Going to school is expensive. Like, ridiculously expensive. And unlike most of my friends, I am not the daughter of a doctor or a lawyer. My dad remodels bathrooms and my mom works at a call center. Needless to say, they are not paying for my $40,000 a year in tuition.
I rely heavily on government money and scholarships. I’m always stalking fastwebs and college prowler. I’m a resident of the financial aid office. And the FASFA is my Bible. I’m also the first out of my family to attend college, so navigating through the swamps of financial aid is completely new, confusing, and intimidating. And mistakes can cost me my tuition. I recently had one of those mistakes happen, and up until today, I didn’t know if I would be going back to college on the 12th.
I file my FASFA in the first week of January to give myself the best chance at all the money available. I had filed, turning in all my paper work, and felt confident that everything would be fine. However, somewhere along the line, my income had gotten changed from $3,800 a year to $38,000 a year. A mistake that made my entire financial aid package some $14,000 shorter than it had been last year.
Of course, I went into panic mode. Tough questions like ‘where can I transfer to?’ ‘Will I have to take a year off’, and ‘how am I going to get this money?’ plagued me all summer. I corrected the mistake on the paperwork, but there was no guarantee that I would be getting all the money I had the year before. If I took a year off, the chances of me getting into vet school become slimmer than they had been before. Not to mention I would be nearly 30 before I graduated, which isn’t really something I’m willing to do. So, a year off would mean no becoming a vet. It would also mean Lance and I would be stuck in at least another year of a 45 minute drive relationship, which after 2 and a half years of being separated and seeing each other once a week wasn’t something I really wanted to do either.
However, this morning my financial aid package came in and I indeed got nearly the same amount of money I got last year. I have enough that I can go back to school, and I know now to double, triple, and quadruple check those figures.
I can breathe easy for another year! Duquesne, here I come!