I am a student. I have always been really good at school. I often say, I am bad at working and great at school. I have a passion for learning and have always excelled in school. I am currently a Master’s student at a private university in the Twin Cities, MN area. I have three courses to complete before graduation. My 4.0 GPA speaks to the kind of student I am. My school’s mission statement boasts it’s passion for it’s students and commitment to helping students grow through learning.
This spring I signed up for two courses to take over the summer. One is a 15 week course which is a blended format, meaning the course has components both online and in the classroom. My other course is a 7.5 week course which is an all online course. My 15 week course began at the beginning of May and things were going fine until this attack happened Memorial weekend. Not being able to safely drive the hour commute from home to school I had to call my advisor, who is also the professor for this particular course and chair for my program. Her and I have a wonderful relationships and I have shared with her my Meniere’s Disease story as there have been times in the past two years were the commute has been difficult because of my Meniere’s. She has always supported me in doing what I think is best for the safety of myself and others.
We decided that what would be best for me is withdrawing from my 15 week course which included the commuting because of my upcoming surgery and recovery time. The only problem was that my financial aid requires me to take 6 credits in order to receive my aid. You have the option of only taking 3 credits, but the school will still charge you as if you are taking the 6 credits. Keep in mind, each 3 credit course costs roughly $2,000. So, even though I withdrew from my 15 week course due to a medical issue, and will be retaking this particular 15 week course in the fall, I will be charged twice for the course.
Even after filing a letter to the appeals committee, the school deemed this double charge as policy. They offered me to take another 7.5 week course. The problem with that, is then I am taking two courses beginning June 28th with surgery only a few weeks into the course. One course is going to be difficult enough to maintain while I am recovering, let alone two.
When my advisor called to tell me my appeals letter was denied and I would still get charged for the 6 full credits I was stunned, upset, and angry. How can they do this? It would be different if I was just dropping the course because I got a new job or didn’t want a heavy load in the summer months. It would also be different if I was dropping the course and planning to not take the course again. I have this disease and come to the understanding that this is my lot in life, but what I refuse to understand is why anyone would discriminate against me because of something I did not choose to have. I would much rather be working on school than being a prisoner in my own home, my own body, my own mind.
I am extremely angry and disappointed in an institution that claims it is a forward thinking university and cares so much for it’s students. I feel sorry for the individual who calls me after I graduate and begs for an alumni donation because my response with be, “I already gave you a $2,000 donation. Do not call me ever again.”