ETA #2: Well, their webspider is working, I already have a comment from their bot asking me to contact them for resolution. PLUS: I have a bill from the federal loan servicer in front of me. It specifically states I received an UN subsidized loan. Desiree from the school insists they sent me money from a subsidized loan in error. In fact, the amount I received was nearly $2000 less than I was entitled to, and the amount I am being billed for by the loan servicer. She says she can’t do print screen to give me proof, that I have to go into the website and get it myself. I told her that obviously I was going to need a lawyer.
I called my education counselor today to ask for unofficial transcripts. She began talking about how I owe the university money I must pay back because I was ‘overawarded’ money in my student loan. It seems that because my company participated in a direct bill program (I never paid for it, my company did) that Grand Canyon considers that a ‘scholarship’ and therefore my maximum award was decreased. The counselor said that Grand Canyon had to send that money back to the Education dept and that I was responsible for that money. I said that in that case my student loan amount that I owe should have been decreased if they sent money back, yet it’s not, therefore I’m being double billed for the same money – I can’t owe the federal govt and the school for the same amount. I was pretty upset by this time, as you can imagine. She then said I needed to produce proof the school was double billing me and I replied that I would be in contact with the Education Dept directly. She said that I would have to talk with the finance manager from now on as I am ‘escalating the situation’ … OK, whatever. You can’t produce proof I owe anything but you are threatening my future by withholding transcripts…who is the aggressor here?
So anyway. I contacted the Borrower Tracking Dept of the Dept of Education. I did NOT receive an overpayment, there have been NO changes to my financial aid package for the 2010 school year made by the school, I have received no other aid, and I have had only one federal loan disbursement which I was legally entitled to. Note that while Grand Canyon calls the direct bill program a ‘scholarship’ the federal government does not. They don’t care about private agreements apparently, which are not between the student and the school.
On to step two. I contacted a representative from the loan servicer. He kept talking about a re-affirmation letter which I asked him to explain to me – apparently if I was awarded too much money the school was supposed to send me a letter to that effect and say that I’m not eligible for any more financial aid (or to ask for some of the award back) at the time. The key words in that letter were supposed to be to the effect that the ‘funds disbursed exceeds the maximum allowable’. Well, that never happened.
Well, it gets curiouser and curiouser. Apparently, there were THREE loans taken out in my name! Two of which were paid back by the school in two payments each. Only ONE of which I signed a master promissary note for, and only ONE of which I received a disbursement for. So the school is apparently billing me for the money they accepted in my name, which I NEVER RECEIVED NOR SIGNED FOR, and they then paid back. Yes, I am getting confirmation of this via snail mail.
The loan servicer recommended I write a letter agreeing to pay it back – before he understood that the money they are apparently billing me for is the money they took out in my name and paid back – which would essentially put me legally on the hook for the amount owed, but would allow me to get my transcripts. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN. I am perfectly willing to pay back money I owe. NOT money I don’t.
Why did I take out a loan for the schooling anyway if it was being paid for, you might ask. Well, they only paid for the classes I completed, not the classes I withdrew from. I had to take a class twice, and since I withdrew after the refund deadline I was responsible for the payment of the tuition for it. Plus, the books were NOT cheap. And when you’re taking a new class every five weeks, $200 a month (approximately) is a lot to drop on books for 14 months solid. So now, for my trouble, I have a bachelor’s degree I can’t do anything with because I can’t go to any other schools because I can’t get my transcripts.
Plus I have to pay back my employer some of the cost as well, because I didn’t stay for a year after graduating. This has turned into the nightmare that just won’t end.
ETA: well, they will apparently send UN official transcripts, just not official ones.