Pete Lee

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Gripes o' The Day

Two things that chafe my hide:

Rubberneckers: I'm responsible for a large amount of work on a project which is critical to an internet firewall/router software release happening realsoonnow. They're already antsy, and the fact that I'm gone for 2 1/2 weeks from June 9th for surgery is only making things worse. The whole situation is very anxiety-provoking, and it's not helpful to have one's commute doubled to 45 minutes because a bunch of dipshits have never seen a car get pulled out of a ditch by a towtruck before. It didn't even look that cool! I'm well aware of the fact that a consequence of working in suburbia is traffic. That's fine. But traffic because of rubbernecking? Give me a fucking break.

Portland State University Financial Aid and All Of Their Evil Works: I've been enrolled at PCC for a couple of years working on pre-nursing requirements for OHSU's or Linfield's Bachelors in RN program. After receiving the FAFSA, it takes PCC about 4 weeks to process a Financial Aid application and return an award. Now, PCC is one of the largest colleges west of the Missisippi--and ranks as one of the top 3 community colleges in the nation. In the presence of such sublime greatness, I would expect PSU to have similar qualities--through sheer geographic osmosis.

I'm such a silly goose--this is clearly not the fucking case! It's super-easy kids. Let Uncle Pete tell ya how it works at PSU:

1) Bust your ass to submit a FAFSA on January 4th. Yup, I even did it on my New Years vacation time.

2) On March 15th, drag out every piece of financial paperwork I have to complete the Independent Verification Worksheet, and submit it to PSU. This also means that my taxes need to be completed early.

3) Every two weeks, e-mail and call PSU about what's going on with my award. I take these things seriously: I don't take 20% of my pre-tax earnings and dump them into savings for no apparent reason. Even with that, I still need help. To that cry for help, PSU responds, "Well, it takes about two to four weeks."

4) Four sets of "it takes about two to four weeks later," I find out that "oh, they'res a problem with your admissions status." Telling me about this two months prior would have been wiser, wouldn't it? I tell the Admissions person that there are two options: either take care of this now, or transfer me to someone who WILL take care of this now. The very kind person who called me back four hours later apologized, took care of it immediately, and said that the computer inadvertently booted my ass out despite the fact that I am a PSU/PCC co-admit.

5) Today, I'm told by Financial Aid that processing my award for 2005 will be processed in four weeks. I tell them that it will be processed far sooner than that because of their inability to inform me of what they needed on a timely basis. Four days would be more appropriate.

6) Next Monday, I'll be speaking with a Financial Aid counselor who has the ability to award aid. If this person magically does not have this ability, I'm ready to protest outside of PSU with a sign that says, "PSU Financial Aid Hates You & Me--Pitchforks, Here, 4 PM"

In sum, I'm confused how the humble Portland Community College (with 180,000 students on multiple campuses) can process financial aid faster than Portland State, with a tiny fraction of those students. I know that I'm not the only one to harbor these thoughts, either.

I feel better already.


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