M.Mason / FINANCIAL AID
I started at Devry spring semester 2008. After submitting my FAFSA, I was advised by a Devry Student Finance employee of how much i would be receiving, where the funds were coming from and how many classes I was able to take. I went through this advising process at the beginning of summer and fall as well. Prior to the start of fall semester, I met with an Financial Aid adviser and was told of how much i would be receiving. During this particular meeting, the adviser pointed out that I had been receiving a OIG grant which is based in Ohio. I attend Devry University in Decatur, GA and I am a permanent resident of Ohio. The adviser then told me that they didn't feel that I was suppose to be receiving the funds based on me not attending an Ohio college or university, but was not sure and didn't stress the assumptions. I wasn't aware that I had been receiving any funds from OIG prior to this meeting, nor did I ever sign for these funds to be disbursed to my Devry account. It is Devry's policy that any funds received on the behalf of students must go through approval from all ends before being disbursed to students. I have not had any issue with financial aid and disbursements with any other college prior to attending Devry. None the less, the financial aid adviser, who continued to calculate those funds in the total I received, went on to tell me how many classes and or credits I would be able to take for fall semester. This same adviser, did not immediately discontinue the funds and said I was good to register and even cleared me for student housing. Thinking that I was ok to take the recommended and approved credits, I registered for fall. A month after I was Into fall semester, I received an email stating that I had exceeded my financial aid award and I owed a balance of $3, 700 approximately. Since attending Devry, I had never owed a balance and always took exactly what was recommended to me. After receiving the email, I met with another financial aid adviser in person at Devry and was told why there was a balance. This particular adviser stated to me that funds were sent back by Devry and bot by the actual source, OIG. At this point, It was too late to drop A term courses. Beginning of B term (fall), I dropped a class to help get the balance down. The balance is now $2, 740 approximately. I have a total of 119 credits and need a minimum of 122 credits to receive my bachelor's degree. At being so close to graduating, It's sad to see this situation of money be an issue and preventing me of registering for my last semester. Devry's policy is that a student may not register if owed a balance exceeding $200. Again, I was told by the initial adviser of the credits I could take and that no action would take place by the university in regards to the OIG funds. The adviser, who didn't know about those OIG funds, advised me to "hang on" to any other refund disbursements I had received just in case. Any funds I received prior to this meeting were disbursed in the summer 2-3 months prior. I feel that Devry was negligent and handled my account irresponsibly. It is the students responsibility to fill out necessary financial aid, loans or grants, but it is the financial aid adviser to oversee how much funds are being disbursed, where the sources are coming from, determine eligibility before the funds are disbursed and used and prevention of fraud. I do not feel that Devry's Student Finance department are competent and the students should not be held responsible for errors on their part. I am a student, not a financial aid adviser and I was going off information from what i thought, a experienced student finance employee. I have tried to apply for loans to pay this amount, but I do not have a cosigner. Being that I am a full time student, I do not have $2, 740 to give Devry for what I think Is their mistake. I spoke to an adviser with OIG and was told that Devry sent the funds back and It is the university that actually request those funds. I would like this matter to be handled quickly and quietly so that i may graduate. Thank you.