April 10, 2011

Due to recent events, I have decided to revisit the topic of making sure you check your finances and, more specifically, requirements and guidelines of your scholarships, grants and/or loans. I’ll tell a little bit of my own experience and in doing so I hope you will not make the same mistake and become greater informed. I wanted to take Summer A classes this 2011 because the course I wanted to take was available for the summer and during Fall/Spring semesters they were much harder to get into. So I filled out the registration form and took a trip to my advisor’s office. After getting my approval and academic advisor hold lifted (yes that is a requirement, one you will learn more about, promise), I took my signed sheet to the Records and Registration building to have everything finalized. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and I was told I had an “outstanding balance” on my account. Basically put, it meant I owed the school money for something and was an amount I didn’t have right on hand. I asked for the reasoning and was answered with something that shocked me more than having money to be paid. My own scholarship was charging me. Apparently my research was done incorrectly and in return presented me with a mighty dollar (more than a dollar) to be repaid.

So, why the charge you ask? It’s simple, I changed a class to auditing (before the school’s official drop/audit due date) but didn’t realize the scholarship’s requirements for auditing or dropping a class were different from that of the school’s dates. It’s important that if you have (or will) receive a scholarship, grant and/or loan that you find out the procedures for adding, dropping, auditing, or even failing a course. Unfortunately when given such academic awards you do not have a printed manual with every single circumstance that could happen and that results concerning your monetary state. This is something you have you find out for your own and if you don’t well you could end up like I did. Fortunately, mine did have a happy ending and after having paid back the scholarship promptly I was able to turn in my form and am now admitted into the Summer A term. It is sincerely my hope that from you reading this or sharing this information that it will prevent someone from making this same mistake.

I was even told by an advisor that when wanting to make any class changes go (such as dropping or auditing) go to financial aid prior to and find out if it will have any effect on the money you’re receiving. It is something that may make or break a final decision in your academic track and should always be taken seriously and with much consideration. I am happy that mine did not end up as badly as it could have but it’s is something I want to prevent from ever happening again.

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About Hannah

**Minor:** Psychology **Career Goals:** I want to start a magazine and photography company but I'm still looking into career goals. **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** I chose ERAU because I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. I didn't feel like just another number here and the relationships with faculty and staff were genuinely one-on-one. Anytime I'd meet students they were always warm and inviting. In a way I feel I didn't choose Embry-Riddle but it chose me.

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