Upon arriving home from a week in Muscle Shoals with Blake's family, I saw a stack of mail waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Expecting Christmas cards, magazines, and junk mail, I was surprised to see a letter from the University of Alabama sitting in the pile. I was immediately nervous... but also felt a hint of excitement, as I wondered if maybe - just maybe - the College of Education sent an early notice of my upcoming internship placement.
The letter was from the Financial Aid department. I have a love/hate relationship with Financial Aid, for many reasons. The government has been good to me as an "adult" student, providing me with loans, grants, and scholarships to help pay my way through school. That's the "love" part. The "hate" part is the way I found out about changes way too late. And this most recent change is no good. No good at all.
Apparently, to keep my financial aid (or portions of it, the letter does not make it clear), I must graduate within 180 attempted hours. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem... unless you are me and spent the first 2 1/2 years of college meandering through random classes in hopes of finding "the one" - you know... the right major. Then I took a year and a half off, went back to Montevallo.... long story short, I have taken a lot of classes not necessary for my degree.
To be exact, I have attempted 179 hours of college courses as of December 2010. This semester, I have to register for twelve more hours.
I am absolutely terrified of contacting the Financial Aid office when they reopen next week. My aid package pays not only for my tuition, but for my car payment and other living expenses. Normally, I'd just go get a job... I worked all the way through college until this past semester. But, this semester holds a full-time teaching internship and I am not sure I could hold down a job on top of having an internship. Finishing my internship and passing a final education course would mean I would graduate May 7, 2011. I really, really want to graduate May 7, 2011.
God has always provided and has never left me desolate, and I do not feel that He has brought me THIS CLOSE to graduation just to leave me with no way to finish paying! I am praying for my own faith and to see God's resolution to this financial problem. And, if you're reading this, I hope you will pray, too.