Just when things are looking about as down for me as they can get, I find the bottom dropping out again. I am currently registered with Cuyahoga Community College for the spring semester, reliant on what financial aid I can get to pay for classes and transportation, as well as food when money allows. I can’t get a job. Often,I must raid the student food bank just to have enough to eat for the week.
This past semester I learned that my financial aid would be cut off because I had reached the maximum number of course credit hours (93), and would have to file an appeal for further financial assistance. I did that, got the paperwork months ago, got it filled out, but was told repeatedly by the financial aid office to wait until December, when grades were due to be posted. So I handed the paperwork in on December 8th, when I was told to, and was informed that it would be two weeks for the process to be completed.
I found out yesterday that the process may take another two weeks or more, partly because of the holidays and partly because FAFSA has decided to take its sweet time. I have until January 6th to make payment arrangements with the campus business office so I can remain registered for courses. If I am not approved, or if I haven’t made payment arrangements by the 6th, I will be dropped from my courses and will receive no money from FAFSA. Payment arrangements must be made with a deposit up front.
This isn’t simply a matter of wanting to remain in school to finish up the required courses to earn my degree. It’s quite literally a matter of survival. Because I can’t get a job (no one will hire me), financial aid is all I have to live on. Without it, I have no money for food, no money to pay for my telephone and Internet connection – I need at least a phone line for prospective employers to get a hold of me, no money for transportation, to say nothing of money for classes and textbooks. Everything depends on the dubious mercy of FAFSA getting around to reviewing my appeal some time after the first of the year.
So I am typing this entry now, at a public library terminal, reduced to begging you for money, food, and any job postings on Cleveland, Ohio’s west side. Bear in mind that the only transportation I now have is my own two feet after the 31st of this month, so it has to be within a reasonable walking distance from where I live.
I am willing to provide my full name and mailing address for those of you able to donate money, food, or both. PayPal locked me out, and I have no other online means of accepting donations. You can reach me by e-mail here: email@example.com
I’m in a pretty dire situation, so anyone able to help out please do so. I’m not too proud to beg, not after more than two straight years of unemployment and existing each and every day under the threat of homelessness and starvation.