Friday, April 23, 2010

Smashing Brick Walls

Right on the heels of my good news about school, I received some relatively bad news about school. I called to check on the status of my spring/summer loan request and this is the information I received:

"Actually, you've reached your aggregate loan limit for undergraduate studies."

My what? Until Wednesday, I had no prior knowledge of the term "aggregate loan limit," and I certainly had no clue that I was anywhere near reaching mine. NOT GOOD, especially when you're paying for your education and supplementing your family's income (barely getting by I might add) through student loans. Apparently this term was couched (and explained) somewhere in the depths of the multiple pages of financing jargon I was supposed to have read when I signed my promissory note. My bad for simply glossing over all that stuff. Does anyone actually read it all, I wonder?

And the worst part is that no one, not one single person, ever took the time to look at my situation carefully enough to let me know that this was something about which I might have needed to be aware. I've been to counselors and I've stayed in touch. I've played my cards by the book, both academically and financially. My biggest crime is my lack of awareness and expertise about how this system operates. Now, only two short semesters away from the end, I'm receiving the news that my financial safety net is gone.

The bottom line is that where huge, bureaucratic institutions are concerned, you're on your own. You can go to as many counselors as you want but in the end, you're completely and totally on your own to navigate the waters and understand the systems. There is no real support in place for this stuff - half the time you can't even speak to a real human being anymore.

I do get it. I understand why they put limits and ceilings in place. It's to prevent people from repeatedly getting loans that they never intend to repay. But that's not me. Granted, I went about things more than a little backwards where my education is concerned but I'm not a slacker with no ambitions...and I'm certainly not intending to abuse the system in any way. But none of that matters. This is a hard limit, completely black-and-white. There are no provisions in place for someone like me who actually does have a legitimate need to borrow the last little chunk of college money I need. There is no room for someone to fall into a gray area, exactly like the one in which I now find myself. Arghhhhhhh, all of this is SO utterly frustrating!

I know I have to take my fair share of the responsibility for this SNAFU and I'm painfully aware of the fact that I'm the one who now has to suffer the consequences of my lack of awareness regarding my educational loans but still...this smacks pretty hard.

So the long story short is that Michael and I now have to find some way to come up with the requisite ~ $6,000 that I need in order to finish up my last few classes at Eastern and complete my two semesters of Student Teaching. *sigh* I have NO idea what we're going to do and I'm pretty much stressed to the max. Suddenly there's a lovely little brick wall that has obtrusively asserted itself smack in the middle of my path. Ugh.

I feel a little sick.

That being said, I'm not about to let that brick wall stand in my way. I fully intend to either go over the damn thing or smash right through it. Either way, I will finish my degree. I'm currently investigating my options so that I can come up with a plan for how to get enough money. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

BB said...

Yuck, Melba! That sounds like NO FUN at all. I'm sorry this has been thrown at you! God will provide, my friend! Way to stay positive and motivated!