gee, thanks. appreciate it.

So, in June, I got an email telling me that my fellowship money had been released and I should expect the funds to be deposited in three days.  I’d applied for a couple of university fellowships, but this was the first I’d heard of actually getting one.  So, I emailed the person back, asking what for, and how much.  I got a response — a summer dissertation fellowship, and $2000.  I did the math…that meant that I could get away with only working at the pub, and could really focus on revising the draft.  YEAH!  How great is that?

So, come the 3rd of June or so, there’s the money.  Lovely, really.  I can enjoy a healthy balance for a month or so, and then use it to pay my rent for a couple of months.  All was well.  I even budgeted some funds for The D and I to have fun this summer.  Nothing big, but a road trip to Monterey, and a day or two in San Diego.

Then, yesterday, I got an email informing me that because the funds had been released in the 2008-2009 academic year, my financial aid had been revised, and I owed the university $1904.  So my two months’ worth of rent fellowship became a whopping $96 fellowship.

I emailed an administrator friend, asking, esstentially, ‘WTF?!??!’.  Her response was that there wasn’t much anyone could do, and that my fellowship letter should have pointed out that accepting the award might affect my financial aid.  Since the first, and only, notification I’d had was an email that told me that the money would be deposited, and since I’d not gotten a fellowship in a year in which I’d taken out loans, I knew nothing of the issue.  

To add insult to injury, turns out that if they’d deposited the money 30 days later, on 1 July, this wouldn’t be happening, because then it would be a new academic year.  And I still don’t have a letter that says anything…all I have are the initial email and the response to my query, and a notification of an electronic funds transfer.  That’s it.  As it stands right now, I’ve asked that they take the money back and re-release it after 1 July.  We’ll see how that goes.  

But it raises some questions:  if SOP is to keep the funds in check until the turn of the year, why did they give it to me early?  who made that decision, and is he or she going to accept that they made a HUGE mistake (calls and emails to the responsible party have not yet been returned)?  And even more puzzling…where is this mysterious letter?  Several friends have also gotten summer funding, and they all have letters, including a signature page on which they had to accept their fellowships.  Where’s mine?  Did they think I would be so grateful for the money that I’d not think about it (truth be told, I didn’t…until I had to repay it!)?  

And most importantly, anyone have two grand I can have to pay my rent?! 🙂

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 12:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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