Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mamaof5, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    I was aiming on going back to school (I got accepted after all for my first choice, tech writer). I'm having a hard time getting the OSAP done because of a clerical error. The college said they would defer the payment with a summary payment of 520. I don't have 520, I asked my mom to help me and I get why don't you ask your boss. Uhm, no. The boss is H's boss too (I work Wed & Thurs) and H went ahead and asked him, he can't help until next week...

    Problem. Classes start September 6th, deferral payment must be made this weekend to start on time or I incur an extra 100 fee for late payment. I am in the self employment program for Ontario Works (graphics designer, home based business and content writing, desktop publishing, the schooling would add skills that I need and update other skills as well as if I can land a job as a tech writer contractor I'm looking at a 70 G to 120 G contract a year with places like the government, big business and banking institutions). OW worker said we'll meet on 19th to discuss... sigh. OSAP says do this extra paperwork and then we can go from there...I've been doing extra paperwork for two whole months or more.

    I'm screwed. I have now essential just given up because apparently "poor people" aren't allowed to get an education in this damned forsaken country. I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I'm finished. I'm giving up and I'm D.O.N.E.

    I've now essentially wasted 100 dollars in an application to college. I'm emotionally railroaded and I'm spiraling and triggering. So much for bettering myself and getting off social services. They tout that they want you to get off as fast as you can but kick you in the teeth causing you to not be able to do so. WTF do they expect then... No wonder there are more people on social services in this sh-t hole town of EL than there are with good paying, full time, stable jobs. We wonder why there's so many perk heads and addicts here? No jobs, no stability, no help.

    I swear our OW system was designed to make sure people fail. I feel like such a fecking failure and waste of space right now it's not funny. So dang frustrated.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Whose fault was the clerical error? It's so frustrating when they cause the error and won't do anything to fix it in time. Can you go up the ladder in admissions and get someone to straighten it out properly and on time?
  3. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    F'ed up part, the college supporting staff are on strike but classes will continue. I've spent two weeks trying to get through on the phone and when I email the head of the department for the course I'm taking...they tell me to call the registrar's office or financial aid office where the strike is happening. The clerical error was the governments fault. I've NEVER applied for OSAP (ontario gov student loans) and yet they have what's called an OEN attached to my SIN (ontario education number). My previous degree was paid and bought by my parents, no loans and in Quebec. Never taken a loan out ever for school so I have no idea WHY there is an OEN attached to me.

    *sigh* I'm just done. No point, I have given up.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Camp out at the dean's office?
  5. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    *lol* not when I'm in EL and they are in Ottawa. It was an online cont edu course with Algonquin College. I'm just screwed all the way around basically. A friend did suggest asking them if they have a January start date for the program and in light of the strike and difficulties with OSAP they might agree to the switch to a different start date...maybe a glimmer of hope but I'm emotionally busted and if they fight me on it I'll just trigger badly (ie: like when I was a teen ...I self harmed). I got no fight left basically....or maybe I'm just having a moment I don't know. I'm all over the place right now.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Maybe you need to just get mad for right now and yell and scream at your house about how unfair it all is. Hit some pillows, heck, open your windows and toss some old pots and pans out there. Make the difficult child's go out and pick them I personally like to tear tin foil and throw it at the walls. If you like to self harm, get some washable markers and write all over yourself.

    Then....when the tantrum is over...and it will end, it always does. Trust me I know because I have so been there and I know that when it ends I feel so badly when I am left to pick up the pieces and figure out how to fix whatever it was that I really screwed up. Well...really you wont have done anything so bad. You can pick up the pieces and try to get on with life. Find out what is wrong...just keep working the stupid system and find out about January. They arent singling you out. Its simply a mistake.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ditto what Janet said. Get it all out now, take a breather from thinking about it, gather yourself and get things in order for a January start date. I totally KNOW how it feels to deal with this BS. Remember, you have difficult child's, you can tackle and win at anything. You will prevail; the time, the when's and how's are just details...shoot for January and hopefully all the glitches will be out by then with your paperwork.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sometimes one set-back leads to a better door.
    But its always "someone else" saying that - and never when "they" are where you are!
    been there done that - on both sides of the equation.

    The real problem is, you're not fighting "the system" - you're having to try to navigate a whole raft of different, separate systems - none of which really work well together.
    And so... just like with so many of our difficult child kids... people end up "falling between the cracks".
    And no, it isn't fair.
    But yes - there is SOME way around it. Hmmm... who to talk to down in those parts... I'm too far away to know Ontario's systems at all.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Mof5, I worked as a Tech Writer for quite a number of years. Although I never had any formal education in it, I had other transferrable skills that I was able to use as a foot-in-the-door. That might be a route you can follow as well. Do you have writing samples that can be put together in a portfolio? Design projects where you have also worked on the content?

    You and I are in the same province, and I might be able to put you in touch with some people who can help you break into the field. Please PM me if you want to talk about this more.

  10. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm so sorry :( I have my own OSAP nightmare. I left half way through the end of my final semester of my 2nd program I took (I did corrections then went on to legal assistant, which I was nearly done). I was pregnant for easy child that last year, she was born first of June. I was incredibly ill and have no clue how I made it as far through the year as I did, but it was obvious I could not complete the semester. I had a perfect 4.0 GPA and didn't want to mess up future return to complete the program. Student services said for me to get a medical note for medical withdrawl in order to preserve my right to get a loan for that last semester. I did so. I reapplied the following year for that last semester, was accepted. I then sent in my loan forms and a week before classes was sent a denial due to being now on the restricted list. Until I repay over 60K of loans, I could not get the loan for that semester. They then said had I just stopped attending and essentially flunked out, I would have been eligible for another loan but placed on academic probation, which given my GPA was no big deal. I never did get to complete that semester. I know the system can be maddening. I'm so sorry :(.

    Please Please Please do not give up. You sound so driven and I'd hate to see the motivation you have plucked out of you. There's a way, albeit with frustrating hurtles that I can't blame you for being so upset about. I do know that there are ways to overcome the hurtle of paying that deposit of tuition before you can start. Please please call back to the college and speak to anyone who will listen. There ARE waivers to allow you more time to get OSAP lined up. There is also special needs departments that can at times float a emergency loan. It is ironic how it would work but they CAN give you a emergency loan for the down payment on tuition, pending OSAP payment of tuition costs, at which time OSAP would refund that loan when paying the balance of your tuition. The first few days of school they hate these complications because there are MANY. I went through this with the aviation campus here just 3 years ago when S/O went back to school. He was not on OSAP, but he was being funded through EI's second careers program and he was actually registered to start classes but denied funding through the SC program. I still fought and got him permission to begin classes while I filed an appeal for his denial to be overturned. It was more than 3 weeks AFTER class started before he was approved, and yet another 3-4 weeks before the school received a penny of tuition. All Ontario colleges and universities have the same system of tuition deferment etc so Algonquin may be telling you this can't be done without that much money in place as down payment but it is a crock they are feeding you.

    My suggestion is once more to contact the college, the financial aid department and the special needs department. Take names of who you speak to and carefully not what bull they feed you about not being able to waive the down payment while you sort out the OSAP issue. Then call your MPP's office or better yet, show up there. I did this for S/O after he was denied SC funding (and in fact they had a sort of right to deny as he already received SC funding 5 years before and graduated). Not only did they get a fire lit under the butts of the people dealing with the funding (in your case it would sorting the OSAP glitches), they also ensured the college used the tools absolutely available to them to waive a single penny paid for tuition so that he could begin classes while waiting a resolution. The college has nothing to lose by allowing you to begin your course. If you end up ineligible for OSAP, the college merely terminates your enrollment. Especially with online long distance learning, there is even less of a chance of financial cost to the school. One more person using their online learning center and tuning in to web classes etc does not cost them a thing. Let someone else (The staff at the MPP's office) do the fighting for you as you are understandably frustrated etc.

    Hang in there and I'm so sorry that this couldn't just be a smooth process for you. I won't get into a tirade about my opinion of how our provinces social services system in my opinion works to ensure people remain in poverty and not completely self supporting. But I could and often do. I do understand. I've been there done that and have far more experience than I'd like fighting to get out of that cycle. Sadly, the ones who scream loudly and demand results are the only ones who get the chance to move beyond the cycle. And sadly many can no longer fight the hurtles thrown into their paths. I hate to see that happen to you. Please please call Algonquin college again and then call your MPP's office and tell them that this cannot be put on their back burner for a few days or a week or whatever either, that it is now you need the help, today, or it jeopardizes your ability to begin the course. Thus ensuring yet another wasted year on social assistance when you're doing everything you can to no longer need their support.

    Sending you tons of support and strength.
  11. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    The head of the tech writer program at the college put me in contact with the acting ombudsman and they are working on it for me. I am still interested in going to school I was having a very sleep deprived negative moment. I'm waiting on my OEN from OSAP (the OEN I never applied to get lol but I figure, fine you have an OEN for me I want it so I can apply).

    I told the ombudsman I wanted the 520 fee deferred with the rest of tuition in light of the strike and the OSAP clerical error. The dept head of tech writer course has said directly she wants me in her program, she has seen my extensive written work with my application along with letters of recommendation too (all part of my application through Ontario Colleges).

    I'll say I'm feeling better tonight about this whole thing, took the day off from it all and just went about my day instead. I promise, no self harm (I haven't done that since about 2003\04 ..last incident I vowed never to get to that full on state again).

    Did I mention I am already a published fictional writer? Writing is a talent of mine, I've always been artistic both in graphics design, writing and drawing. In the author world we always say write what you know so I figured why not have a job that utilizes what I know. Writing. I've already written two full novels and been published (2008) for 4 short stories. It's my passion, it's where I want to be.