Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I signed my contract...

I completed my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) late for the 2010-2011 academic year. It was supposed to be done around February. I didn't do mine until sometime in July. As a result, I expected that cause some small problems with receiving financial aid on time from Concord.

Shortly after the semester started, I went to the financial aid office to see if anything had come through. I was given an odd answer - "It looks like we've received it, but there's nothing here. I'll make a note of this." I come back a week later and I find out that the problem is that I'm on Financial Aid Suspension.

Basically, that means I've fucked up so badly that they're not going to give me money. It's happened once before - I filled out a form to get an exception, with the requirement being that I work hard and get a certain GPA. That was a couple years ago. I was doing well - somewhat - until last fall. The fall 2009 semester was my last before I took that break in the spring. And, now I'm back.

This time, I'm told that instead of filing a request for an appeal, I have to meet with the Academic Success Center and fill out a contract. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I went and did it. It was an interesting experience, to say the least.

I walk into the office and see a lady. I don't remember her name, but it sounds foreign-ish. Something with a "Z." She seems annoyed that I'm telling her I need to sign my contract to get off financial aid suspension. She looks around for a couple other people before saying, "I guess I'll do it with you." Gotta love her enthusiasm.

We go to a room and she hands me a paper with a bunch of stuff on it that is labled "Contract for Academic Success." Basically, you fill it out saying why you did poorly last semester, then sign it saying you'll do better.

She started talking to me about this stuff, when Eric Lopez popped his head in the office. She then had Eric finish going over the contract with me. This is where I worry about certain aspects of this program. For those who don't know him, Eric is a student at Concord. A fellow student, who now knows how bad of a student I am.

Personally, I'm not worried about that. I've been very open about my shortcomings as a student in the past. In fact, I wrote a newspaper column about it last year. I had a lot of people tell me they liked it. But, suppose I was worried about that. He typed in my social security number and found out that my GPA last fall was 1.2 and that my cumulative GPA is 2.01.

Obviously, I don't care that he knows that. Everybody knows it now. But, suppose somebody wasn't as open about that information as me. I could see the student involvement being troubling for some people.

The thing that I don't like about this is that it makes me feel like a little kid. I now have to meet every Wednesday at 11 a.m. and give a "status update" or something about how I'm doing. I was also given file folders to keep all my school work and syllabi in. You know, kind of like the file folders I already keep that stuff in.

But, I guess I can't complain about this. I kind of put myself in this position by doing so horribly in classes over the years. I don't know, we'll see what happens. Maybe it'll help me. I'll keep everybody updated.

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