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Old 09-30-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,552 posts, read 8,611,278 times
Reputation: 5892
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post
Just an update.

I went to the Fin. Aid office at my school and they informed me that if you want loans, you have to apply separately, but in my case, because I'm on academic probation, I'll have to register, THEN apply for the loans, along with a petition/appeal form and letter explaining why I screwed up before and how I plan to avoid it this time around.



Honestly, I believe the loans will help me because I'll have to work less, and my problems last term were due to working too much while taking on too much... I don't know if that is enough to convince them though. It's hard to plan my life and the next semester without knowing for sure how much money I'll have or how much I'll have to work.
are you applying for private or gov't loans? because gov't loans are based on your FAFSA/SAR and don't need to be applied to separately, AFAIK (I get both subsidized and unsubsidized gov't loans, didn't have to apply for them separately). not sure if you being on academic probation changes this or not
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,561,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post
are you applying for private or gov't loans? because gov't loans are based on your FAFSA/SAR and don't need to be applied to separately, AFAIK (I get both subsidized and unsubsidized gov't loans, didn't have to apply for them separately). not sure if you being on academic probation changes this or not
Gov't loans. Stafford is what I was mainly considering.. I only want to borrow the minimum I'll need to either not work or work extremely part time and I don't need much for that.

I don't know if it is because of my academic status or if it's their policy overall. I did notice they had a sign up in the office about stafford loan apps taking so many weeks for processing so maybe they handle them all this way? It's a community / jr. college, maybe that makes a difference? IDK.
I'm stressing about it though...
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:38 PM
 
4,772 posts, read 7,553,123 times
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I figured you would have to apply for the Stafford separately, as that is what my son had to do. He is going to a private University, not a community college. (maybe colleges/universities just have different loan procedures, which is why some people don't have to apply separately?) And it did take several weeks for his Stafford application to be approved. Especially with the first bank application (Chase) who kept giving us the run around, they just didn't want to be involved. He had to apply online a second time using the Stafford application. Out of curiosity, I just went through the beginning steps to see if they had changed their procedure since we applied during the summer, and I do see they are now calling it "Discover Student Loans" when you get to the point of choosing a bank/lending institution. Previously I think it was Sallie Mae. But yes, expect the loan process to take several weeks. You will get at least one email regarding your application with your loan number; if you haven't heard from them in a few weeks just call them and ask them how your application is progressing. With the economy in the toilet as it is now, banks/lending institutions are sometimes dragging their feet about student loans so you need to keep on top of it's progress. Good luck!!
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,561,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
I figured you would have to apply for the Stafford separately, as that is what my son had to do. He is going to a private University, not a community college. (maybe colleges/universities just have different loan procedures, which is why some people don't have to apply separately?) And it did take several weeks for his Stafford application to be approved. Especially with the first bank application (Chase) who kept giving us the run around, they just didn't want to be involved. He had to apply online a second time using the Stafford application. Out of curiosity, I just went through the beginning steps to see if they had changed their procedure since we applied during the summer, and I do see they are now calling it "Discover Student Loans" when you get to the point of choosing a bank/lending institution. Previously I think it was Sallie Mae. But yes, expect the loan process to take several weeks. You will get at least one email regarding your application with your loan number; if you haven't heard from them in a few weeks just call them and ask them how your application is progressing. With the economy in the toilet as it is now, banks/lending institutions are sometimes dragging their feet about student loans so you need to keep on top of it's progress. Good luck!!
Thanks for the info.

I thought that these loans were often funded direct through/from the school....? That has been the experience of my friends who went to the same school. They never had to deal with banks.

If you have to deal with banks, is credit then going to be a factor? I'd read that with Stafford loans credit was not a factor. My best friend has HORRID credit but got Stafford loans (and Perkins I think??) each year for years. I'm confused again! LOL
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:26 PM
 
130 posts, read 286,212 times
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Financial aid funding can be very confusing, so you're not alone in that!

I have applied for loans "late" in the past, and they have come through. Bascially, you should be able to get one of the government loans, but it might take a while to come through if the deadline has passed. I've always been offered the maximum amount, but with varying proportions of subsidized/unsub depending on my income and the projected cost of school. (This was helped the year I quit my job and wrote the letter stating "My anticipated income for 2000 is $______.)

Loans are distributed through the schools, so you pick up your actual check on campus. The school you go to impacts your "estimated cost of education" which is the other big factor in determining your financial aid package. I'm not sure how academic probation would impact your loan status, but I'm guessing they don't want to see someone take out a big loan and then drop out of school. Have you talked with an academic counselor at your community college? They might be helpful, especially if you can convince them that you are SERIOUS about school this semester, and don't want to repeat your mistakes. Some will know the system better than others, but may be able to advocate for you.

You might also consider work-study jobs on campus, although these are also based on financial eligibility. Often times they have jobs that are well-suited for students that also allow you to "study on the job" -- think along the lines of computer lab assistant, where you can work when people aren't asking you questions.
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:07 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,561,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeThings View Post
Financial aid funding can be very confusing, so you're not alone in that!

I have applied for loans "late" in the past, and they have come through. Bascially, you should be able to get one of the government loans, but it might take a while to come through if the deadline has passed. I've always been offered the maximum amount, but with varying proportions of subsidized/unsub depending on my income and the projected cost of school. (This was helped the year I quit my job and wrote the letter stating "My anticipated income for 2000 is $______.)

Loans are distributed through the schools, so you pick up your actual check on campus. The school you go to impacts your "estimated cost of education" which is the other big factor in determining your financial aid package. I'm not sure how academic probation would impact your loan status, but I'm guessing they don't want to see someone take out a big loan and then drop out of school. Have you talked with an academic counselor at your community college? They might be helpful, especially if you can convince them that you are SERIOUS about school this semester, and don't want to repeat your mistakes. Some will know the system better than others, but may be able to advocate for you.

You might also consider work-study jobs on campus, although these are also based on financial eligibility. Often times they have jobs that are well-suited for students that also allow you to "study on the job" -- think along the lines of computer lab assistant, where you can work when people aren't asking you questions.

Hi, and thanks for your post.

It is VERY confusing. I am starting to think I need a degree just to navigate through registration, courseload, and financial aid stuff!

Sheesh.

I don't understand the point of work-study either.... how is it different from just getting another job off campus?

I have talked with an academic counselor, and she told me that if they denied my financial aid that she'd help write an appeal letter. This is where I became even more confused, because they first denied my aid, then I checked again and it was awarded, but no loans, so when I went in to ask about the loans, she said I'd have to "petition" for it (appeal basically) due to my probationary status. Seemed weird to me that I don't have to petition for the grants but only for the loan?

I will definitely ask the counselor about help getting the loans, because that's my big worry right now. I'm stressed by the fact that I cannot even apply and "petition" or appeal until AFTER I'm registered. It seems to be pushing it very late but I guess that remains to be seen. I can register as early as November 2 and classes start in January so perhaps it will work out? I just dread finding out in January that I cannot get the loans. If I get the loan(s) I will go full time, but if I don't I will have to drop a class or two to work more.

It's funny to me that my main reason for screwing up in the first place and landing on probationary status is because I was working too much and didn't have loans! LOL I guess they hear that all the time though. Not sure if it will help my case. I became very depressed, but I didn't see a doctor... don't know if seeing one now would help either.

According to the school my estimated "cost of attendance" is around 15k and my EFC is zero.

My partner is also on probationary status and has the same exact financial aid issue, because she enrolled 13 years ago or something like that, then never went to class and didn't officially withdraw (she was dumb about it)... so she's in the same boat, for a mistake thirteen YEARS ago.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:08 PM
 
4,772 posts, read 7,553,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post
Thanks for the info.

I thought that these loans were often funded direct through/from the school....? That has been the experience of my friends who went to the same school. They never had to deal with banks.

If you have to deal with banks, is credit then going to be a factor? I'd read that with Stafford loans credit was not a factor. My best friend has HORRID credit but got Stafford loans (and Perkins I think??) each year for years. I'm confused again! LOL
According to this website, you wouldn't need a credit check. And there are various lenders. We never actually received the check, it was sent directly to the school. The school just told us what we were eligible for, told us to apply through Stafford for it, then the Stafford loan people took care of the rest. We didn't actually go to a bank, although the first time around when the application asked, "which financial lender do you choose to use" a dropdown field appeared and I picked Chase bank. Not for any apparent reason, other than that was the only bank I recognized. But as I said, they were supposed to be handling the loan for Stafford, but we never heard back from them, so we reapplied on the Stafford website. That second time when asked which lender we wanted to choose, I picked Sallie Mae. But today I noticed the website has changed yet again, who knows what lender options you might have. Have you started the application process?

What is a Stafford Loan?

Oh, you asked about work study. My son originally requested it, but changed his mind after school started. He was supposed to be given a job somewhere around 10 hours a week working on campus in his "related field". He would have been paid something around minimum wage I think it was. The intent is just to give students extra cash towards books etc.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:14 PM
 
130 posts, read 286,212 times
Reputation: 60
Darn it... had a GREAT post going and something went wonky with my computer...

Working from the 1 paragraph I saved...
It IS difficult to balance work and school. I'm still struggling with this, and I'm working on PhD now, so it is universal to students! I've done it differently depending on my situation--sometimes working full time and sometimes being that poor, barely-employed student. (If you're closer to finishing, sometimes it is best to just bite the bullet and go be poor for a little while because your income will go up once you complete the degree--plus you get more assistance.)

The trick is to balance it so that you don't have so much debt on the other side that you can't pay for it with whatever job you get--but the system--especially for government student loans--is set up to help you with that. You can also--in the future--look for scholarships and those sorts of things, which may help with your longer term educational costs. So don't be afraid to use the aid that is available to you to help you get through school, but do use it smartly--it is an investment in your future. As my mother once said to me "They can do a lot of things to you in this world, but they cannot take away your education" and my sister's line: "my education has saved my ass more times than I can count."

Your community college is part of a LARGE system, so it takes a lot of work to navigate it--there truly are a number of hoops you have to jump through and many other people jumping through them at the same time. It can get overwhelming. That's why it's so important to work with someone who is knowledgeabe about the system and can help guide you through it. Sounds like your counseler is willing and able to do this--trust her to do her job, but do stay on top of things and follow up. It's also good practice for honing your organizational skills.

You might be ok with your Nov/Jan timeline. Work with your counselor to find out what you can do to be ready to submit on the 2nd, after you register. Worst case scenario, your loans might come a little bit later (February?). Sounds like you have the option of cutting back on classes if need be--remember, if it comes to that, it is only for one semester. The situation is temporary. You might be able to catch up with some summer school classes too. Can you live with that? Sounds like you can, which makes the worst-case scenario one that you can handle. These problems have solutions, so don't let them get bigger than they really are.

Your school may have healthcare or health insurance available for students, so if you're feeling depressed by all means go see someone. It's pretty common among college students. FWIW, I once cried in the parking lot on campus because I couldn't find a parking spot (working full time, so didn't have the luxury of coming early and studying until class started).

Work-study jobs aren't really different as an employee, other than they are geared for students, you have to "qualify" in order to get one, and the understanding is that your first priority is your school. Think about being able to say "I can't work this week because I have mid-terms/a big paper due" without worrying about losing your job. Better yet are those positions where you can study while you work (so you essentially get paid to study). I found this explanation on the UCSD website:

How is a work-study job different from a "regular" job?
It is the same as a "regular" job. You work hours and receive a paycheck. The Federal government pays a portion of your wages and the employing department pays the other portion.

You'll be just fine... Getting through school is done one step at a time...and is, hopefully, at least a little fun along the way...

Keep us posted!
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
7,347 posts, read 13,945,146 times
Reputation: 4503
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post
K-luv, what is odd about my EFC being zero?
Because while it does happen, you'd almost have to be destitute to receive a zero.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post
I thought that these loans were often funded direct through/from the school....? That has been the experience of my friends who went to the same school. They never had to deal with banks.

If you have to deal with banks, is credit then going to be a factor? I'd read that with Stafford loans credit was not a factor. My best friend has HORRID credit but got Stafford loans (and Perkins I think??) each year for years. I'm confused again! LOL
The financial aid office just coordinates the process. The lender of your choice gives them the money, then they give it to you.

If you are dealing with the banks through the financial aid process, then no, your credit does not play a role at all. If you went straight to the bank yourself and requested a private student loan (i.e., something outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal financial aid system, then your credit history will be a factor.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
7,347 posts, read 13,945,146 times
Reputation: 4503
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
Because while it does happen, you'd almost have to be destitute to receive a zero.
Never mind. I just read your profile.....and saw that you have three kids.
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