By Emma Prestwich
The term may be almost over, but one Ryerson student still can’t pay her expenses.
Brie Reid, a second-year fashion design student from Vancouver, has been unable to pay her tuition or this month’s rent because her BC student loan still hasn’t come through.
As an out-of-province student, Reid doesn’t qualify for OSAP. A student has to have the loan application signed by the financial aid office and then send it back to StudentAidBC to receive the cheque, which then has to be stamped by Ryerson and sent back again to cash the loan.
But after mailing the forms, Reid didn’t receive her cheque. Several employees at the office told Reid her new Toronto address was entered wrong on the application.
“I waited a month, called them, they said [the forms] had been lost in the mail,” she said.
StudentAid requires applicants to wait 30 days to confirm the form is lost to order a new one.
“I’ve talked to BC Student Loans 20 times in the last three months,” she said.
“Even though I’ve told them my address and postal code, they keep writing Vancouver, BC.”
She was finally able to speak to an apologetic employee who emailed Reid the link to the form.
“What I found ridiculous is that it took them 20 people to figure out that Toronto and Vancouver aren’t the same thing,” she said.
She said that she finally received the cheque and after approval from Ryerson, and sent it back to Student Aid this week.
Aiza, an employee with StudentAidBC who declined to give her last name, defended the organization, saying when an applicant changes their address over the phone, the employee will always repeat it back to them.
However, she apologized for the delay in sending a new form.
“We go by 30 days to make sure the actual document is lost.”
An employee in Ryerson’s financial aid office told Reid there was nothing she could do, as StudentAidBC is a government office.
As Reid hasn’t been able to cash her loan from this year, there is no way for the lender organization to know that she’s still in school.
The Ontario government has been sending her forms asking her to repay her student loan from last year.
Reid said that she works as a nanny part-time to make ends meet, and has some money from her father that she used to put a deposit on her tuition.
She said this is the only thing holding her spot at Ryerson until she can cash the loan money.
Ryerson doesn’t have a school code that has to be included on the application, so applicants have to fill out another form proving that Ryerson is a legitimate school.