I'm on financial hold and I need a minimum of $3,000 to (hopefully) release my credits and start the journey to finish my degree. Any donation, great or small is greatly appreciated and will help bring me and hopefully others closer to our educational and career goals.
Update: November 13, 2020: Paid $327.00 to Temple and paid off debt for undergrad and teaching certification class. We're still waiting for an answer from the University of Pennsylvania - missed the November 1st deadline. The other school has agreed to honor part of the agreement; I still have to pay out of pocket for tests, and final classes.
Update: Celebrity Chef Aaron Black will be hosting a Fancy Fish Fry fundraiser on Friday, October 2, 2020 from 4-8 pm in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. For more information, contact me on Twitter. Tickets are $20 (more at the door) which includes a take out or dine in meal and a beverage.
If you've already donated $100 or more. You have a complimentary ticket as a thank you gift. You can donate directly to the fund or pay more at the door.
Here’s my story:
I started at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in the 90’s and I hope by a small miracle I'll be able to finally finish there. I’m applying to their Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) program and if I get a scholarship or raise enough money, I'll complete the 11 courses needed to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies with a Concentration in Applied Positive Psychology.
My child just started college and now I can concentrate on finishing what I started. Last week, I reached out to some people at UPenn and they’ve renewed my faith in basic human kindness. I literally cried tears of joy when they presented the idea to finish at UPenn. I loved my time there and not graduating has always been a source of shame and regret. I left school after a brutal attack in my off campus apartment but, I blamed it on financial reasons. I worked two jobs to pay for school, it wasn't safe to be on campus anymore.
Then life, work and a beautiful baby took over. Years later, I started over at another school. In 2010, I only had 5 classes to complete my Bachelor’s degree when I exhausted my undergraduate financial aid and it’s been downhill ever since. The other school became a $93,000 nightmare of student loan debt, empty promises and changing graduation plans from there revolving door of staff and administrators. When I asked if I could just get an associates degree they said,
“ As stated in the college's policy, students can only transfer 36 credits from one degree to the associate degree, which consists of 60 credits. This means that if the college accepted 36 credits from the BS, you would have 24 credits or eight classes left to complete the AA. Also, if you wanted to pursue this option, you would have to withdrwal from your current program and re-apply to the AA program through SGPS Admisisons. In other words, you could not transfer sixty of the credits you have completed in the BS program to the AA program.”
This is a direct quote (misspellings and all) from an email sent by the Accelerated Undergraduate Advisor and General Education Coordinator
At this point, no matter where I finish:
1. I have pay $12,089.33 The University of Pennsylvania for my last semester
2. I have to go back to school for additional classes to graduate
Ultimately, it would be in my best interest and the most affordable option (if I get the scholarship) to pay UPenn, start again and finally graduate.
The University of Pennsylvania is the hero and possible savior in this story, but I've been fighting since the 90's...
I tell the full story on Medium
I would love to pay UPenn the full amount, but if I can raise awareness about the many barriers to higher education for adult learners and help others like me - that would be a dream come true. No one should be on this hamster wheel of college debt, changing requirement. Schools should be held accountable!
I have over $100,000 in college debt and ZERO financial stability. In the midst of me trying to find a job and finish school, I have to move because my house is being sold due to the Covid financial crisis. Trying to find affordable housing in America is a national issue. Needless to say, I know I’m not the only one and things could be far worse!
I know there are thousands, if not millions of people across the country who are stuck with student loans, decades old college debt and can’t use their credits from the original school or transfer their credits!
This is huge waste of time, energy and taxpayer money!
I’m hoping my story will prompt others to contact colleges and legislators to make serious changes like:
* Allowing AmeriCorps Ed awards to pay for ANY college debt past or present
* Require schools to take ALL of their own classes/credits to fulfill graduation requirements for undergraduate degrees and certification programs
* Require colleges to provide gap funding for students who exhaust financial aid due to advising issues
* Provide debt forgiveness of all or most tuition debt over 20 years old and release official transcripts
* Provide a limited amount of “work only” transcripts for people who are on financial hold and could lose job and
advancement opportunities without proof of education
* Provide bridge programs for continuing education/adult learners
I’m filing a formal complaint against the other school and any extra funds I receive will be used for books and fees and put in The Finish Line/Fresh Start college fund for people like me who need funds to finally graduation.
I’ll add weekly updates, but I’m limiting my personal information and the name of the other school because:
1. My child is in their freshman year of college and I don’t want to add any stress or embarrassment from challenges. They didn’t ask to be a part of this
2. I just started a new position and I’m actively interviewing for full time positions
3. Although I’m asking for help - these issues are bigger than me
At the end of the day, I’m blessed to have gone to college and have the ability to tell my story. I have faith and I’m a hard worker. God has never forsaken me and has always sent me angels in my hour of need. So, I know it will work out in the end. I started college the summer I graduated from high school and I’ve literally been fighting to finish ever since. Please help me, help myself and others finally cross the finish line.
T - a nontraditional learner
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