3 answers

School may be committing fraud.

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So after I had already been dropped out of school for more than a month and a half, still my school had pulled out a $5,000 portion of the financial aid for the next semester. And I've been notified several times, for several weeks prior, that I would be considered dropped out the next semester. #college #college #financial-aid

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3 answers

Angela D.’s Answer

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Updated
Hi Brian,
Greetings! I am sorry to hear your story. It is brief and because some details are needed, I'll ask you a few questions that will help guide possible next steps.
First of all, having been in higher education for decades myself, it is extremely difficult to commit fraud, there is just too much oversight and redundancies. Having said that, the right hand might not know what the left hand is doing because of how large administration can be with its many departments. Have you spoken with a guidance counselor about this? This person may become an ally in helping you to navigate other departments. Have you checked in with the Registrar's office to make sure of your status in terms of enrollment/withdrawal? Also, someone in Financial Aid? What does your online profile/account through the school look like? If you receive vague or no answers, please ask to speak to the person in charge or a supervisor. Frankly, a face-to-face meeting may be more effective so someone has to look you in the eye and see that you're a real person and then follow up with an email confirming your discussion. This is serious money you are talking about and it needs to get resolved no matter what, especially in the event you choose to return to school as it may impact future financial aid. Please get electronic and paper documentation of the process and resolution for your files. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, look forward to the New Year...and be brave! ~Dr. B

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

  • School online profile/account
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Registrar's office
  • Financial Aid office
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Jane’s Answer

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Hi Brian,

I’m sorry you’re experiencing this! It sounds frustrating.

I agree with Dr B’s next steps, and I’ll reiterate her point that speaking face-to-face with your financial aid counselor, billing office, and guidance counselor will be most constructive. You might plan ahead by making an appointment with each of these people, meeting with your guidance counselor/advisor first. They can be an advocate for you, and also might be able to go with you to the next meetings, to be another set of ears in the conversation. If that doesn’t appeal to you, consider bringing a trusted friend with you. Sometimes having support and another person to help interpret/ask questions can be helpful. It’s easy to get heated and/or confused when getting into the nitty-gritty of finances.

Good luck, Brian!

Jane

Jane recommends the following next steps:

  • Bring a friend/advisor with you to meet with Financial Aid and Billing face-to -face. It’s helps to have support and another set of ears.
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Stephanie’s Answer

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Contact the Financial Aid Office and let them know. They can release the funds back. It's most likely your loan funds as they are certified for the year in the Fall semester assuming you will attend the following Spring semester. Bottom line is, if you're not registered, the school can't receive the money for that semester. They haven't actually received the money at this point, only put a claim on it. This is an easy fix. The hardest part will be getting through to the Financial Aid Office right before the start of the Spring semester. This is not an issue of fraud by any means.

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact the Financial Aid Office
  • Contact the Registrar to ensure you are actually withdrawn
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