In the previous post, I had mentioned that my community college was basically denying me my education. I would like some thoughts and feedback on how seriously messed up this all is. Anyway, here’s the story on how my school is a joke:
It all started about a year and a half ago when I tried to enroll the first time. After filling out all first paperwork that needed to be done before you become a student, I went to talk to my guidance counselor about what classes I would be looking at for my potential major, as well as all the general ed I should be focusing on to further my education. This was back when I was unemployed, had no means of cash, and was ineligible for financial aid because my dad was making too much at work. After getting an overview of how my first year *should* look, I then asked my counselor about my financial problems and where I could go that would help me out, which she said because of my dad making too much, there weren’t a lot of options. Then I had said, “Even though I am living under his roof and getting by with some support he can give me, I’m doing this all on my own, him not paying a cent for anything.”
.. and this is where she got me. She looked at me and said, “well you better ask your dad for the cash.”
After that, I thanked her for her help, but never returned. The fact she would even say something like that really irritated me. My dad was already doing enough. Having him pay for MY education was asking for too much. Needless to say, I ended up skipping out on that semester because I would’ve been completely broke if I spent the last of what I had.
Fast forward a few months later, I finally managed to get a job to support what I’ve been lacking. Even though school was on my list, I wasn’t able to attend because of my hours and availability, not to mention ride schedules. I ignored the next few semesters.
Finally, I was at the point to where I really wanted to go to further my future career by opting in my photography courses with possibly some general ed on the side. It was time to start considering enrolling again and decided that this Fall was perfect timing. I still was ineligible for financial aid, but I did have the money this time. I re-enrolled and eagerly waited for my registration date: July 14th.
When the time came around and I happily registered for my class. Then I looked at the total: $800. It was questionable, but I laughed and thought it was just a minor glitch in the system because everyone was on the site and made each page load lag. I ended up using the chat in the corner of the site to talk to a representative about it. She then tells me, “you are classified as a non-resident.” Me, someone that was born in Fresno and received their GED in Stockton, is a non-resident in the state of California. That makes sense…
Plus I had filed all paperwork a long time ago, stating my living arrangements. Why would they label me as something other than what I had written?
She then tells me that I would now have to file for a petition and show proof that I live in my current address. That morning, I ended up going back to the campus to get the papers for my petition. Two days later, I gave the woman at the desk the papers and my proof: my California ID, my birth certificate, my social, and I also went as far as giving them copies of my check stubs from work AND my bank statements. Then I was told that my registered class was flagged to NOT be dropped until they received my paperwork and that I had to check my school email around sometime the following week to see where it all would lead me. I was checking it everyday.
A week later, I got my follow up email. I had proof of my existence, all right; I just now had to show them proof that I’m filed under my dad in his 2013 taxes. By that point, I gave up. My dad hasn’t claimed me ever since I was 18 and working my first job, so there was no way to get around that. The last part of the email was simple: “please respond within 10 business days or we’ll drop your case.”
.. I lost before I started, clicking the “drop class” link immediately.
Now that the Fall semester going on right now, I didn’t let this get to the best of me. Sure I’m upset now that I know I’m “illegal” in their eyes and would have to pay $800 just for once class alone if I ever want to attend, but I’m self taught anyway, might as well become my own teacher if my community college doesn’t want to give me one. I was even told this could be a potential lawsuit, so I might look into that because I don’t think anyone who are willing to further their education should ever have to go through this. All this should’ve been done when I first enrolled last year. School has basically become a lie to me and that I don’t need to be forced into this. I ended up buying the photography book I would need on Amazon for $30 (the school selling it for $60), and I just got it in the mail on Friday. My personal syllabus is to read an hour of it everyday while taking the notes I need to expand my knowledge about my passion. Sidekick is pretty proud of me and excited to see what more we can do.
Who said you need a teacher to learn? I’ll be getting by just fine, all at the price of free.