Is it a college’s responsibility to check into a student’s financial aid before enrolling them?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012

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Is it a college’s responsibility to check into a student’s financial aid before enrolling them?

About 3 years ago I had a miscommunication with a loan company when transferring from an online school to a campus. I was enrolled in classes at the campus and completed a full semester until they told me my loan didn’t process. Now they sent my account to a collections agency for a sum of $9500. Isn’t it the school’s responsibility to check on funding before enrolling a student into classes? Can I argue this?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When a student applies for a loan, the loan process is typically through a private loan service company separate and independent from the school that the student wishes to attend.

In most situations, a student cannot validly enroll in school for classes until his or her tuition has been paid and the check (assuming payment is by check) has cleared. What you have written is an odd situation. For your school to allow you to complete a full semester without actual payment seems as though your school was remiss in failing to advise you of this. I would have a meeting with your school's financial aid department to get some explanations as to why the situation happened and to see what can be done for you to remain in school and to pay down the $9,500 owed.

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