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2,500 UDC students don't have their federal aid checks

The University of the District of Columbia is two weeks late in getting federal aid checks printed for an estimated 2,500 students, essentially the entire UDC student population dependent on aid.

Spokesman Alan Etter said UDC was caught unprepared this fall after the federal government changed lending rules to put more responsibility on colleges to disburse aid.

Legislation approved in the spring eliminated a $60 billion program that supported private student loans with federal subsidies and replaced it with direct government lending to students. By ending the subsidies and effectively eliminating the middleman, the student loan bill yields $61 billion in savings over 10 years.

UDC converted to the federal Direct Lending Program on July 1, along with all other higher-education institutions. Direct lending put a greater burden on colleges to issue aid checks to students, Etter said.

House Republicans and lending industry lobbyists who opposed the measure had envisioned a messy bureaucracy replacing well-run private-sector operations.

Colleges spent many months preparing for their newly amplified role in lending. But UDC was not ready.

"We didn't have the technology in place that would allow us to cut a great number of checks at the same time," Etter said.

No checks had been issued until yesterday, when the institution began printing them in "small batches."

"We hope to have this cleared up within a week, maybe a little longer," Etter said. "It was a technological glitch. We should have realized that we couldn't handle that capacity."

In a letter dated Oct. 8, UDC Vice President Valerie Epps told students, "please accept my sincere apologies for the delay." The letter promises checks "on a daily basis" until everyone is paid.

Etter said U.S. Department of Education personnel are helping UDC get the checks mailed out and that "we are getting control" of the tardy mailings.

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By Daniel de Vise  | October 14, 2010; 5:55 PM ET
Categories:  Aid, Community Colleges  | Tags:  UDC aid, UDC aid checks, UDC student aid checks late, UDC student loan checks late  
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Comments

People actually go into debt to attend UDC, what on earth are they thinking?

A UDC degree and a $1 will buy you a very tiny coffee.

Posted by: kenk3 | October 14, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I once worked with someone who had a $100K debt after graduating from the UDC Law School. I asked him if the degree is worth anything he said it was worthless.

Posted by: thor2 | October 14, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Guess what!!!! Tax dollars hard at work!!! No one pays for college better than everyone else's tax dollars!

Posted by: WhatBubble | October 14, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

thor2,

Either YOU or the person you work with is telling a HUGE whopper of a LIE. 3 years of a Legal Education at UDC costs less than 1 year of my tuition at Emory for my undergraduate degree. Look it up on UDC's website. Unless your co-worker went to Law School for 10-15 years - full time, there is absolutely NO way he or she could be in 100k of debt.

UDC is only good if one plans on practicing law as a public defender or in some parts of the non-profit sector. If your co-worker thought he was going to geet a job at King and Spalding with a UDC law degree, he was sadly mistaken... not to mention probably not academically qualified to attend ANYWHERE else.

Posted by: BLKManCommonSense | October 15, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I find your comments appalling. As a third year student at UDC, I can truly say it has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life. Do I even care that my degree will not be acknowledged by a materialistic employer? No I don't. Unless you've walked in my shoes, you will never know that attending UDC has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. In fact, it boosted my self-confidence and saved my life. My professors are the most loveable people in this world. Nonetheles, they are phenomenal teachers. As an adult student, I feel no discrimination nor tremendous pressure from an Ivy League Institution. The University of the District of Columbia is warm and welcoming. I absolutely love UDC! It has introduced me to the appreciation, hard work and dedication that "getting educated" entails.

As for the law student:
It is possible to make loans and find yourself in a huge debt. He needs to check with his former financial aid counselor to get advice on how his loans may be forgiven.

It doesn't matter what school you go to, Knowledge is knowledge and Knowledge is Power.

Posted by: beautifiedone | October 15, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The private sector lending machine is NOT EFFICIENT BY ANY STROKE OF THE IMAGINATION so do not make that statement, even though these checks may be late. Most Americans deal with private sector lending each and every day and there are more horror stories than ever. The private sector is just angry because there number one cash cow has been eliminated by this direct lending to students. But UDC could have forseen this lengthy printing and made the necessary adjustments so that these checks which are so desperately needed by students (many of whom are single parents or simply poor and struggling without any income). How long does it take to print a check??? And why not just use direct deposit to their accounts instead? There must be a better way to process these checks in a timely manner. This system needs to be reviewed immediately because it should not have taken several months to put in place a system for only 2500 checks.

Posted by: hotezzy | October 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Racist rants in here are clearly from white people who feel so entitled to anything b/c they assume they are the original americans. There pale skin tone is universal card to success while minorities have to work 1000 times harder just to even get in the door. If you snatch off the skin tone, you white people are cowards. The fact you sit on a message board rant about students who are trying to receive an education, justifies your sole purpose is to rant.

Sooner than later, your pale skin will no longer be your path to anything. The world is changing and you will be minority. I live for that and if I dont my daughter will relish in seeing you beg for equal opportunity.

Posted by: Sincear2021 | October 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

White girl here chiming in. . . 180K in debt. . . been homeless in DC . . food stamps, Medicaid, to get a semi worthless Masters degree from GW. Wish I had gone to UDC. Sincear2021, there are a lot of ignorant white folks in general and in the District as well as black folks as well--- so stop with the skin tone rhetoric (which white people don't discuss tones) and work with people not against. It was until I moved to DC that I was reminded daily that I was white and that apparently it was not acceptable to help humans. To the white people that are just straight up racist- what is there to even say. Sit your A$$ down.

Posted by: no1snowflake | October 15, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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