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Financial aid issue - any similar experiences?

FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
edited June 2013 in Parents Forum
Hi,

So I'll be brief - I'm a student receiving full financial aid (no family, hellapoor), and I had to take a leave of absence. I now owe several thousand dollars to the university, and if I don't pay them, I can't return.

I've explained to them that I am ineligible for private student loans (no income, no cosigners), and federal loans won't work because of the way my aid package is structured (my aid package covers my COA fully, so I'm ineligible for fed. loans - and besides, fed. loans won't cover balances from prior semesters). I've appealed this to my adviser, some people in SFS, and the president's office, and am waiting for a response, but I'm not assuming I'm going to have a favorable one. Anyone had a similar situation that can give me advice as to how to go about this? I'd like to return, but I can't afford to pay the balance, and I can't afford to have the balance taken from my fall semester's financial aid, as I'll literally have nothing to live on, and due to my medical issues, I can't take a full load and carry a full time job at the same time. Thanks for reading.
Post edited by FAmishap on
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Replies to: Financial aid issue - any similar experiences?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,099 Senior Member
    Ok..I'll bite. If you had full financial aid that covered everything...why do you owe your university money?
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    If you can't afford college right now, too bad---that's life (unfortunately). Get a job. Pay back the college for the amount owed. Keep working. Save some money. Then try to taking a class or two at a time while working to keep up with your bills.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    School let me keep health insurance while I was on leave; that is why I owe them. NYSmile, can't really 'get a job and take classes' - my school doesn't work that way. I can't transfer courses from other schools into my school after I've matriculated, and my school, being an Ivy, charges full-time tuition even if you work and take like, one class at a time. I can't pay back nearly $7k from what I'd earn as a barista. Thanks for acting like you know so much about my situation. Please don't post when you obviously know nothing about the problem. Thanks for your philosophy on 'life'. Appreciated. Next?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,099 Senior Member
    Your college paid for your health insurance while you were on leave. You need to pay your bills! What are you doing this summer? Get a job. Pay off the debt. That is the only way you will be returning to ANY college...because UPenn will not release your transcript with an outstanding balance.
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    If you can't afford to pay back what you owe, then you can't attend the college. It's not complicated. Yes you can pay them back, but it will take some time.

    You have to put off college for the time being. Get a job. Pay them back. Then, figure out a financial plan to attend college in the future.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Registered User Posts: 15,489 Senior Member
    Even if you could get a private loan, you wouldn't actually be able to ... because the school would not be able to certify any amount over the COA ... and you said your COA is already covered. You are in a jam, and the only way out is to work like crazy for the rest of the summer so that you can pay back what you owe. Do you have a job? If so, you need to either plead for more hours or get a 2nd job. If you don't have a job, you need to find one. McD's, Starbucks, the grocery store, etc. ... minimum wage is better than no wage.
  • b@r!um[email protected]!um Registered User Posts: 10,387 Senior Member
    $7K for student health insurance? Jeez...

    Yes, I get that your situation sucks, but why can't you take another leave of absence and work full time until you can pay the $7K back? Then you can go back to your Ivy League school. That sounds like your best option unless your school is willing to turn your debt into a long-term loan.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Thumper1, I have TWO jobs this summer, and am trying to pay it. I asked for advice, this is not necessary. I won't be able to pay the full balance- that's the issue. Don't assume things about me that you have no idea about. "You need to pay your bills!" lmao, I pay what I can afford, and live well below my means - I just can't come up with and additional 7k. Advice... not this. Can you offer any advice? Actually? Didn't think so. Super useful, thumper1.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,088 Senior Member
    Talk to their financial aid office, and talk to a financial aid counselor (if you can find one). Your big goals are to not get further into the hole, to make sure that you have medical insurance, and to get a plan to finish your degree.

    If you were to be able to get a second job, could you pay $250 per week to the school? That would have you on track to get everything paid off by the start of the spring semester. Alternatively, can you work about 12 to 15 hours per week during the school year, and give the school $100 per week towards your debt?

    EDIT: I see that you have a second job already. Talk to your school about how much you can reasonably manage every week, pay them what you can, and then look into either a reduced payment plan during the school year, or taking a semester off.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    [email protected]!um, nice name :) I like that. I'd like to return in the fall and I'm trying to see if anyone had any similar situations; I'd like to not take anymore time off, hence why I'm asking about this. :/

    And Kelsmom, I have two jobs. I work every day of the week, and I can't add more hours, like, literally, I would have no time to sleep. But I thank you for that bit of advice about the private loan and the COA - I actually didn't know that. I thought if I was approved for a private loan (which I can't get approved for anyhow due to credit/income/no cosigners) it wasn't related to my COA... ugh. Womp womp, now I know. Thank you :)
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,099 Senior Member
    I understand that you don't like the advice you are hearing here. But the reality is...you owe the school money and they are asking for payment. No one here is passing judgement on YOU. They are just stating the facts.

    This same issue has been posted multiple times over in the financial aid forum. Some schools will work out a payment plan with you. Others will not. You need to discuss this with UPenn. Do you have any relatives who might be able to lend you this money?

    The bottom line...you will need to repay this money or come to some payment agreement with Penn. it sounds like they have already told you that you must reconcile this bill before you can return.

    If Penn has an ombudsman, you might want to discuss this with that person. An ombudsman's job is to help solve difficult problems.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Thumper, has nothing to do with my opinion on the advice I'm hearing here. Has everything to do with your statements of "you need to get a job! pay your bills!" whatever suggested to you that I *didn't* have a job (two, in fact) and whatever suggested to you that I don't pay my bills? That's what I don't appreciate - your judgment of my situation with your utter lack of actual knowledge about it. The only thing I've gotten from your commentary is that I should go to the ombudsman, which likely won't work in my case, but I'll try it out.
  • iamanappiamanapp Registered User Posts: 470 Member
    ^ That's the best advice you're going to get, FAmishap. Honestly, there's very little else you can do.

    You should feel lucky people are taking the time to advise you despite your ungrateful and aggressive attitude.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    lmao, "ungrateful and aggressive". Luckily y'all don't have anything to do with my case. Thanks for your 'expert advice'.
  • FAmishapFAmishap Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Oh, and iamanapp - you're Penn '15? Take my situation as a warning for yourself - hopefully you'll be a lot luckier than I am in regards to dealing with Penn.
This discussion has been closed.