yamikuronue (yamikuronue) wrote in bad_service,
yamikuronue
yamikuronue
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Is this a cultural thing?

It is now almost June 1st and I still haven't managed to get any information out of the only person who knows enough about US-based loans to help me at the school I plan to attend this fall in the UK, meaning I still don't know for sure I'm attending because I have yet to receive word if I'm actually going to be able to pay for school. A second school, which also offered me a conditional acceptance, has likewise had their international department be difficult to get ahold of - their general inquiries team replies within 24-48 hours of my sending an email (which is excellent given the time differences), and the department offering the course within a few days, but the international people refuse to reply to either me or the general inquiries people who forwarded my email.

I am absolutely livid at the situation. It is almost JUNE. Here in the US this stuff should have been worked out by December - and it's not my doing, as I applied back in September, got my FAFSA in the day after I filed my taxes, and have been emailing every few weeks (and calling a few times - calling got me "I think I can waive the deposit because we can't accept loans until you get here, let me talk to some people, and also, let me do some research" a month ago with no reply to emails since then). This is fucking ridiculous. I'm not even sure I WANT to attend university anymore - but I kind of need to, as my undergraduate degree (I have GRADUATED while all this shit was still up in the air!!) is pretty much useless for making any kind of money.

Is there any reason I shouldn't be fucking pissed off by now? Because if there's some reason nobody can tell me anything about school in the UK before the month I'm supposed to be moving there, I'll try to make accommodations and stop pestering people, but...

(Recap: I live in the US, thankfully on the east coast so the time difference is less horrid than it should be; I'm trying to attend a one-year post-graduate taught programme in the UK, but I need to pay for it with student loans, which the US government claims I am eligible for but that I have to contact the school itself to find out how much money I can get from the government to pay for schooling. Also, US-based loans all disburse directly to the institution, whereas apparently in the UK they give the student the money and you then give it to the school. If I can't get them to figure out how to accept the loans the lenders claim they should be able to accept based on a list of approved international schools the government puts out, I can't attend their programme, period. Since I also need to secure student housing, I have a vested interest in solving this, you know, before the last minute possible. Once it's settled that I'm going, to get a visa I have to borrow even MORE money so I have it on hand; I don't want to borrow living expenses if I won't be travelling after all.)

EDIT TO ADD:

It doesn't make much sense to me either, guys, but that's how US federal student aid works. From the application website:

How do I receive financial aid?
The schools to which you are applying use the information from your SAR to determine your eligibility for financial aid. The financial aid office at your school will prepare a financial aid package to help meet your financial need. Financial need is the difference between your school's cost of attendance (including living expenses) and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
The amount of your financial aid award depends on several factors, including whether:
You're a full-time or part-time student
You attend school for a full academic year or less
You believe you have unusual circumstances such as unusual medical or dental expenses
Your financial aid will be paid to you through your school. Typically, your school will first use the aid to pay tuition, fees, and room and board (if provided by the school). Any remaining aid is given to you for your other expenses.

^ Despite sounding like it's coming from the school, the loans I've applied for are federal loans, grants, and work-study (it all has one giant application, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA).

Also relevant:

What if I’m attending (or planning to attend) a foreign school that does not have a Federal School Code, but is eligible to receive Title IV aid?
Enter the code for a U.S.- based school that you would not mind sending your information to. (This is because you must enter at least one code on the FAFSA.)
When you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) you will need to send it, or a copy of it, to the foreign school’s financial aid officer responsible for handling financial aid for American students.
Follow any additional instructions from the financial aid office at the school.
If you are unsure if your school is eligible to receive Title IV aid, contact your school’s financial aid office.
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