Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Despicable College Hijinks

Ah Summer!
Let us recount all the joys that Summer brings......
warm days
picnics and outdoor gatherings
life just seems to slow down
grilling out fun foods
vacations and traveling
College bills are due

Yes, if you have kids in college(or are about to), Summer brings those dreaded College Tuition Bills too.

Daughter's bill arrived the end of last week which seemed a bit early, even to me!
And even better, even though she doesn't start classes until after Labor Day, the bill is due in full by July 27th.

So I sat down last weekend to go over the know, to make sure the charges were correct and all.....because I have a thing about giving away our money when we don't have to. lol

She had a charge for something I didn't recognize so I hopped onto the school's website and found it and what it was for.
Everything looked good except.......except there was no credit for the $50 Deposit we had paid back in March when she applied, which was suppose to be refunded if/when she enrolled/paid for her 1st semester.

So I told the Daughter to call the school and take care of it since it is HER life, HER education and SHE is now an adult. ;-)
She called the school and told me that the person she spoke to said that the deposit had already been applied to her bill.

I showed her the bill and asked her to show me where on it, the credit had been applied.....which she couldn't do.
I then asked her whom had she talked to at the college......she said, "some one in Admissions".

I then explained to her that "some one in Admissions" was NOT who you talk to about a BILLING problem and that they are probably told to just say "your deposit is already taken off your bill" to anyone who calls them, thinking it will satisfy them and they will just go

So Daughter rolls her eyes(meaning "why are you making such a big deal out of $50?!"...though if it was HER $50 it would suddenly become a VERY BIG DEAL!lol)and walks away and gives up dealing with the problem.  It is too much trouble for her to get to the bottom of this issue.

I then call the College and speak to the Billing Dept. clerk.  She as well tries to tell me that the credit is already applied as her initial response......this is even before she knows which student's bill I am referring to.
*face palm*

So I insist she bring up the specific bill(I can wait)on her screen and we can compare the one I am holding with her copy and she can show me exactly where my $50 deposit shows up(or doesn't).
I am given a big old exasperated *sigh* and then she asks for the student ID# and puts the receiver down and clicks some keys.
After more key clicking suddenly Daughter's bill drops....$50?!
How can that be, when her bill was correct and that $50 had been applied already?
Oh, I know how it can be......

I tell the Clerk that I am writing the new total on the bill with a note why I am not paying the full amount.
She says that is fine, that the new lower amount is showing in their records now, so send the original invoice in with the lower payment.

Having gone through this little charade, it makes me think that NOBODY who puts a Deposit down and ends up attending this college has their Deposit applied against their Tuition charges.....nobody unless they NOTICE and ASK FOR IT BACK!

By operating in this manner, the school assures themselves that a percentage of students(and I am thinking it's a substantial percentage of students)will forget about that $50 Deposit and never get it back.

Most students are 18-20 years old and NOT very concerned with taking care of paperwork anyway, so between having to actually proactively DO something to get the money back, and many of them are utilizing financial aids(loans/grants) and/or having parents pay the letting others "take care" of the money parts and not worrying about the finances, this College is filling their coffers unethically by keeping all these Deposit checks.

Figuring they admit 3,000 new students a year, if 50% of them don't get their Deposit checks back, that's a bonus of $75,000 a year for the College!

Crazy like a fox this school is.....

Since Daughter couldn't be bothered to take care of this?  I am taking that $50 out of her College Fund and putting it into my "Mom's Mad Money" Fund.   I get a bonus and she pays stupid tax.....

Moral of the Story--Watch the accuracy of those College invoices and talk to the correct department if there is a problem.



  1. I don't blame you taking the $50 Sluggy. I'm trying my heart out to teach my youngest two about checking bills and not overpaying for stuff, but half the time they can't be bothered. It's an uphill battle but I'll keep going :)

    1. Once it becomes THEIR money that is at risk, it's amazing how fast they start to care...LOLOLOL
      Keep fighting the good fight! ;-)

  2. Bahahaha-Stupid taxes go into your mad money! My kids would be broke and I would be in Vegas all the time!
    I'm off to check Anna's bill. I'm sure I will have something to complain about very soon.

    1. Just having to pay that bill is ENOUGH to keep you complaining for a right long
      I also keep any money left in pockets once it hits the laundry room. There are so many ways to fund the Mom Account!lol

  3. If it's one of my schools/PA State Schools, I sincerely apologize.

    1. No Mark, I can't blame you for this's the community college.
      I am still waiting for the PA state school bill for the other kid. Why can't the Gov./state house get their shit together and pass a danged budget? Every year I sit her waiting on them to finish playing games.....ugh!.....Go tell em to hurry up, willya?

  4. That sounds like a story I could have written. So familiar, even if not exactly the same! In our case I had to get them to adjust the amount of Stafford loan based on credits completed (they assign it taking under consideration the credits completed in March, when financial aid is offered, not after the acadamic year has ended in May - another facepalm!) - and sending in the necessary form should have taken care of it, right? But no... Then the proportion of subsidized vs. unsubsidized was not adjusted, and... Long story short, the snippy girl who finally said after about 10 emails back and forth, "Contact my supervisor if you have any further questions" - well, I think her supervisor told her how dumb she was after fixing it.

  5. My daughters college does this with student health insurance. We filled out the form 7 times last year before I called and had a major explosion with the deans office. After all student health insurance is $834.00 a semester. Good old chunk of change that they of course have the students borrow and then time them out of the computer. We however had copies of the 7 times we had done this. I mean you know what hit the fan. i told them I knew it was on purpose because they had done the same thing with my oldest daughter 7 years earlier. It was a racket. If the kids don't have it accepted correctly by a certain date they cannot by any means get their money back. They were and are racing in hundreds of thousands with this scam. I threatened the board of education and the Governors office. Shame on them.

  6. I told Anna about this story last night. She just smiled. This is something that she would do. And I would soooooo keep the cash!
    I'm proud of you!

  7. Love this post, Sluggy. ESP. the part about pulling out the $50.00 for yourself. YES! LOVE it! What's with kids? It really is so easy to spend someone else's money, but when it comes to their own...I have a few of my own that will probably learn this lesson too!


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