PORT CHARLOTTE - Some students at Edison State College say their financial aid still hasn't be processed by the college leaving them in limbo just days before the start of class.
Danielle Revette, 22, is trying to get a degree in education. Instead she's getting a lesson in red tape.
"I feel like I'm just sitting on hold," said Revette.
Records show Revette submitted all of her paperwork on April 26. Almost four months later, the college has yet to even review her application even though classes start Thursday.
"Does it usually take this long?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"No," said Revette. "Previous semesters it was satisfied in two to three business days."
Revette says every time she's tried calling the financial aid office the voice-mail box is full.
"I've called at least a dozen times in the last few months," said Revette, "and I've never received a call from them."
"So what does it tell you that the mailbox is always full?," asked Grant.
"That a lot of other students are having this issue as well," said Revette.
Revette says she's now alone and showed us Facebook messages posted by other classmates who are venting their frustrations online.
"Why is Edison College's mailbox full?," said Revette reading one of the posts. "Because they're not doing anything right. What a shocker."
After getting nowhere, Revette went to the college only to find out the financial aid coordinator was, in her words, overwhelmed.
"She said she's the only staff member in financial aid working on this," said Revette. "And there's how many applications for Edison."
In a statement, the college tells Fox 4 in part:
"Since these are federal funds," said spokeswoman Teresa Morgenstern, "there are multiple requirements to help ensure that every dollar awarded is in fact to a student who is eligible to receive assistance."
The college went on to say they work with students to assist them through the process "as quickly and efficiently as possible."
But not quick enough for Revette. She's had to borrow $1100 from her grandmother to pay for this semester's tuition.
"What would happen if you couldn't come up with the money on your own?," asked Grant.
"I wouldn't bet asking classes this fall," said Revette.
The college says they deal with tens of millions of dollars in financial aid each year.
Edison's full statement:
"Edison State College deals with tens of millions of dollars in financial aid each year. However, since these are federal funds, there are multiple requirements to help ensure that every dollar awarded is in fact to a student who is eligible to receive assistance.
Throughout this process, it is not unusual that a student will receive multiple emails if there are any additional documentation requirements. Once the application process is completed and documents are reviewed, students are notified of the amount they will be awarded.
Before funds can be dispersed, a student’s class attendance has to be verified. Many students use these funds not only for tuition, but also for books and living expenses. Edison State College works with students to assist them through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible while also being consistent with federal requirements."