Legal Quandary

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Attitudes are Contagious - Mine Might Just Kill You.

G-Man asks how I manage to stay even remotely sane going to school full time with 2 kids.

The answer is that I just sort of do a crappy job of everything and hope it'll all sort itself out in the end. Today was not the best day to discuss my sanity. Or good attitude.

The day started out pretty well. I had my new sweatpants on (they weren’t white or anything - nor do I hike them up to my enormous maybe slightly larger than average sized breasts.) I also had my new tennis shoes (yay Zappos - the shoes arrived in 2 days and are awesome! A little higher arch than I’m used to, but maybe that’s because the last time I bought tennis shoes was 3 years ago.)

The sun was shining. (Note the use of the past tense.)

AND I had made plans to pick up my new glasses tomorrow, since we have a reprieve don't have Admin on Thursday. We still have a reading assignment, mind you - we just don't have to be subjected to an hour of full-on socratic anxiety.

Life was good. (Again – note the use of the past tense.)

Until I visited the Financial Aid office. Who informed me that because I was planning to visit a different school next year, I probably wouldn't get any financial aid unless I got a consortium agreement. After already having been told that "the University has a strict policy of not seeking financial aid on behalf of students not attending TVPNU," I feel like the chances of this are slim to none. And as E.Spat would say, Slim's out of town. So now I'm freaking out about not only how I'm going to get into another school to visit, but also how to pay for it. All because Mr. Q is being sent to a new job. To their credit, they did their damndest to get rid of me early.

Them: Oh, you should really talk to the law school about that!

Me: Amos (our financial aid guy) said to come see you.

Them: Oh.

Then I did my best to convince them that I was still going to be a TVPNU student, and therefore, they should request aid on my behalf. Since last time I checked, my degree was still going to say "TVPNU" on it.

Them: So, you're still going to be a student here?

Me: Yes.

Them: But you'll be registering for classes there?

Me: Yes.

Them: You won't be registering for classes here?

Me: No. Oddly enough - the professors here will NOT be holding classes in Washington DC next fall for my convenience.

Them: Oh. That might be a problem.

I really hate feeling like all I represent to them is a tuition check. A big, fat tuition check paid by the federal government. Which is the big thing that confuses me - if the money is coming from the feds - why should it really matter where I spend it?

Them:
Well, there's eligibility criteria. You have to be a student. [check] At an accredited institution [check check]. And meeting minimum attendance and performance standards. [um..minimum standards...check]

Me: Ok, so I don't see the problem.

Them:
Well - we can only certify to our own students. If you're going to a different school, we have no way of knowing if you're meeting those criteria.

Me: So, you're saying that if the other school certified all those things to you, it wouldn't be good enough?

Them:
AND, we have no idea if the school you'd be taking classes at is accredited.

Me: Ummmm...well, what if the ABA thinks it is?

Later in the day, some guy called me a cynic when I said this school would never see another dime of my money. Hah! If he only knew.

Comments:
You know in Dilbert, how the accounting department is run by demonic slugs? The same creatures tend to end up in financial aid offices. And there's something about having a tiny bit of power that turns some people into complete - albeit petty - tyrants.

Good luck.
 
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