One of my first lessons in being a grown up came from figuring out my financial aid without the help of my parents. In learning this lesson, I discovered that the Office of Financial Aid will not provide any help either. First off, the financial aid office can never figure out what information is accurate. One week they tell you one thing, the next week it’s the complete opposite, and then they act like it was your fault in the first place for not knowing.
Personally, it seems like a lot of confusion could be cleared up if you could get the same answer from everyone you talk to. When it comes to FAFSA and having all your stuff in, they’re silent, and then weeks later they send passive aggressive emails listing all the documents you’re missing. Once you do get your financial aid package (67 years later), forget trying to get help to bridge the gap or get a little more money. Rather than showing the slightest bit of leniency, IC told me to figure out how to pay my bill, or don’t come back. Not only does the Office of Financial Aid force you to figure everything out yourself and provide little to no help with the process, they’re SO unhelpful that they’d rather you didn’t come back instead of showing a little sympathy. This is wrong on so many levels, but it really grinds my gears that the people in the office can’t even pretend to look around to find an extra few thousand for someone who really needs it to the point where not having that money means they won’t be able to return to school.
The other thing that makes my blood boil is that when I was faced with this situation, I did my own 20 minute Google search and found a simple, easy way to solve my problem. All it took was a two-page form. Why is that I found the solution all by myself, no freakin’ problem, but the person who literally does this for a living told me I had no options? The complete lack of help at this school astounds me, especially since the language on the website makes you think they’ll be with you every step of the way. Here’s my free advice to you: Google is a better friend than the Office of Financial Aid ever will be.