Thursday, June 22, 2006

I don't know what to do anymore...

Things just seem to be getting worse and worse with this school thing, and I don't know what to do anymore. After the last communication I blogged about, it seemed like things were going to get better. I wrote them and told them that I had indeed confirmed my intention to go to Brown and I even had the fax confirmation to prove it.

They said that it was their mistake and sometimes things get lost; it was no problem and that they would put me back in their system and mail out my acceptance packet with all the forms I had to fill out the very next day.

The next day I get a phone call saying that they did not, in fact, mail out my acceptance packet because first I had to talk to the people at financial aid and clear up my financial aid status. They said the financial aid people would be calling me that week. They didn't call; instead I got a letter saying that if I did not apply for financial aid and comply with all the financial aid requirements and deadlines by June 16, I could not come to Brown.

Now, here are the problems with this:

First, I've been talking to Brown Financial Aid for over a year now. They said in no uncertain terms that applying for financial aid would be pointless as they will not consider me an independent and no matter what I do, I have to get my parents' compliance with filling out the forms. That is not going to happen; last time I talked to my parents about this they told me, basically, screw you, you're on your own. I told my parents I didn't want their money but despite the fact that they don't consider me their child anymore, legally I still am their dependent and in Brown's eyes nothing I can do will change that. So, since my parents won't cooperate, I can't apply for financial aid from Brown, and I decided not to apply for financial aid from the university at all, since I was getting an outside scholarship.

Second, even if I could theoretically get my parents to comply, they sent me a letter at the beginning of June telling me that I had to comply with all the deadlines - the last of which passed in April. So, I get a note saying you can't come to Brown unless you meet a deadline that passed a month and a half ago.

Third, they can't force me to apply for financial aid from them, can they? They were saying that although I had already been accepted, they were simply going to withhold the forms I had to fill out in order to go to school untill I applied for financial aid. How is that even allowed? They do not force every single incoming freshman to apply for financial aid, how can they force me? So long as I get them their money on time, why is it their business if I ask them to help or if I get a scholarship from outside?

Anyway, I wrote back saying pretty much exactly that: My parents are not going to cooperate; it isn't right that you force students who come from families that don't care about them/are abusive to go back and deal with their parents like this; I'm getting a scholarship from an outside group and after a year of talking with your financial aid office I'm not applying for financial aid anyway, so I don't understand this letter.

After a lot more arguing with the financial aid director, he said that I did not need to apply for financial aid after all, so that part of the problem was cleared up.

Once I got word from him that my financial aid status was cleared up with their office, I wrote back to the admissions people saying I'd talked with financial aid, the problem was over, so please send my admissions packet now because I've certainly missed some deadlines and I don't want to reach August and have them say I can't come to Brown because I never returned forms that I was never given in the first place.

Since I wrote them back, I have gotten no reply. I've left messages that have never been returned. My emails are ignored.

I am getting pissed as all hell. It seems that their new tactic is just to completely ignore me until it is too late to come to Brown. I don't even understand this. How am I supposed to deal with that?

I know that to the people sitting in all the offices at Brown, I'm just some annoying case they are tired of dealing with, but I think maybe they've been working in bureaucratic administration for so long that they forget that to the students trying to go to college, this means our whole future.

I swear, I'm about ready to give up on life.

21 Comments:

Blogger Replica Watch Collection said...

huh?! pano ako napadpad dito??? lol... :p

8:33 AM  
Blogger Replica Watch Collection said...

opppps... sorry for that wrong comment. anyway, i was blog hopping when your blog caught my attention. i find it so cool! nice blog you have there :). anyway, thanks and more power! :)

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any way for you to get there in person, or do you know anyone who attends there or lives in the Providence area? If not, do they have an LGBT group on campus? Some of them may have stayed around there for the summer, and may be able to intercede for you. It is, after all, much more difficult to ignore a person sitting in the office than a letter.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maya, I'm a Maryland native who has been following your story. You are a strong person, and life has presented you with considerable challenges. Please don't give up--this is a temporary bump in the road of life (which is long, I'm only 34). You will succeed.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous loveisthenewpunk said...

Is it wrong to say that I love you?
Ok, maybe since it sounds a bit net stalkerish. So I'll start over.

I'm a 17 year old girl, born and raised in the dc, that's coming to terms with her sexuality. Trying to "come out" is affecting my family, my friends, my goals and my outlook. You see, I wanted to change the world, get into politics and make this planet a better place. But after I began to wonder what American would elect a female, dread headed, african american, homosexual to public office the dream began to fade. Then I discovered you among many other gay people who have blazed the trail and have worked for change. Reading about how you stood for what you believed in despite the pressure coming at you from all sides (i.e. your family, the media, society, etc.)has been more than inspirational. I almost lost the girl who could be the love of my life, because I was too scared to tell the world who I am. I almost gave up on activism because I thought no one would want to hear me. But I think you've given me some of your strength. Your beautiful inside and out. And if I wasn't in love with you before, after I read that you are a Francesca Lia Block AND a Neil Gaiman fan (who are both my favorite writers) I was smitten.
...but don't tell my girlfriend. ;)
I know that whatever life throws at me, I will persevere. Just like you.
Thank you so much.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous felix said...

hello. i'm linking you on my blog, if that's okay. i'm also working for a progressive student think tank that has a chapter at brown and at 37 other universities. we're at www.rooseveltinstitution.org.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Sheri in IT said...

Sorry hon - I went through the same thing. :-( Some schools let you apply for an exemption to the parental notification requirements - I've never managed to find out exactly how to do it.

Whatever happens, hold on. A dream deferred is not always a dream denied. I'm hoping to finally go back to college at 25, going half-time and paying out of pocket - but it is still going.

Going to Brown right after high school might not happen for you. That doesn't mean that you can't go to Brown or graduate from it - but you might need to get a few years of work under your belt first. Life is a far better teacher than a textbook, and if this is how things go for you, you may find that to be a good thing. You're a tough woman, and you'll make it either way. The story you tell of how you made it, however, is seldom what you expect.

If you don't mind working in an office or in a call center, you can get a starting job there and build skills. In just over 3 years, by doing that, I've gone from making 18K per year to 32K with benefits and tuition reimbursement. If you want some tips on how to do it, I'll be happy to help you out.

your fan,
Sheri

5:26 PM  
Blogger MacArthur Parks said...

Maya,
I know your life is hard. I pray you and your parents someday reconcile. I truly hope things work out for you.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through this. And I'm going to refrain from writing what I think about your father's absence in all this because I know you love him.

Maybe start somewhere else, a state university or even community college. Transfer to a place like Brown later. I don't know the rules in all of the states, but here in California you are considered independent of your parents if you live on your own while not attending school for a year.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should think about transferring from Brown to UC Santa Cruz. I did and I loved it.

http://admissions.ucsc.edu

6:45 PM  
Anonymous anamika said...

hey lady, wondering about you and your progress. i'm getting to pdence labor day weekend, i hope you'll be there. very much. love a.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Naomi said...

Maya,

You don't know me, but I've followed your story through your blog, off and on since you got outed by the national media.

I was thinking about you tonight and tracked you down via google to see how you were doing. I was distressed to see that you're getting the runaround from Brown. Hopefully, you'll find someone who will be able to straighten it out for you. If not, please don't give up on college. You could probably start at a state university by January, if you apply. Or if you strongly prefer a private college, try sending out a batch of letters to schools other than Brown and see if any respond favorably. (I attended Carleton College, and had a really positive experience, though I can't guarantee that they'd be any less boneheaded in the financial aid department than Brown.) In your situation, rather than filling out the regular application, I'd start by send out letters introducing yourself and describing your situation. Give your backstory, say that you're interested in their college but need a college that will not insist on f/a information from your parents when you're getting funding from somewhere else anyway, and ask if they would waive application fees and help you get through the process.

Probably a lot of these colleges will send you an unhelpful canned response, but I bet not all of them will. Again, some might be able to help you enroll as early as January.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous bridge said...

Maya, you can go to the school of general studies in columbia. It is easier to apply there than brown because they target nontraditional students (students that have to pospone their studies for personal or professional reasons, etc)

They have a good scholarship, so you wouldn't worry about financial aid.

Here is the application:
sholarship: http://www.gs.columbia.edu/financialaid/gsfapp.pdf

You should try.

I believe you will be a really good politician one day.

Good luck! don't ever lose faith.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous john said...

Bridge is right, GS is a very much friendlier place than brown. Even when you have been accepted at brown, you can apply and use your outside financial aid in Columbia. There is, as far as I know, no strict age limitation.

Plus, it's an ivy.

John.

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

This is from wikipedia:
In order to gain admission to an elite instutition, an applicant must indicate steadfast intention on attending if accepted; this includes (if not requires) gestures such as attending a tour, requesting materials from the college, and interviewing with an alumnus/alumna of the college. At the most selective institutions — such as the Ivy League colleges — failure to indicate such a level of interest ensures rejection. However, some colleges state that showing interest is not a factor in admission, such as Stanford [1].


I think brown is a very good university. Maybe this is what you did wrong. There is always ways to correct that.

The best of luck to you, Maya.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://julius-flint.livejournal.com/

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://julius-flint.livejournal.com/13498.html

12:36 AM  
Blogger sdfg said...

I don't believe in giving people euphemisms when they're down, because I think that such things are a disservice. I'll be very brief.

I think that you've always been alienated by many of your peers because of your intelligence, and not so much by your upbringing. I think that your upbringing is a factor, yes, but it's your cognitive qualities that have played the larger role in distinguishing you as a meaningful human being.

Because of your intelligence, you have been dabbling with many, many ideas through the years. And I think that you've failed to synthesize all of these interests together under a single "platform." I also think that you feel as if you've had to juggle from one interest to the other, and that you're not really sure how to tie all of these things together.

And it's hard. You're trying to combine the best aspects of socialism and ultra-libertarianism (anarchism) into a single package. I'm not saying that this isn't doable, but you're really tripping over yourself. :)

Your ideas will take a lot of time to develop, and I think that it's ultimately going to be your ideas that drive you to succeed or fail in life. By this, I mean that it's going to be your ideas that give your life significant meaning. Unlike the troll with the John Kerry account, I don't think you need an Ivy league education to succeed. You'll only need the things that it represents.

I tend to ramble. I'm sorry. :)

Take care!

9:12 PM  
Blogger Chevalerie de Chine said...

Hey! Nice to see you here. I actually heard about you in an accidentally click on wikipedia. I do share with many of your political views. good luck on everything!

P.S. check out my blog sometimes. http://chineseinam.blogspot.com

9:42 PM  
Blogger johnnybravo said...

My heart pours out to you...My parents disowned me because I did not follow their beliefs. I need my parents W-2's for financial aid or the school was going to kick me out of the dorms and send me back to the streets of Baltimore. But God works in miraculous ways. I pleaded with a woman in financial aid that if I did not get in, I would be back on the streets.

She suggested that I use another family member as a guardian and give her their w-2's. My grandmother saw my dilemma and told the school that she was my legal guardian and this woman in financial aid (a new financial aid officer) processed my paperwork and I got my grant money and scholarship.

I was going to give up, but God allowed this woman to be my angel (that same woman is now a Vice-President of the University).

Don’t give up.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Yamathan Contril said...

Wait wait wait wait. You're over eighteen and you're still considered a legal dependent? Is that even legal?

I don't know what statuates there are, but, ah, aren't you older thantwenty one? How can they construe your need for financial aid based on your age?

2:37 PM  

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