Posted on July 3rd, 2011 No comments
Below is the email I sent to Financial Aid and the Dean due to the problems of my Financial Aid. If you have any financial aid dealings with Bucks County Community College, well, first, I’m sorry. Second, if they edited your FAFSA due to verification, please be advised that they were doing it while GUESSING at what next years’ rules would be.
They made changes to my FAFSA that were not allowed by any official documentation based on some assumptions that certain credits weren’t allowed. It made me ineligible for financial aid. I had to march down there, documents in hand, and point it out. They asked me to come back later as they researched it. THEY COULD NOT FIND ANY DOCUMENTATION WHY MY CREDITS WERE TO BE REMOVED, and, they had never seen the official verification handbook because it was released JUST THE DAY BEFORE. Then the documentation was published, and they were like “look at that, we’ll have to fix it.”
My question is: why were you making big changes like that without any direction from the government, or even reading the posted instructions on how to verify? And, if you screwed up other people’s, how do they know if they don’t read the verification instructions sent to you that you’re supposed to know?
If you had changes made to your FAFSA due to Bucks County Community College’s verification process, double check them. Use this link to access the guide that BCCC is supposed to be using: http://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/1112AVG.pdf. And complain to them if it is wrong. If you have a problem, you can also contact me, and I’ll take a look at it too.
Subject: And ANOTHER Financial Aid issue that needs to be fixed
Dan Hughes <email@example.com>
To: Sandra Solar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Elizabeth Kulick <email@example.com>
I just received a letter that I need to perform EXIT counseling because I am “not registered for the upcoming semester or you have registered for fewer than 6 credits.” It says I must call or stop in “once I’ve completed registration.” According to WebAdvisor, I’m currently enrolled in 13 credits for Fall, AND HAVE BEEN SINCE APRIL WHEN I REGISTERED.
The number of errors by the financial aid department handling my account is ridiculous. Additionally, the corrections to my FAFSA have yet to be submitted after I had to come down there and show the correct verification documents that you all apparently didn’t have because “the documents are not finalized yet.” Why you edited my FAFSA without any documentation (nor could you give me any evidence why you assumed the Opportunity Credit would be removed from my FAFSA after waiting all day for you to find it) is beyond me, but this is becoming a serious problem. Who knows how many other kids had their FAFSA screwed up because the department made changes based on hunches and assumptions. I’m going to have to find a way to let local Bucks students know to double-check their FAFSAs in case you made anyone else ineligible for financial aid incorrectly.
FAFSA support gave me a phone number to call and file complaints, and I shall do that come Tuesday. In addition, make sure whatever is broken in your system is fixed so I don’t get pegged by the government for not paying back my loans yet.
Thank you in advance for fixing these issues.
Posted on January 22nd, 2011 1 comment
When I was a youngin’, we did not have cell phones, Facebook, or Twitter. Hell, MySpace wasn’t even on the map until high school. There was no reason to shorten one’s words or letters to make them fit. No, back in my day, if you left out letters from words, it was because you were an idiot. There was no excuse, no other rhetoric to be confused by; you either could spell, or you were illiterate.
Hence, when instant messaging became the hot thing (read: America Online), my friends and I communicated with complete sentences. Why? Because of the stigma that came with misspelling: you looked like a damned idiot if you couldn’t spell correctly or misused punctuation.
For the many of you to whom this is a novel concept:
Complete Sentences: Sentences that begin with a capital letter, have a complete subject and predicate that agree properly, uses and ends with proper punctuation, and has each word spelled correctly.
Fast forward to today. The introduction of cell phones and text messaging, followed by tweeting, has furthered the trend of “shortening” words. It isn’t a bad thing, per se; you’re trying to get a message across in the fewest characters possible, especially when you get charged extra by your service provider if you have to take multiple messages to do it.
PS: Don’t get me started on the whole “cell phone carriers rape us on transmitting data called ‘text messages’ by charging us ridiculous amounts to send BYTES of information” thing. It’s just too painful.
However, as I found when I had to take a mandatory composition class in college last semester, this is having a horrible effect on students of today. I claim that at least half, if not more, of word usage by high school students is via text message or instant messaging. This means that students spend time practicing how to do it wrong. Then they get to college, and they can’t spell or use apostrophes correctly.
Seriously, I had at least two classmates who were so confused as to when to use apostrophes that they somehow figured that every single word that ends in an s got an apostrophe: There are many egg’s, He had several girl’s, I worship Jesu’s. Stuff like that. It got bad when they had to write long sentences: The Jona’s brother’s have million’s of fan’s in many countrie’s acros’s the world.
Here lies the problem that the students do not understand: this is normal to them. They grew up (and we let them—parents, I’m looking at you!) using this type of communication, and that’s what they know. Everybody does it. They do not understand that everyone who might ever read their writing (bosses, hiring personnel, colleges) are going to look at their skills and wonder how they made it to age 20 and still not be able to spell.
Twenty years of your life gone, and you cannot write your native language. You should be ashamed!
I find apostrophes are the worst of all time. Before dropping letters to fit a sentence into 160 characters, apostrophes can be dropped, and it still sounds like the way we would say it. This allows for people who cannot spell to still get the appropriate message from the text—most of the time—by saying it aloud. The same thing goes for end-of-sentence punctuation. So, if you think spelling is bad because they practice it wrong, punctuation is horrible because they NEVER PRACTICE IT AT ALL.
So yes, in closing, yes, if you are in college, and you still cannot spell, and can still turn in horrible papers with all the tools available to you (online grammar sites, dictionaries, even f*cking spell check), then yes, I consider you less intelligent than the people who came before you at that age who could. Because every one of us who wants to hire you thinks that spelling is what *normal people* can do. *Experts* do wonderful things with grammar and sentence structure, but *normal people* can at least spell. To us, you look absolutely terrible.
Oh, and one last PS: Sometime in the past couple months I saw one friend post to another that someone she was instant messaging with told her to stop using end of sentence punctuation because it made her sound pretentious. You, sir, are an example of what is wrong with this world.