I'm having issues with my son's Financial Aid office over a private student loan that I applied for, was approved for, took a day off work and went to my son's school to sign a promissory note for, and the school failed to certify it and the funds were never disbursed. They did not contact either myself or my son to inform us that there was any unpaid balance during the semester. When my son attempted to register for classes the following semester, he was told that he had a large balance due and would not be able to complete registration until it was settled with the accounting office. Both he and I contacted the financial aid office and they stated that the amount of the loan was not filled in and they never returned the paperwork to the lender. When I returned the promissory note to the Aid office, I did not know the exact dollar amount that was needed and they told me they would contact the accounting office for the information and would enter it on the form, as they had done for me the previous semester. Regardless, no one ever contacted me to tell me there was an issue, and I was told that the only step left in the process was for the school to certify the loan and the funds would be disbursed.
Anyhow, I was shocked when they told me that the loan could not be processed since the semester was already over, and they suggested that take out a private(and obviously much higher interest) loan out through my bank. At one point they suggested I outright pay the entire amount in cash to the school. If that was something I wanted to do, I would have done so instead of taking out a loan.
I called the Department of Education, and they told me that the school should request a late disbursement similar to when they request one for federal student aid. The school refused to take any responsibility or provide any assistance to resolve the issue. I have since paid off $45,000 in loans in full and paid $15,000 up front during my son's first three years. My son lost all interest in returning to the same university after the way they treated us, and attempted to transfer to another college. The school now is refusing to release his transcript for the semesters that were paid in full. My son told them that he doesn't want his credits from the semester in issue despite this essentially resulting in him having wasted 4 months going to class for nothing. I was always very on top of getting the school all the paperwork they needed and I personally think its unacceptable to change payment terms after the fact.
Has anyone ever encountered a situation like this? I have a feeling that I will have to file suit against them(this has turned into a matter or principle for me) to get the $60,000 in credits I paid for transferred to the school my son wants to attend. I know most school's have rules buried in their policies that state they withhold ALL credits if any funds are owed to the school, but I'm sorry to break it to them but its common law conversion to withhold someone's property(ie his credits for the first 3 years) if money is owed for a separate transaction. It's actually quite disturbing that school's think that it's acceptable behaviour. "So what if you paid $60,000- you're not getting anything out of it"