Trying Not to Be THAT Person

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.


21 thoughts on “Trying Not to Be THAT Person

  1. Good luck! I had a similar issue with my financial aid when I went back to school for my AS, I had to appeal every semester, they kept losing paperwork, the committee wasn’t meeting until x amount of weeks later, etc. I think they all get a memo to determine just how hard they can make it for us!

    • It is so crazy. Assuming Chief doesn’t have some sort of crisis and flunk again, this should be the last semester of this ridiculousness, but it is really obnoxious. Last semester they withheld our GI bill funds saying he wasn’t eligible for them and of course the VA is so backed up they couldn’t help us. Well eventually something got through and they JUST disbursed LAST semesters GI bill money to us, so that was a nice bonus. But it was so aggravating last semester when they kept saying he couldn’t have them. I was like “Um. Fuck no. He went to fucking iraq and got INJURED (minorly-a hand injury, but injured nonetheless!-he’s fucking eligible.”

  2. I can tell you that the people who work in the office likely get just as frustrated as you are, especially with someone like your husband who deserves the financial aid. Working in student affairs is tough because of all the stupid bureaucracy. I hope that you get good news soon. If you don’t, I would strongly suggest speaking to a higher up about the ridiculousness and incompetence that went on. ❤

  3. It’s so hard when your financial future is in someone else’s hands. Fingers crossed that it’s all sorted out next week. I know it shouldn’t be so complicated, but it always seems to be anyway. It’s like when it comes to relying on other people to do their job, you almost always have to count on a complication.

    • I feel bad that our financial future is dependent on this, but we’re just not rich people. If we hadn’t been using every spare dime for fertility treatments we’d have a nice little nest egg in savings-but we all know how quickly that goes!

      • We are in the same boat! We had a lovely little savings account prior to our foray into the world of fertility. I feel awful that now that we have a baby on the way, we have zero cushion. Especially since–like you said–maternity leave in the US is a joke.

      • Mine too! I have to say, I never really thought much about maternity leave policy until I started trying to get pregnant. It’s really atrocious.

      • It truly is. I feel so incredibly jealous of all the women in other countries who get a full YEAR off. And I think in England they get a year and something like 36 weeks of that paid? How freaking amazing.

  4. La works for a community college (although I’m guessing colleges in general have this problem) and their systems are atrocious. They once didn’t pay her money she’d earned for months because of little bullshit details that were out of her control. She had to go to the president of the college to hand write her a check before they ‘got it’ in the appropriate office. So, I get it. And I’m sorry because having someone else’s job performance dictate your financial future *sucks.* I’m sending prayers it gets sorted out quickly!

    • I feel lucky about my college. I had very few financial aid problems and they were always able to sort them quickly. Of course, I never had a complicated situation like Chief’s, but again, I think they just make things harder than they need to be. The military’s financial office does the same stuff and it drives us nuts.

  5. Oh boy this makes me nervous I’m doing a similar route first 2 at the college and the other 2 at the closest university so far everything has been really smooth for my college I hope it doesn’t get all screwed up when I get to the university…

  6. OMG what a bunch of fucktards. There is something about public servants. They have this real “it’s not my job” attitude. I know because I used to be one and I was surrounded by them everywhere. I’m not complaining too loudly though as it made me look good because everyone else was so fucked so I got lots of promotions (plus I was good but you know, I could have just showed up to work and done the bare minimum and I still would have come off with a shine). ANYWAY I would have made the call that said “hey all your forms are fine, I just need an actual signature on this one and then we are good to go” but most people just go “no doesn’t meet the requirements. I’m ticking decline and not going out of my way to help one person in my life EVER” or something like that. Hoping it all works out for you hon because that all blows and I don’t want you to have to put Charlie in the washing basket. Although the Swedes (I think it’s them)apparently do a box in the early days. hehe

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