professional student (rant)

I need to rant about school real quick, so feel free to skip this post if you are so inclined.

I got an email last week that my tuition bill was posted. I logged in to check it out and realized that I hadn’t gotten any information about financial aid for the fall. I gave Pitt a call on Thursday and asked if they had sent the letters out/why didn’t I get mine.

“Oh,” the guy says, “They have you marked down as graduating in 15 days.”
“Well if they want to let me, that’s great, but I’m not.”

So he told me to contact my advisor to adjust my graduation date.

Except my advisor is on leave. So I email both the other advisor and the student advisor and wait. Nothing. I even put read receipts on the emails. Which no one is reading. On Friday I called and asked if any advisor was actually in the office during the summer. The receptionist told me that the other advisor had just left on a 3 week vacation but she had seen my advisor the day before, so she thought he was back.

So I send him an email pleading my case and he responds to say that no, he is still on leave, but to email the student advisor.

I call back and find that the student advisor I had emailed was gone and there is a new one in his place. I emailed the new one and he actually got back to me pretty quickly but informed me he had just started, had absolutely no idea how to change that, but would look into it and keep me posted. And bless him, he did. (He actually wasn’t able to fix it but someone in Student Records could and did. He walked all over that campus for me, what a guy.)

So then I call on Monday to let Financial Aid know, hey, my graduation date is fixed, give me my financial aid.

I spent probably 20 minutes on the phone with a different guy. He said that it showed that they only received my FAFSA that day (I completed it in JANUARY) and that my Academic Progress was “undetermined.”

“What does that mean?!”

“Well, if you don’t maintain a 2.0 or pass 67% of the classes you attempt or complete 135% of credits without receiving a degree, your Academic Progress = incomplete. But none of that applies to you and I don’t know what “undermined” means, I’ll have to get back to you.”

So I wait. Until today. And call again. Talk to a 3rd “Specialist.” I told him about all my previous issues and can he please tell me where I stand. He informs me that my Academic Progress is no longer undetermined, but there is another issue! (Of course!)

I have been selected for verification! Which means I have to bring them copies of my W-2 and H.S. diploma (what? why? if you let me in without a diploma, it’s on you now.) and a tax return transcript which is not the same as a tax return and has to be requested from the IRS and mailed to me in 5-10 business days and a notarized form saying that I only use my Financial Aid for academic reasons and not on big screen tvs or trips to Rio.

I’m just so frustrated. I get it. I have been a student at Pitt for almost 10 years (minus ~2 years somewhere in the middle). I get that I might be an anomaly and they might want to check up on me. BUT SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME. If I hadn’t realized that I never got an award letter, I never would have found out that I was slated for graduation/my academic progress was undetermined/they needed verification. Considering they have had my FAFSA for SIX entire months, you would think that they would have decided before this week that they needed to verify some things and would have kindly made me aware of this.

Tuition is due in 16 days, all I can do is wait/drop out at the last second if it doesn’t come through.

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