What Did I Learn From My Financial Aid Nightmare?

I went to the financial aid office at my university the Monday after I got my financial aid denial letter… and I got them to reinstate my financial aid from now until I graduate next spring! It wasn’t easy. I was sent on a wild goose chase to another department which didn’t know what financial aid was talking about; and at one point I was even told that I just wasn’t going to be receiving financial aid at all.So how did I get them to change their minds? I restated the facts that were presented on my original appeal application, and I quoted that The Higher Education Act allows exemptions for students with illness and that Depression is legally an illness. I was persistent and polite.What did I learn from this experience?*Know and understand your university/college’s policies and the laws that pertain to those policies. If you can point out technicalities that help you, such as I did, then, you will be able to resolve your problem in your favor.*You must be your biggest advocate! No one will stand up for you but you…in many cases your parents will not be able to intervene because of privacy laws.*Don’t take no for an answer! I was told no several times, but I knew that no was not an acceptable answer. I also knew that I was in the right. If I gave up after the first no things would be much different for me now.* Maintain your composure. It may be tempting to get angry and yell or swear, to be insulting, or to start crying out of fear and frustration. All this will do for you is make you look irrational, rude, and make you even more upset. It is imperative to remain calm and polite if you want to accomplish your goals.*Joke around if you can or be complimentary. Showing that you are a likeable person makes people want to help you.Just remember that there is no challenge that can’t be overcome if you take the time to think through all your options and do the research that can help you get what you need. If I had not been able to get the financial aid office to reinstate my financial aid I would have had to leave school for a period of time to save up money, but that would not have been the end of the world. It just would have been disappointing and delayed my graduation.

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