What can I do if my school seems to be changing my schedule and payment due dates?

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What can I do if my school seems to be changing my schedule and payment due dates?

I’ve been attending an art institute on-line for over a year now (obtaining my associates in graphic design). I was contacted today and informed that I cannot start my class on the 11th unless they get $180. I am diligent in contacting my financial aid supervisor to make sure I have all my “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed. The last few months it seems that my school is altering my schedule; they made me drop down to part-time whereas before I was time and a half. I was told by their admissions office when I started that with my financial status and the fact that I’m a single mom, I’d be eligible for enough in grants and loans to completely pay for my schooling. My timing on when I receive my grants/loans seems to be off and I’m afraid of what’s to come. What if I’m suddenly informed I cannot finish unless they receive $1,800? I’m a single mom and I need more time to come up with a substantial amount of money (even the $180 is difficult for me at the moment).

Asked on July 11, 2011 under General Practice, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Sounds weird but do not panic and do not attempt to transfer to another school until you have exhausted all you can do with the school and with the Department of Education. So, first and foremost, take a weekday morning and contact the school admissions person at the school or headmaster and ask the hard questions. Ask why the school is suddenly changing your schedule and charging you more monies if you have already signed agreements to pay a certain amount. Ask why you are being asked to take less classes and demand to know what is going on with the verbal and written promises (if this applies) the school gave you as to financial aid and then basically inform the school you demand what you were to be given. Then if that fails, contact your state's attorney general and department of education and ask if any complaints have been issued against this school and file your own complaint.


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