I’m still struggling with my decision on where to go to school next year. But the U of I is making the decision easier for me every day.
Today I came home to a letter from the financial aid department. It reads:
…Since you are returning to the University after an absense of at least one year and were not meeting the RAP standards during your last term of enrollment, you will be placed on RAP probation for the 2006 Spring semester. You will be eligible for financial aid consideration during the RAP probation term.
During the RAP probation term, you must successfully complete a total of 11 semster hours. If applicable, you must increase your GPA to comply with the minimum GPA requirement of your college.
Students who do not meet their RAP probation requirements will not be eligible for future financial aid…
It then goes on to say if I want to appeal I should complete a RAP Appeal, available at the school. So I can’t download it from the internet or anything. Instead I would need to take a half day off of work to drive there to pick up a piece of paper. Yeah, sounds like something on the top of my list of things to do.
Plus this letter has my social security number right on the top of the page. So if it had gotten lost in the mail any ole Joe would have my name, address and SSN. Thanks for looking out for my safety there U of I.
I was a little less then thrilled with the fact that if I will be on financial probation should I attend the U of I. I am not on probation at any other school. All other schools think I am progressing [granted slow, but] just fine for a part-time non-traditional student.
So I sent an email to the financial aid department. I said:
I just received a letter in the mail regarding financial aid for the 2006 Spring semester. The letter states, “Since you are returning to the University after an absence of at least one year and were not meeting the RAP standards during your last term of enrollment, you will be placed on RAP probation for the 2006 Spring semester.” It goes on to say, “During the RAP probation term, you must successfully complete a total of 11 semester hours. If applicable, you must increase your GPA to comply with the minimum GPA requirement of your college.”
(1) In the thirteen years I have been pursuing my bachelor’s degree I have never once completed a semester at the U of I. I have applied, and even attended classes, several times, but due to unforeseen circumstances I have never been able to complete the term. Right out of high school, more than THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, I was a freshman at U of I. However, after less than a month of school I had to drop out due to some personal issues at home. I withdrew from the University, per University policy, and received a portion of my tuition back. In February 1999, I was once again a student at the U of I. However after just a month of school I found out I was expecting twins and I had severe morning [day and night] sickness. I again withdrew in the middle of the term per University policy and again, after a letter from my doctor, received a portion of my tuition back.
(2) There is no way I will meet your demand of completing 11 semester hours in the 2006 Spring semester. I am a 31 year old mother of five who works full-time outside of the home. I cannot attend the University full-time. I am a part-time student.
I understand you have Reasonable Academic Progress Standards, but considering the circumstances I consider myself to be pretty determined to achieve my bachelor’s degree. I have taken “breaks” from college in the last thirteen years, but between birthing and raising five children and working full-time I have never given up on this goal. Yes, I withdrew from the U of I twice, but both times I exited as per policy and for extenuating circumstances. Surely you allow for students to return to school after hardships without penalty. After these departures I went on to attend [and succeed] at KCC and MM College. I received my Associates degree from KCC in 1998. At this time I have Junior status and a GPA that is just shy of a 3.0. And this is no small task for somebody with work and children.
I read through the RAP Standards on your website and I guess I am still a little confused as to why I fall in to the “probationary” category. The standards seem to apply to full-time traditional students. As I stated, I am NOT a full-time traditional student. I am a part-time non-traditional student. I will only be taking between 6 and 8 semester hours [two classes] a term. Surely you have financial aid opportunities for part-time students. I received both grants and student loans at MM and KCC while attending school part-time. And I was not on financial probation at either school.
I guess I’m going to need a little bit more information regarding these standards before I decide what my next step is. Please provide this information to me ASAP so I can understand how my efforts have been lacking.
Although I am a Junior, I have already taken many classes past my Associates degree so I am close to being a Senior. And when I say I am just shy of a 3.0 GPA, my actual GPA is 2.98. I consider that pretty freaking close to 3.0. Granted it could [and probably should] be better, but 2.98 is still a B average; and that’s not too shabby.
I really don’t know if I want to put anymore effort in to this. This is not the first time I have run in to roadblocks while trying to get in to the U of I. It’s a state college for goodness sake. It’s not Harvard. I have never had this problem at the community college I attend or the private college I attended. Why does the U of I have to have so much red tape? I’m 31 years old. I’m tired of red tape. I just want a Bachelors degree. Is that too much to ask?