’t touched it. They hadn’t sent it to the committee. But sorry, the next appeal committee doesn’t meet until Wednesday the 28th-next week.
Meanwhile, the bursers office is breathing down our throat because we still owe them something like $600 for this semester, and we’re like “look, talk to financial aid because they’re IDIOTS who can’t get these forms straight.”
So now, we’re still waiting. STILL WAITING. And I’m personally afraid the committee is going to say no to our appeal just because it’s taken so long for them to get it, which is REALLY not our fault. Chief confirmed today that they have it and he’s going up there in person on Tuesday to once again verify that the paperwork is complete and in the hands of the appeals committee.
Meanwhile I’m over here wanting to scream my hormonal head off at someone for their incompetence. I’m not saying that working in a financial aid office to a large university is easy. I’m not saying that. I’M NOT SAYING THAT. But I also strongly believe that maybe, just MAYBE, you don’t need to make it harder than it has to be. Because all they’ve done is create more and more work for themselves. And more stress for me and Chief. So I’m trying not to be THAT screaming person. Yet. Not yet.
Because, yeah. We need that money for my maternity leave (thanks America). Without it I’m going to have to go to one of my rich aunts and ask for help, which you guys KNOW I don’t want to do. It is an absolute last resort. And Charlie will be sleeping in a laundry basket because I won’t be able to afford anything else for her. That’s how dire this situation is. Okay, maybe not that dire, but it’s a little dire.
So, maybe pray that the financial aid office doesn’t throw away our paperwork over the next few days? That’d be great.