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College & The Money Game September 20, 2012

Posted by msbobbieg in Uncategorized.

College & Financial Aid / Getting Through Both

 By: Bobbie Jones

I have one question for you.  Do you think you know yourself quite well?  Think about it for a moment.  Then prepare yourself for one of the biggest challenges of your life.  Believe me college will try your patients, work your nerves, and maybe even send you running and screaming back to Mommy and Daddy.  But, hold on, before you do that.  I want to share some simple truths with you about college life that you may not be aware of.

Financial Aid Flaps

If you are a first time student receiving Financial Aid, you will soon come to grips with the reality of “Financial Aid” the institution.  I call it this because it seems to have a life all it’s own.  There is a process to applying, being accepted, then receiving Financial Aid.  Those new to the game will panic if not enlighten by a seasoned pro.  Financial Aid, benefit though it may be, is also a waiting game.  Yes, you may have letters in your possession stating the amount of monies you have been awarded.  You may have even purchased supplies based on the paperwork you have in your possession, but there is a surprise.  Sadly enough, the gift of Financial Aid doesn’t always arrive on time.  Now, the way it normally works is Financial Aid awards go directly to the school and is credited to the students account.  Some Financial Aid is designed to go directly to the student, but this is not the norm.  For the most part, if you are schedule to start school in September and it’s the day before classes are to begin and the Financial Aid office still has not credited your account yet, stay cool remember you still have four more years. 

It has been my experience that Financial Aid usually doesn’t show up until mid September.  This gives the university the best excuse to charge late fees for late payment, a key point that seems to get left out during freshmen orientation.

Clash With Class

Once you’ve navigated your way through the Financial Aid maze, here comes another little surprise that can threaten to derail you on the way to academic bliss.  Colleges have a certain number of courses you must take in order to fulfill your curriculum.  Whatever, your major may be, all students at one time or another will face the possibility of the classes they need not being offered the semester they wish to take them.  Please, don’t start pulling hair, especially, someone else’s.  My advice is if a class appears on your list of needed courses and you open the course book and see that class offered – don’t wait, grab it.  I’ve seen many of my fellow classmates pounding their head against the wall because they opted to wait until the last year of their schooling to take a class, and to their amazement the class wasn’t offered and they were stuck to show up one more semester to take one more class.

While I’m on the subject of classes, let me linger there for a while.  When I was in school, I remember losing my mind when I signed up to take a class I needed for my major and right before the class was to begin I got a notice in the mail stating the class was cancel due to lack of enrollment participation.  First off, my opinion was, if you have three students signed up for the class – teach the class.  Unfortunately, the university did not see it that way.  I’ll let you in on a little secret just to prepare you.  A school, as I’ve been told can cancel any class at any time for any reason.  In many cases refunds are given and accounts credited.  Hopefully, throughout your college career you will be able to negotiate with teachers and counselors to get the courses you need, or maybe you can even substitute a class with one you really want. 

The Plastic Play Ground

I’d like to move forward to a topic I’m sure many of you are all familiar with.  The Mighty, Magnetic Strip.  No, this is not a new seductive dance.  It’s that brown or black strip on the back of your student ID card.  Ah, access to everything.  The library, the cafeteria, ooh, even the bookstore.  This plastic, wallet size, picture displaying, door opening, lights flashing – no, scratch that last one.  Just got a little carried away.  But, you get where I’m coming from.  This card, your student ID, issued to you by the university, has great promises attached to it.  Now, if you could only get it to work.  I have talked to more students that have threatened to cut up their student ID’s and use it as confetti.  I caution however, think before you cut.  Yes, it is a pain when you want to get a meal at the end of a long day and you so patiently present your Id, and the cashier tells you it has been rejected.  “But how could this be?” you ask.  “I just used it at lunch.” 

Let’s face it, no matter how advance they may be, machines fail, the things we put into machines fail. – If you’d stop eyeballing that pair of scissors for just a moment – you’d be able to calm down and take a deep breath, and call the office that issued your card and ask, can it be fixed?  If not, ask how soon can you get a replacement?  It is one of life’s little announces, but hey, welcome to the real world.

 Room Mate Round – A- Bout

This last hurdle left for you to clear seems to be on the top of everyone’s list.  Not surprising, out of control roommates has been the reason many students have hung up the proverbial book bag and called it quits.  I’m here to tell you that roommate problems don’t have to be your living nightmare.  Do your best to take control of the situation, but also be willing to be flexible and understanding.  Start out, by sitting down at first chance with your new roommate and discuss what is permissible, and what is not.  If you don’t want your roommate to borrow your clothes without your permission – say so.  As difficult as it may be, you will have to speech your mind, because you are the only one who knows it.  So don’t be shy.

Please, whatever you do enjoy your college experience.  Learn from these tips if you can.  School can be fun and there’s a bigger prize at stake, your graduation.  So, hang in there.


A Bobbiegirl PSA




 Photos provided by : Google Images on the Web

– Video provided by: Ms. Bobbie Jones & You Tube

 Copyright (c)  Bobbie Jones – Sept.  20, 2012

 – All Rights Reserved



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