Snarky Behavior

Entries tagged as ‘financial aid’

The Absurdity of Financial Aid

August 29, 2007 · 1 Comment

I just sat through a quasi-lecture in which a professor of Advanced Economic and Policy Analysis broke down the most recent sub-prime credit crunch our country faced this summer in mortgage markets.

Whatever she had to say about uncorrelated risk and capital flows was stratospheres above my head. (The hope is that by the end of these two years, I’ll be able to hang–or at least pretend to be able to hang–with whatever it was she said).

In the meantime, the inbetween time, I can’t help but chuckle whenever I hear a PhD talk about “capital flows” and speak to the complicated predictive models they’ve built for hedge funds to “grease the wheels” or “oil the gears” of the economy, lending money at the right time, place and amount to keep everything moving forward.

Why do I laugh? Because these professors, who study and analyze economics at the macro-level, work for an institution that, for some inexplicable reason, can’t disperse it’s financial aid to students until THE THIRD WEEK OF CLASS.

That means in the meantime, when I’m looking for a place to live that requires first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and security deposit UP FRONT ($3450); when I’m renting a car and temporary storage to move my things ($550); when I’m paying double rent; when I’ve quit my job and have no other income; when I have the largest credit card statement of my life because I’ve spent the last three weeks eating out in New York… I’m on my own for cash.

Today I went to the Financial Aid office, because Sallie Mae had told me that the funds had already been transferred, and I wanted my hands on that cash. It seems that Columbia sits on the money until I’ve registered for class (which I can’t do until tomorrow), then sits EVEN LONGER until the 13th (when fees and tuition are paid first), and ONLY THEN begins the process of depositing the remainder into my bank account.

The irony of a professor who is paid by these funds (which represent my mortgaged future earnings) trying to explain to me “capital flow” is rib-elbowing hardy har har hilarious. Bastards.


My advice to anyone who finds and reads this post from search terms of “SIPA” and “Financial Aid”: make sure you’ve saved appropriately for September and January, because the money comes SLOOOOOOOOWWWW.

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