You want a good Raritan Valley story for a newspaper?
Here’s one: it’s how they screw around with the Higher Education Act of 1965 when it comes to filling out simple forms.
I attend Raritan Valley college regularly. As a result, I am entitled to certain benefits under the Higher Education Act, for older loans that I carry from my undergraduate and law school days. The benefits don’t outweigh what it costs me out-of-pocket in tuition, but the law says I get them.
Since I pay a shitload of taxes every year (since I don’t own property subject to a mortgage, or have any other situations that generate these popular tax giveaways), I take the ones I can.
However, there is a clerk, a know-it-all clerk within the Registrar’s department at Raritan Valley, who disagrees with the 1993 amendments to the Higher Education Act. So she has ritually given me a hard time about filling out a form.
She routinely also screws up the form when she files it—usually by mistating the “anticipated graduation date” under federal regulations. (This is called “date in which the student is reasonably expected to complete the program” or something like that.)
The excuse I usually get is, “well you haven’t paid the future semester(s) TUITION YET!” Hello? Anticipated graduation date. Not guaranteed graduation date. The government only wants to know, when it is anticipated that the sheepskin will be handed over.
Another time, I got the form back in the mail, with a yellow stickie: “we don’t fill these out!”
It is a little game of power in that Registrar’s Office, played by a little person who isn’t seeing the bigger picture.
As Jerry Ryan points out to the Courier, they aren’t getting as many part time students (like myself) anymore. (Any wonder why?) Nice, low marginal cost part timers. We pay the same amount per credit, fill in the empty seats at night, and go home. Don’t spend a lot of time around the school, don’t use the time and resources of all those people whose salary our tuition money funds every pay period.
Yes, you’re right, Dr. Ryan. If we don’t show up, it costs the full timers more. The Bully Bitch of the Registrar’s Office has to rely on the full timers to pay in the money that she takes home. And so they have to pay a little more.
But the full timers should better smile and pay up. The school needs to have that woman around. After all, who is going to screw around with the paperwork I submit to the Registrar’s Office?