NYU Financial Aid: Another One Bites the Dust

If you read these pages often enough, you might begin to pick up on what seems like an anti-private school bias. I end up advising lots of students to go to community colleges or cheaper state schools over private schools.

But it’s not that I have anything against private schools per se; I’m just concerned with value, and private schools with their high price tags have a much higher bar to clear in the value department than cheaper options. And when you’re not a wealthy or well-off family, the difference in the price tag can mean lots of anxiety.

Just ask Ryan:

Hey Judge Josh,

I’ve been reading your articles for awhile now and you give some really helpful advice so I wanted to see if you help me out with my problem.

Thank you, and I’ll try my best.

I guess I’ll start from the beginning so understand everything. When I was in high school, everything I did was geared towards college. I took honor and AP classes (and did well enough to get college credit), participated in extra-curricular activities such as school clubs and running on the Varsity Track team. I got accepted into NYU which was great because it was my dream school…. until it became a nightmare.

Hit the road, Jack. Love, NYU

You’d be surprised how many notes I get along these very lines — and by that, I mean about NYU specifically.

The tuition cost around $54,441 a year.

Yep, that’s the part I remember from each story.

Yes, I know thats a big number, which did set off alarms in my head. When I got my financial aid, I wasn’t exactly happy. I got 2 Stafford loans, one subsidized and one unsubsidized, a $10,000 scholarship, pell grant, ACG grant, and a plus loan.

Yeah, exactly. Don’t take this the wrong way, because I’m just being honest and it’s better that you understand this now than later — this financial aid offer shows how little NYU values you. They don’t give a damn about whether you stay or go or if they ever see your face again.

Think about it — they gave you $10k, which is a fine amount to win if you’re on The Price is Right, but like you said, it’s less than 20% of what you need to pay their tuition. The rest of that aid package you got didn’t come from them — it came from the federal government. NYU’s basically treating you like a dog, throwing you some table scraps in the hope that you’ll go away.

T his was a problem because they wanted me to take out a $33,000 plus loan, which was impossible since no one in my family has good credit (keep that in mind for later) so I had to get an additional unsubsidized Stafford loan when I was denied the plus loan, which was the only thing they could do at the time after the school basically cut my financial aid in half.

Right. That’s them telling you, “Hey, take it or leave it, buddy. Not our problem.”

I ended up going anyway because everyone, including my mom AND guidance counselor told me it was worth it instead of listening to that nagging voice in my head saying that this was not going to end well.

With apologies to your mom and your very, very bad guidance counselor, the voice in your head was the smart one. Chalk this one up to the lesson of trusting your own instincts.

Well fast forward to March and after finding no alternatives to paying off the $9000 I owe, I was asked to take a leave of absence because I couldn’t pay the tuition and not rack up any additional charges. This was after they dropped me from all of my classes in the middle of the fall semester and forcing me to re-register in new classes in different sections and subjects from my old ones (You can imagine that I did n’t do as well as expected….1.0 gpa)

Yes, none of that surprises me. I’m guessing it didn’t surprise NYU much, either.

I’ve tried everything I could think of to get back into school but nothing has worked out.

I assume you mean “get back into NYU,” which is something I’m going to advise you against. Strongly. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Think of it this way: NYU is a wealthy playboy man-whore who has his way with lots of girls, whenever he pleases. He gets what he wants from you and then spits you out. After you’ve been spit out and left on the curb a couple times, it’s time to pick up what’s left of your pride and look for someone new.

I can’t get a student loan because I don’t have a co-signer(no one in my family can’t or will and family friends won’t consider it) plus with me not in school at least half time, it won’t get approved anyway.

Well, if you’re in school half-time, you can get a student loan without a cosigner. You just need to find a different school.

I can’t get a private loan because like I said earlier, no one in my family has good enough credit.

Yes, definitely harder to get those. They take your credit into account, whereas Stafford Loans don’t.

I tried to register at another school as a freshman but my financial aid gave me away.

I don’t understand what you mean by this. The number of successfully completed credit hours will determine whether you’re a freshman or not. If there’s a piece of the equation missing here, let me know what it is so that I (and the extremely knowledgeable set of commenters we have here) can help you out with your next step.

I even went crawling back to NYU and asked for an emergency loan but my situation wasn’t a good enough emergency to convince them to give it to me.


So now I’m pretty much out of options with September a month away. Things have gotten even worse with my mom’s union informing her that they plan to drop me from her health insurance because I’m not in school.

Well, we need to get you in school somewhere, somehow, and quickly. Are there community colleges nearby where you can sign up for two courses at least, which will give you halftime status?

I have to pay back the student loans I took out (and the school didn’t even get the total $9500 I took ou t because i left school so they sent the other half of the money back to the government) while dealing with the prospect of losing my health and dental insurance.

You have to pay the student loans back eventually, sure, but you won’t have to pay them back right away if you get into classes somewhere. And you should also be able to save your insurance that way.

I can’t move on with my life because nyu won’t release my transcript with out the balance being paid off.

You should be able to enroll in community college regardless of this. Don’t get me wrong, I know you would of course prefer to transfer the credits you earned at NYU, naturally. But if they’re gonna hold you hostage to your balance due, and you can’t pay it, then we have to consider Plan B. You don’t HAVE to transfer your credits to your second school; it’s not required of you.

The critical mission here is to get you back in school so you can save your insurance and, as a second matter at this point, continue your schooling. So let’s work from there.

So what I’m pretty much asking is there anything else I didn’t think of to possibly pay down my balance without it taking years with the minimum wage job I have or am I just completely screwed like most other people have told me?

Well, I can’t quite tell exactly how much NYU is demanding in order to release your transcripts, so I’m not sure how much money you’re trying to come up with. Fill us in the comments section below so we can figure this out.

The best overall strategy here that I can see is to quickly enroll in two courses in a community college so that you can be enrolled half time and save your insurance and also keep the student loan payments at bay. I could be lacking some information/understanding here, so please do come back and let us know what’s going on, and we’ll try to help you out further.

Readers — if you understand something here that I don’t or if you’re ready to give some advice or ask questions of your own, knock yourself out in the comments below.

43 thoughts on “NYU Financial Aid: Another One Bites the Dust”

  1. The reason why some of this doesn’t make sense, JJ (we’re friends, right? I can call you JJ for short? 😀 ) is because the poster is eliminating some deets.

    We know:

    Ryan was accepted to NYU
    Ryan was given a partial scholarship
    Ryan applied for loans that PARTIALLY covered his tuition.
    Which left him with a bill (of unknown amounts).

    WHAT I’m GUESSING happened is:

    Ryan’s 1st semester bill was not paid in full.
    Ryan was dropped from future classes.
    Ryan talked to (somebody) who allowed him to re-register after his sob story.
    All the original (desirable) classes were full, and all the crap classes were left.
    Thus….Ryan could give a crap less about them.
    And thus…Ryan gets a 1.0.

    Really, if you’re a freshman, they’re not putting you into Calculus. You need to test at a certain caliber to be put into higher-level classes. There’s a difference between not understanding what is going on, and not caring what’s going on because you’re not in what you wanted.

    Thank GOODNESS the school sent back the “unused” loan money. I bet there’s some legal thing where they can’t keep it to pay an unpaid tuition bill for a student that was asked to leave the campus. THANK GOODNESS.

    It seems there was ONE successful semester at NYU. And, they won’t release the transcripts. Well, there are other Gen Ed classes you can take at Community College that (unfortunately) will probably double you up for those 4 classes, but at least you can start doing SOMETHING while you figure out how to deal with NYU. And, many a college graduate gets their diploma and has “a few extra classes” at the end. I don’t know if they can mess with your Financial Aid for reasons like not maintaining academic progress…Judge Josh would be the one to speak to that.

    For the sake of the future, I’d go back in the way back machine from when you had a dream to go to NYU. Not like, when you were in elementary school, but from the time you submitted your application. Create a timeline:

    March 1: Submitted Application to NYU
    March 30: Submitted FAFSA
    April 21: Received SAR
    April 30: Received scholarship offer ($10k ) from NYU

    And so on, and so forth. If you can document dates, times, people, location of every single time you talked w/someone at NYU to try and get your bill settled before, during and after the semester started, DO IT. Because if they CAN mess with your financial aid, you’re going to have to prove due diligence in trying to get the matter resolved, and be somehow relieved of responsibility for the “balance” if it’s for the second semester. I’m not sure you can get out of paying for the balance for the first semester at all, because you started going and did get credit for that first semester, kwim? It’s better to document all this while it’s fresh in your mind.

    I hope you’re not thinking “OMG, I can’t do that! It’s too hard! I talked to SO many people!” Just do the best you can, because if it were $1k well then yes, it may be too hard and not worth it to go through all that. But it sounds like more in the tens of thousands you owe, and if you do the math and figure out how much per man hour you’d be “making” by resolving this matter, you’ll find the “wage” is going to be higher than what you make per hour AFTER you get your degree.

    Put simply:
    Sign up for Community College. That helps you keep momentum and insurance.
    Keep gathering your evidence for when you’re ready to tackle NYU.
    You may be at CC until you get a 2 year degree. Make the most of it. You may earn scholarships for it.
    Find a state school. Or a full ride.

  2. It sounds to me like what he was trying to say about the foiled attempt to sign on somewhere as a freshman is that he tried to apply as a first time student. Not as a transfer student. If he needs to apply as a transfer student (which should be the case), he may actually need his transcripts without special help from the advisors at the new school (it’s possible community college would enroll him without transcripts, but later he’ll still probably need them to transfer to another university). Regardless of whether transcripts are needed, though, he still probably needs to fill out a transfer application, not a new student one.

    All that being said, most community colleges have the option to apply as a matriculated student or unmatriculated. If the situation is such that he can’t get transcripts, he can apply as an unmatriculated, then transcripts shouldn’t matter since the initial period under that classification shouldn’t be related to degree fulfillment. That should solve the insurance issue. There probably won’t be any financial aid monies for these initial classes, but 2 classes shouldn’t cost more than $500 at the top end, which I’m guessing could be diverted from NYU over to the new college.

    Secondly, what I got out of this is that all the loans he received were federal loans. If this is the case, then NYU has no right to ask him to return them and I’m a little confused as to where this owed money is coming from. A little extra data might help clear this up. However, if the “monies owed” are in the form of federal loans, he should tell NYU to go to hell and nag them until they give up the transcripts, since there’s no money owed directly to them.

  3. Look on the bright side: at least you didn’t go for 3 years, max out your stafford loans, get credit and ruin it, and flunk out or decide to change your major, and THEN have NYU withhold your transcripts. Community College is almost universally better for lower division courses anyway. You will get professors that actually worked in their fields and not some TA reading lecture notes while the professor is off doing research. Plus, the people at community colleges are older, more mature, and have much more life experience than the rich 18 and 19 year-olds at the big, expensive colleges… the kids with 4.0 GPAs and honors courses in high school.

    I’ve had classmates with law degrees taking a 2000 level geography course for fun, with women from war-torn refugee camps that are here getting child development degrees, with people who have had 30 years experience as paraeducators that are in school to finally pursue a teaching license. I even had a class with a 70 year-old Haitian dude who spoke 8 languages, including Esparanto, and had more college than he could remember. He was in Community College to learn, and because seniors get in for $10 per credit. That’s why I liked community college. Plus, if you are NYU material, then you will easily get straight-A’s and blow English 2 professors away with your essays… right?

    Good luck and don’t sweat it; tell NYU to sue you and start over. It could be WAY worse.

  4. Stories like this make me so mad at certain private universities, they make it seem like that high price tag translates into quality. I would take Judge Josh’s advice and get into a community college quickly. Hopefully you can get a fresh start and transfer later on. Keep your chin up and take this as a huge life lesson. Good luck!

  5. A 1.0? That’s a “D” average…..as far as I know, a ‘D’ in a class won’t give you credit for that class anyway, so why do you even need the transcript if there’s nothing there to transfer? (maybe I missed something in the letter?)

    I’d just forget NYU ever existed and start in on community college…just start plugging away at getting good grades, getting basic coursework out of the way and working a part time job and paying down your debt.

  6. Allie: True, you MAY be able to take Calc as a freshman, but there’d have to be some sort of proof that you’re supposed to be in there…as in, they don’t just let you do it without having prereqs.

  7. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but you should be able to access some sort of unofficial transcripts (unless you’re blocked out of NYUs student system) that should help get you transferred. Also, with AP credits alone, transferring into a community college should be less of a problem because I’d assume at least a few Gen Eds are covered. Those you can totally bypass NYU to get via the College Board. Just a few thoughts.

  8. http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/
    look at this website
    and this one
    In the discussion of 34 CFR 674.31 in 59 FR 61399 (11/30/1994), the Department wrote that “Withholding the official academic transcript is in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), regardless of whether the borrower has signed such a provision in his or her promissory note. Such a provision may not be included in the promissory note.” However, in the final regulations published the day before, the Department wrote that “An institution may withhold a student’s academic transcript until unpaid charges are paid if it so chooses. However, the Secretary notes that an institution may not withhold a student’s financial aid transcript until unpaid charges are paid.” The Department subsequently clarified that colleges may withhold official transcripts if they provide the students with unofficial transcripts in compliance with FERPA. It was merely reversing prior guidance (1994-1995 Federal Student Aid Handbook page 6-16) that permitted colleges to add “a provision that it will not release a student’s academic transcript if the student is in default” in the promissory note.”
    In order to enforce a right to withhold academic transcripts and diplomas, colleges should establish written policies that specify the circumstances under which the college will refuse to provide these and other student records. Such a policy should state that official academic transcripts will be withheld for failure to pay tuition, for default on an education debt or failure to repay an education grant overpayment. The policy should also provide an exception for cases involving bankruptcy. It should allow students a single unofficial copy of the academic transcript. It should indicate whether and how unofficial transcripts may be marked, such as whether they will be stamped with the words “UNOFFICIAL” or note unpaid financial obligations to the college.”

  9. I am an employee on the campus of a well-known public university, and though I do not speak on behalf of my employer, I speak as someone knowledgeable about these matters because of my work.

    “I tried to register at another school as a freshman but my financial aid gave me away.”

    What this means is that the school may not accept Ryan unless he is a freshman (i.e. has never taken college courses beyond units completed while in high school) or an eligible transfer student, which may involved the completion of a minimum number of units, often times 60 semester units or two years of coursework, and he likely has not met these requirements.

    “You don’t HAVE to transfer your credits to your second school; it’s not required of you.”

    NOT TRUE, and I encourage you to edit this. At the university system where I work, not reporting coursework can result in an offer of admission being revoked if caught. Sure, folks don’t report coursework and may never suffer consequences, but why risk it? Admissions reps are often, though admittedly not always, very savvy at fishing out omitted information. At the very least, Ryan will have to account for the time he spent between high school and now, which would mean lying on an application if he wants to hide his year at NYU. In short, Ryan MUST clear his bill eventually if he doesn’t want to risk this happening.

    To be fair, this would not bar him from most, if not all community colleges, but it’s something to consider when transferring to a four-year institution.

  10. Cut your losses; go to a community college. I went to a state school, graduated, got my masters, went to law school, now I’m doing a PhD. My wife is doing a PhD now, but she started in a Community College. Guess who has the higher student loans? Most of hers are paid off, mine are way up there. So, my point is, who cares about NYU? Also, my brother had the same issue you did. He went to UNC in Colorado, dropped out, lived on his own for awhile, then he started at a community college in NJ, and now he’s about the graduate as an enginerd from NJIT. He transferred courses from his comm. coll. but no one ever cared about his UNC grade (he never told them). Once your grades are high, apply for scholarships! It makes sense. There are even a few awesome online schools nowadays (CTU, Berkeley, Phoenix, Capella).

    Word of warning though; DONT slack off! You need to re-enter school without a chip on your shoulder. If you can’t enjoy it and give it your best; then get a job instead. Otherwise, you will have fun and your professors will notice!

  11. True, Rebecca, but generally speaking you have to either have prereqs in your transcripts, OR take the placement exams. As I’ve heard it, though, placement exams are required pretty much all the time now, before kids even take simple classes like college algebra (I don’t actually know if that’s true, but it’s what many people have told me). I mainly just wanted to point out that calculus is considered a freshman class. 1 and 2, anyway. 3 is considered a sophomore class. I think your point might’ve been more clear if you’d said something like ODE or PDE isn’t something you’d be taking at the freshman level since they’re clearly junior level math courses. Basic cal doesn’t work for the example, since it actually IS a freshman class. It’s not something I thought was hugely important, but I wanted to point it out because the example didn’t make sense to me and I thought it might be perplexing to others if it’s being used as the example of courses one wouldn’t normally take their freshman year.

  12. If all you took at NYU were 4 lower division, general ed. courses we all take as freshmen, then you shouldn’t have a problem taking the other courses at the community college. Granted that you may not be able to continue with those classes that require prerequisites, you only lost 1 semester since the second one was dropped.

    One semester is nothing. you can enroll at CC with your HS diploma if you are under 18, or as a completely new student and start from scratch.

  13. Ryan, it seems like you have the brightest minds in understanding paying for college on your side and I really commend you for reaching out and asking for adive. If I may, I would weigh in with slightly different advice..

    You mentioned that everything for the last few years of high school was geared toward college and NYU in particular. And potentially, with the loss of NYU you have also lost part of who you thought you would be, your identity? My question for you, would be, what do you really wanna do? I’m asking because I spent plenty of years in a degree that was not my passion and then went out into the world just to have that validated over and over again. Of course I think community college is smart for you right now. But maybe don’t go to college for college’s sake….reach out to the organizations that are doing what you want to do, intern, work part time, gain a support network, some employers help with education or foster their emploees potential through other channels, feel out things so that it fuels you on your journey in college. And if you don’t know yet, try as many things as you can.
    I know this doesn’t solve you immediate problem, but maybe when you get clear on what the end result of all this is, it could become easier?
    I wish you well!! You will rock!!

  14. Point is this kid was completely unprepared mentally for college. You must be persistant with administration in college, and why even begin your course work if you don’t have the money to pay of the remainder of the semester? How’d you pay for books? And despite working so hard to stay there, you still flunked out like you got it like that? So you’re classes were dropped? It’s life, these things happen. If you wanted it to happen, you would have made it happen. I guess you were waiting on others to do the work for you. NYU gave you 10,000!! I know that’s only 1/5 of the tuition, but it’s a good starting base. Did you apply for outside scholarships? Did you request additional aid from endowment or alumni chapters and organizations? My school is private as well, 43,000…. And they requested that my mother take out 31,000 in a PLUS loan but I denied that. They also gave me 10,000 in scholarship, but I have acquired scholarship from other places, and assistance elsewhere. Between that and my federal stafford loans, my schooling is paid off and I can attend the school of my dreams. Point is it’s possible, thousands of people do it. Consider this a life lesson, if you want something bad…. Go get it yourself and don’t stop until you have it.

  15. Lauren, yes it’s very easy to get a hold of unofficial transcripts, but most schools, even community colleges, won’t accept them.

    It sounds like he couldn’t get enough loans/financial aid to cover the full cost of tuition, housing, etc. and he owed some money that wasn’t covered by financial aid. I agree with everyone else to go to community college because then he will have health insurance and it’s cheap.

    1. Amanda,

      I do academic advising at a community college, and do unofficial evaluations of unofficial transcripts all the time. Yes, you are correct that the unofficial transcript will not be accepted for credit. However, what is valuable for Ryan?s sake is that per my unofficial evaluation, I can make recommendations of which classes to avoid so he is not repeating classes he has already taken. This provides an opportunity to get the funding issue sorted out, yet still allows him to get into school (I believe some colleges will put a total block on student records, so even an unofficial transcript can not be accessed via the student portal).

      Yes- community colleges are a great place to start. I?m currently working on an MS, but have both a technical and transfer degree from a community college.

  16. Also if he took the AP exam and scored a 3 or higher that earns him credit too. He can pay a fee (not a lrge sum) and have them sent to another college. Some schools give more college credit than others and there’s the potential that even if he gets his transcripts released he ma get very little or no credit at another college. His best bet is a community college as they are cheaper (since his family can’t or won’t sign for laons) and easier to transfer to stay a state school which generally run cheaper than private schools. When you reach junior level (often after 2 years at a community college) you are able to take out larger loans on your own but you still have to borrow responsibly. Your best bet is to start fresh and not let your education get derailed over 9,000. I didn’t transfer my credits from another college for a few semesters and it wasn’t abig deal because I had a good guidance counseler who looked over my unofficial transcript and told me what transfers and what they count as in their school. Something you should look into at each new school until you are able to pay the debt or you can just stop worrying about it and start over (which I might suggest since this seems to stress you out to the point of despair).

  17. Man, after hearing this story I feel so much less stressed about my own situation! I’m sorry I’ve taken my mostly-good-hearted school for granted.

    I think the community college deal is the best way to go on this. Based on income, Ryan might be able to get more from the Stafford loans than he actually needs, and that might help pay down the balance. I think the $9000 came from when Ryan was unable to keep paying tuition. He may have started the year with less than it was going to take and selected a payment plan but without being able to make the payments the school probably dropped him.

    Either way, Ryan has money to pay back and is looking at a scary future. Community College is the best way to go, in my opinion, because it’s much cheaper than trying to go to a different university.

    Best of luck, Ryan. My chest tightened just reading your letter. I hope you pull through!

  18. Ryan. I don’t understand. It seems as if you are still hurt over NYU. You have to pull yourself away from them, physically and emotionally. Wipe your slate clean. You have way too many variables (you took Calculus, right). You’re too smart for this confusion!!
    Unless you have a strategic plan and option A, B or C, a private institution could be a nightmare. There doesn’t seem as if there was a lot of honest advice given to you in the very beginning about private universities. Such expensive endeavors take a lot of planning. Look, find something you enjoy, enroll in a community college, and then please go to a state school. I could have paid off my semester with $10,000! It also seems as if you really didn’t have a good plan *except* going to NYU. There is no shame in starting over. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself. Go online now and find a catalog, enroll for the fall. Also as a side, when you enroll in a community college, they do use your transcript. If you do not provide a transcript, test out of as many classes as possible. Also they will allow testing to see if you are on level. That should afford you at least 15 hours. You will at some point need the transcript. Good luck!

  19. I can understand how fustrating this can be. My understanding of the problem with getting any financial aid is that schools know where you have gone and cannot provide assistance federally w/o previous official records. They let you know when they are missing records.
    Community college can be a reminder of high school but it is another means to get where you need to go. I think you need to be asking the clear questions of how much is it going to cost to get your records released and what kind of payment arrangements can you make to get your transcripts. Scholarships are difficult to get. A lot of community colleges offer programs with universities in the state for a guaranteed placement. I had too many credits and they recommended to apply as a transfer but my cumulative GPA doesn’t muster even after making it to the deans list. I really understand but you got to ask yourself what are going for and how badly do you plan on getting there. I jumped through a lot of hoops to get accepted to my choice of school an Ivy because I feel it offered more than just an opening of a door for success but I decided against it as I too have no support than myself and going into that much debt is silly for my career choice. I have my fair share of debt but it could have been a lot worse by not being wise. This may be a blessing in disguise. I am truly sorry for the disappointment. Hang in there one day at a time.

  20. Also, you may want to seek your community college’s financial aid’s counseling services about that $9500 loan. You can pay that off! It may seem impossible now but don’t let fear stop you from achieving an education.

  21. It is sad to hear that NYU treated you this way. Luckily, you should be able to restart your academic career at a community college for the time being. Do whatever you can to keep the health insurance. Enroll in the community college ASAP. At least you can fulfill the requirement of keeping your health insurance.

    There is a point to be made for community colleges in this articles as well. First of all, it is college. I took a course at a community college and felt that the teaching was superior, even to the courses in the appropriate 4 year research university. I think the quality of teaching at a community college can be as good or better than a university because of many universities’ missions nowadays. Most of them are just research and development subsidiaries of government and big corporation. Subsidized with your “firstborn.”

  22. To Tyree: Let’s please be sensitive. This tragedy is very unfortunate and does not necessarily mean that Ryan was not prepared for college. When we’re young, people who seem to know best (in this case his counselor and his mother) have a very large influence on us. I graduated High School in the same year as he, and got accepted into NYU, (which I thought was my dream school.) However, I got–get this–$0 from NYU. One of my teachers advised me to still attend, even if it means accruing over $150,000 in debt over four years; he said the experience was worth it. (Thankfully, I listened to my mother instead.)

    These things happen–sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Ryan obviously seem like a bright young man, but stress can make even the most talented of students fall behind of school-work–thus the 1.0 GPA. If he was smart enough to get into NYU then it means he is capable of handling NYU course load (if he didn’t have to deal with all this mess at the same time.

    Which means, Ryan, that you are going to excel at Community College. When life throws you lemons… I mean, look, I’m sure your education is going to go very far and, correct me if I’m wrong but, the further it (your education) goes, the less it matters where you started it. I will agree with some of the commenters here and say, if you can legally, forget your successful semester at NYU **for now** and enroll in CC. Later, (if it’s even worth your while) you can transfer those first semester credits.

    As BMCC says ((hint hint)) “Start here, go anywhere”

  23. Ryan,

    I’m sorry this happened to you. I’ve heard many stories like this and the frustrate me so much. I love that you’re higher education minded and you’re willing to fight to stay in school. I would suggest two things. First find out who you actually owe money too. If you own money on your student loans they will go into deferment as soon as you re-enroll in any accredited school and you can continue to receive financial aid again. If ( as I suspect) you actually owe NYU go in and speak to a financial aid adviser, set up payment arrangements because as soon as you are paying something on a regular basis they should be willing to release your transcripts. Next into community colleges, or even an ACCREDITED (be sure it’s accredited) online school and start a dialogue both with their financial aid office and their guidance counselors — be honest with them, and get back into school as soon as possible. Good luck!

  24. Full disclosure – I’m an NYU student who’s relatively happy with her financial aid (though I could always use more)

    There’s a good reason why so many students complain about their financial aid situation – NYU basically only gives decent amounts of money to its neediest students, and the few who are lucky enough to get merit scholarships. But there’s a reason for this – NYU’s endowment may be over $1 billion, but that’s spread over 41,000 students.

    A comparison of how much money comparable private schools have to spend on their students:
    “Princeton: $2.2 million per student
    Yale: $2 million per student
    Harvard: $1.7 million per student
    Columbia: $328,000 per student
    NYU: $62,053 per student
    Among 785 institutions that participated in a recent survey, NYU ranks 31st in terms of its overall endowment. Based on its endowment value per student, NYU ranks 202nd.”

    Also: “Over 60% of NYU’s annual budget comes from tuition income, while only 5% comes from income generated by the endowment.”

    Ryan, NYU makes it abundantly clear that if you don’t pay your tuition by certain dates, they will drop you from all of your classes! I understand that you had financial hardships, but when you realized that you couldn’t fully pay for the first semester, you should have dropped your classes and deferred enrollment before the first day – save your deposit, you would’ve gotten a full refund. Beyond the first day you would’ve gotten partial refunds. The financial aid office isnt completely evil – there’s only so much that can be done unless across-the-university-system reforms can be made that pull down private university tuitions in general, not just at NYU.

    And I must point out that tuition for 2009-2010 was $18,293 for one semester, $36,586 for two. While I can understand wanting to live on campus first semester or the first year (which can be as “low” as $6719 for the whole year for a freshman in low-cost housing, as high as $15,645 for a single in an apartment according to the 2010-2011 costs, which means they might have been lower for Ryan’s freshman year), it is not particularly difficult to find cheaper off-campus apartments in nice neighborhoods if low-cost housing doesn’t come through for you (my friends started moving off campus starting 2nd semester freshman year).

    As a (former) NYU student you should also know that it’s possible to live your life as a nomad. If you can get (very very nice and patient) friends to sign you into the various dorms using your NYU id, you could crash on couches since you dont need them to sign you out – I doubt you’d be particularly noticed, especially since they’d be no paper trail and you don’t actually have to swipe out to leave. I mean, it took an article in the school paper for the administration to realize that a student who couldnt afford housing was taking advantage of the 24hr library and sleeping there, showering at friends’ places/the gyms (they gave him free housing when they found out)!

    I’m really sorry you got such terrible financial aid advice before starting – if you didn’t have the credit to get the loans, you should’nt have gone – unless you’re astronomically talented and were in Tisch, poised for discovery (the most famous Tischies never graduated or got MFAs). Nothing else is worth going eye-deep in debt. NYC has community colleges and other public colleges! You really need to get your head on straight about financial options going into the future. Take this as a lesson learned and explore EVERY possibility. So I agree with the peanut gallery – cut your losses, move on to community college.

    To find out if this not reporting credit thing is going to bite you in the ass, call the admissions office and the financial aid office of the school you want to transfer to. Go ahead and explain your situation without giving your name (or giving a fake name) if your don’t want to raise flags. If they can answer your questions, they will!

  25. Ryan, lots of young people fail their first semester of college. You get there and you either aren’t taking classes that interest you or you’re too busy partying, and it’s easy to get distracted and fail a class, or even all of them. It’s not the end of the world, even though it may feel like it. Talk to a financial aid counselor at your local CC and BE HONEST. You need to get back in school immediately, even if it’s at the lowest number of credits that will allow you to keep your insurance coverage.

    Now for the HR perspective: By federal law, they are also required to offer you COBRA for up to 3 years, although it will be more expensive than what you are paying now if the union is offsetting the family rate and not only the employee rate, with the latter becoming increasingly common. You will have to pay the full single rate, plus up to 3% administration fee can be charged. At the time of the next open enrollment (that plan’s anniversary), the affordable care act recently signed into law requires that group to allow your mother to reinsure you if you lose your coverage, and even if you get married you can stay on her insurance until age 26. Companies can offer it sooner, but most are refusing to do so. Here’s a link to an FAQ from the US DOL, which includes a list of insurance companies which are offering this option now: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-dependentcoverage.html.

    Good luck…and keep your chin up!

  26. Hey judge josh,

    I should fill you in on the details. What I meant by trying everything to get back into school was that I just wanted to be in a school, not in NYU particularly. To be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was to go back there after I was treated but I’m desperate. Secondly, they want the entire amount in order for me to get my transcript, which isn’t even that good considering the fact that my grades suck. I find this all very ironic as a school is preventing me from getting a proper education I worked my ass off to get, the one I rightly deserve as anyone else in this country and the world does. But I also understand that college is also a business and its capitalism. The school has to make money any way it can, despite the over two billion endowment NYU has (the irony just keeps piling up). I’m going to just register at my local community college and go to school half time while i figure out a way to pay down my balance while also getting my grades up to where I expect them to be so that when I do transfer, my transcript shows that I can actually do college work unlike the current transcript I have now which makes me look like a complete idiot. Thanks for the advice everyone, especially to you Judge josh. I really do appreciate it.

  27. Oh and one last thing,

    I was prepared for college but I got screwed over after talking to the financial aid off MULTIPLE times, talking with credit advisors MULTIPLE times, loan officers at banks MULTIPLE times and my academic advisor MULTIPLE times. I tried everything I could possibly think of to fix this mess I’m in and the only reason why I posted the question was because NOTHING worked. I owe the school around $9,000 and I got to pay back $4750 I have in loans. I applied for outside scholarships and all I got was $100 for running track and I applied to over 20 scholarships through my school and online. Yes I’m was hurting from being dropped from school but I’m got over it cause crying isn’t gonna solve my problem. I learned a valuable life lesson and NYU taught me one good thing, its to never give up in the face of adversity. I went to the school for the name but now I know better. I want to become a cardiologist one day and just because I failed a class and didn’t do so well doesn’t mean anything to me, Its just another bump in the road. Just wanted to clear some things up thats all. Thanks again.

  28. HI:
    INTERNSHIP: This may be your answer.

    For health insurance purposes, many colleges/programs will enroll you as a full time student if you have a verifiable “internship” of sorts. The work does not have to be (and often is not) through the college. Some require that it’s a paid internship and that you work a certain amount of hours, but not all. Once the internship is verified, they enter you into the system as a full time student. Many (most?) institutions do not offer “credit” for this, while other do. But this usually satisfies the insurance company and often the student only pays the college enrollment fees ($0-$150) for the semester.

    EXAMPLE: At my son’s college (BIG 10 school), they allow students to do this for up to THREE semesters (either all at once or intermittently between attending school) if the student works at the internship a min of 32 hours per week for 14-16 weeks in a semester, and therefore he need not take any classes. Health insurance covers him as it is the university policy to consider him (and place a code on his transcript) as a full time student. Colleges love for students to do internships — it does not matter at many colleges if you have no credits or if you are a senior, as long as you pay the small registration fee. And it’s a win-win method to take a break from classes if one suffers from burn-out or needs to see if their career choice is a good fit.

    My son earns no credit but gains valuable work experience and references. For you the added benefit would be to earn $$$$$ to fix your problems, plus time to figure things out while taking the pressure off.

    Go online to review data at your local community college and then ‘make friends’ in person with those people.

    FYI: I went to community colleges and did quite well in multiple fields of my career, and was ranked No 1 in the USA. Stars really do shine no matter where they originate.

    Good luck!

  29. As a student at a private university I just want to say that not all private universities are money hungry monsters. My school does have higher tuition than the state schools, but they offer more scholarships and grants than any other institution of higher education in the state. I’m on a full-scholarship and over 25 others received the same scholarship that same year (Around 5,000 students total). Okay that part of my rant is over.

    I agree that community college is going to be his best option to raise his GPA and save money. However he has got to get NYU paid back ASAP in order to move on with his college career. My advice would be to approach NYU again and see if he can pay a percentage of the bill inorder to release his transcript and then work to make that smaller payment. Once he has his transcript, then it’s off to a community college. He also needs to see if he can be reinstated on his mom’s insurance once he gets back into school. Some retail places offer a small, but better than nothing, insurance plan that he could use until he got back into school.

  30. to Lauren, unofficial transcripts are enough to get you accepted, but you must have the official copy before you can enroll.

  31. Speaking as a fellow NYU student (who isn’t rich and doesn’t know a lot of people with good credit), I totally understand this situation.

    NYU is NYU. Most things people say about it is true. I’m one of those Tisch students who sees NYU as a dream school only because the conversatory type training is amazing.

    They dropped my classes second semester last year. At first, I was stunned and didn’t know what to do. But I called my academic advisor and she replaced me back in all of them two days later. She said, “When they drop your classes, don’t stop going to class. Re-register right away in all your courses. Talk to your advisor.” She understands that it happens a lot. And she never judged me for being poor.

    I feel like I may be one of those super needy students who got one of the great deals because the Bursar office keeps telling me that. But, it doesn’t seem like it, because it’s still a struggle to pay those bills. Going to NYU is a rocky journey, but for me, it’s been a rewarding one. Though it seemed like the financial aid department was trying to kick me out half the time, I still pulled off a 3.5 average. It can be done. Sometimes, the struggle is worth it.

    Ryan: I agree with what everyone’s written. Keep your chin up. Learn from this dreadful experience. And of course, years from now, you’ll be a successful cardiologist, seeing that everything turned out okay.

  32. There is an easy fix to this situation. Ryan, because you are still young, and have many years ahead of you, I think it is time to consider joining the military. Not only do you get Health and Dental insurance, but you also get paid to live, work, and even “play”. Play meaning that you use the tools from the military and the pay, you can go back and pay off your loans, and continue your education somewhere more fitting to your life. Plus, by joining the military you come much greater of a person and learn so much about yourself as a person.

  33. Ryan,

    You only applied to 20 scholarships? I apply to over 100 each year. Granted some of them are super easy, just fill out your contact info or drawings, etc… Some are long multiple step monsters. In short pursuing scholarship/grant money is pretty much a full time job in and of itself.

    Also with a 1.0 GPA you won’t qualify for scholarships. You must get into a community college and bring that GPA up pronto.

    I go to a private, 1st tier university–Seattle University. They offered me some scholarship money, some lonas, as did all the other colleges I applied to. I asked all of them to make me a better aid offer then the first one, and guess what? All of them bettered their first offers. Some schools won’t I know, but still you never know until you ask.

    Seattle U, like many private colleges, also offers grants based on your GPA once you have attened any length of time at them. So besides talking to folks about the money issue you should have kept your grads up. Every program of study in the world, as far as I know, has some course that students hate but have to take anyway. If you let your grades slump because you don’t like the course topic or teacher then you are not ready for college level work–or real life work for that matter. In the real world outside of college there will be jobs and tasks you won’t like, but will have to do to get ahead or paid. That is how it is for everyone. If not liking the course or instructor sets you on the “I’m not going to apply my self fully to this” road then you are not ready.

    If you had applied your self to those courses, and done well, you probably could have qualified for merit based aid. In Wshington State it starts at 3.5 and above for merit based aid. The higher the GPA the more grant money they give you. I have friends that attend NYU and they get merit based aid, so NYU does offer it. But again a 1.0 GPA won’t get you anything.

    I do have loans for Seattle U, but between need based aid, merit based aid, and the few scholarships my loans make up about 6% of my package. Roughly about $6,000 each year is loans–split between subsidized and unsubsidized. But I busted my butt to get the package I have, and still go and haggle with financial aid office to try and get as much as possible.

    I could have gone to a state school, and got offered aid packages from them. However, due to my hard work and asking for the best they could offer, and even pointing out when another school gave me a better offer I got into the private university I wanted with the best aid package. I have friends attending University of Washington (state school with cheaper tuition) but there aid packages mean they have about $10,000 a year in loans. So as a transfer they will have $30,000 in the same time period I will have $18,000 for a private college. They bosted they got a cheaper tuition, but have higher loans in the long run.

    Go into your community college and talk to their financial aid people. Don’t argue, but be firm in where you are. Due to your family situation you will qualify for need based aid. Once you have some grades under your belt–and make sure they are in the 3.0 level cummlative. Then go back in and see if you can get some merit based aid. While at community college maintain a 3.0 and join Phi Theta Kappa. It is an international honor society–gives merit based aid to members. I know they do because I got some to attend Seattle U through being a member.

    You were smart enough to get into NYU. Now apply those smarts to making a better plan. Getting in is not enough to success, you also have to do the work well. (1.0 is not applying yourself.) Make a plan not just for getting aid, or getting into college, but a plan for what you want to study and what kind of work you want to do. Being a cardiologist is great. But you won’t get there if you don’t work really, really hard for it. So don’t let the NYU thing become the norm. Apply yourself to the process, and the coursework, not one over the other. Then you will succeed.

  34. @ David, the military recruiter… you’re an idiot. Don’t listen to this bozo, Ryan. The military is probably the last place you want to be.

  35. Wow Ryan….what a nightmare. I would suggest enrolling in community college as a non-degree seeking student so that they won’t ask for any transfer transcripts. Just act like you want to take a couple of classes just because and then later on down the road next year figure out which transfer degree you want to get and make sure to take all those classes. Hopefully by that time, once you’re enrolled and in the school’s system, the advisors are not going to be asking about previous courses taken and maybe that freshman award package will have gone off your record. Try to do some research to see if any of it will bite you in the butt later but I just don’t see a bunch of financial aid advisors sitting around trying to run searches to see if students ever attended previous schools…..I don’t know though….maybe they do……if it’s not too risky I would just outright lie about the whole NYU attendance. It took me four years to learn that many advisors are incompetent and the employees in the financial aid office hate their jobs. I am way older than you and never knew I was just another cash cow being shoved through the system. Good luck to you!

  36. OK so it pained me to read this because I was in almost the exact same situation. Only the money I owed was a little over $2000 a semester because of a misunderstanding that led to me not getting a Perkins loan that I was awarded (do all your paperwork on time, folks!).
    So my aunt and grandmother bailed me out for the first semester, but after second semester I was on my own. And of course the school held onto my transcript, assholes. I had to take a year off to pay $2700 (and in the end my mom used her tax refund to bail me out AGAIN, I’m such a fail). But thanks to her I was able to apply for a state college that accepted me and gave me enough fin aid. I didnt go to a CC because I knew I would lose the 32 credits I completed without the transcripts (and took out over $10,000 in loans for!)
    My advice to you is to go to Comm College ASAP, especially as your insurance is at risk, and your grades probably wouldnt let you transfer credits anyway (luckily it was only one semester so what, 18 creds tops that you lose?). Most CCs will accept you as a first year (and if you use your high school transcripts, im sure youll get enough aid) and then you can work part time to pay off the NYU bill. Honestly, screw NYU. Without a huge scholarship sometimes those expensive schools arent worth it. And if you go to CC and dont slack and get As, youll be able to transfer to a great 4 yr, possibly with a scholarship. And once youre there continue to get those As!

    Also, why are you saying you have to pay back the loans? I’m surprised Josh didnt mention this but, even if you dont go to CC and get a deferral on them that way, if youre not making enough money to pay them off you can get a forbearance on them, just go online and print the app for it (hurry, you do NOT want to get in default on loans). Even if you get back into school again if you were out for more than I believe 6 mos., they need you to fill out a form to confirm the deferral on your payments.

    Best of luck, you’ll be okay. I didn’t have the grades for an NYU-selective school so if you did you’re obv intelligent enough to not fuck up a second time. 🙂

  37. Gail Amalfitano

    Hey My advice go get your AA at Community college then transfer to a public univesity. You BS or BA degree never shows you went to community college and besides community colleges work harder for their students and have many programs to make sure you succeed.Go to the orientation to find out about those special programs, get involved on campus, make your teachers love you and you will find a wealth of love and support at the community college.
    I graduated from community college, got scholarships to UM for 16,000 and for FIT for 13,000, but chose public university in the end so I would not use up my loans. If they forgot to tell you there is a limit of 57,000 dollars on loans as an undergrad. I had gone part time for two years and no one warned me about these limits on loans, pell grants and credits.
    Go on and do yourself a favor…go to community college first.

  38. Gail Amalfitano

    Hint for financial aid
    it goes by your last year in school, so you need to attend comunity college a year before you apply for aid again. Let us know how it ends up



  40. Would it surprise you to know that I’m in the same situation?

    This was the last summer that the federal government would be offering the summer pell grant. So the school originally told me I would receive the full amount for the summer, three different people told me that mind you, but then I ended up only getting a small portion of it. I had to live on campus because I don’t have an actual home to go to.

    So because I had no way to pay off my summer bill, I got kicked out from the fall semester. Not to mention my mother had spine surgery during the time I took my summer classes and got sent home, only to go into shock and almost died and was put back in the hospital for another three weeks.

    So essentially I owe my school money as well, not as much as Ryan here, but enough for a student like me who lives in Government housing with his mother and has no health insurance period to not be able to pay. I’m submitting a tuition appeal as soon as I get a letter back from the surgeon who was dealing with my mom’s surgery so hopefully that’ll knock it down some.

    It’s still ridiculous that students like Ryan and myself get in situations like this. It’s not fair one bit. Yet the Government wants us to help the economy but ultimately it ends up with us being in thousands of dollars of student loan debt? Yeah, way to go.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top