Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unexpected Suprise

I was recently able to take a few weeks off of school due to the fact that I ended up not needing to take one of the classes I was enrolled in. This worked out really well since it not only gave me a break but also left a credit on my school account for this next semester. School for this next semester started on May 3rd.

When I signed up for this coming semester, back in March, I was notified that my payments would be about $400 a month for four months. Payments were to start this month so my husband and I have been budgeting accordingly in anticipation of this expense. I tend to be a conscientious person so I logged into my account last Friday just to make sure everything was all set to go for this week. What I found shocked me. There it was staring back at me, a screen stating that our payments were $757.50 per month for four months. WHAT?!?!

After I started breathing again I tried to look at the situation logically to figure out what on earth happened. I went back through my school's email account (the account they're supposed to email if any changed are made) to see if I had possibly missed something. The last email I had from them stated that my payment plan was the $400 amount. So I started going through the last bill, which they only send out quarterly. There was a charge of $1500 from my scholarships to our account which erased the negative balance and left a positive balance of around $800. Added on to this was the already ridiculous cost of tuition. I mean seriously, why should they get to charge $100 for my "registration" when I do it all online myself anyway? But I digress...

So there I was on the Friday before classes start and I had to figure out by the close of business what was going on, if it can get it fixed, and if I can't, what needs to happen. As my husband knows, I can be quite tenacious when it comes to circumventing the mess of automatic phone systems and I put my skills to work immediately. It took me a few calls but I finally got the direct line of a supervisor for the accounting department, who explained what happened.

Last semester, when I dropped that class, it evidently nullified all scholarships for the semester. This is something my adviser really should have told me but failed to mention. That means that my payments from last semester were calculated based on the fact that I had received my scholarships which now meant that we owed money.

To make a long story short I brought my case before the financial aid office both by phone and email and never received a response, I also contacted my adviser and didn't receive a response until Monday. Since classes started on Sunday that wasn't all that helpful. The other issue is that if I waited until Monday to cancel my classes they would charge me 10% of the class fee because it was after the start of class. Ugh!! What to do?

If I dropped the classes that meant that I wouldn't graduate this year after all, which I was really looking forward to. If I didn't drop my classes I would be stuck with a payment we couldn't pay. If I dropped just one class I would lose my scholarship for this semester as well and have a $600 payment we couldn't pay.

Well... I decided to drop my classes. I'm not willing to have us go into debt for school. We will still have about a $250 payment this semester even though I'm not taking classes, to take care of paying the scholarship back. I will have to graduate next year instead which bums me out.

On the plus side though, we had been budgeting for around $400 payment so we have a little extra room in our budget for this month. I also get an extended break which is nice. I'm hoping to use some of the extra time to get more involved in our new church.

Although it might not sound like it, I am thankful for the fact that I can go to school and that we don't have school loan debt. I'm thankful that I am close to graduating after all these years and the end is in sight. Maybe this is just God's way to telling me to slow down and reprioritize for a little while.




It's wonderful that you are seeing the bright side of your situation.

So thankful God is in control no matter how things may appear.


Hey, just wanted you to know that I tagged you in a meme at my place. Hope all is going well for you.

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