Oglethorpe University Has Me Deep in Debt. – Brittany

“Dear Steve,

I am (or rather, was) a college student and Oglethorpe University. The university typically sends you a “Financial Aid Package” in the summer before the semester begins to inform you of how much aid you’ve qualified for and then you sign off on it.

In the summer of 2010 I did not receive my package on time, nor did many other students. I spoke to the administration about it and they told me to be patient, that they were behind because of the influx of new students.

So, I waited, and in the meantime school began and I was working two jobs as well. My parents were unable to help me at this time financially (my mother just had a baby, then was laid off from work and my stepfather was recently diagnosed with cancer. …).

Then, in the middle of the semester I received a letter telling me that my account was delinquent and that I owed the school $7,000 and an additional $100 each month my debt was not paid.

After this, I went through months speaking with one office or another, each telling me different reasons for my debt (one even told me that I didn’t have any debt and that my account was on hold due to the fact that I hadn’t received some immunization).

Anyway, finally someone informed me that I had not signed a “Verification Document” and thusly did not receive the Stafford Loan which would have paid this debt. The administrator then informed me that we could try to send of the verification document now but that it might be too late. Two weeks went by and I heard nothing from the school until I was sent a letter which stated that my debt would be sent to a collection agency.

I called the school and they gave me a week and two days to take out a loan for $7,000. Unfortunately, I could not find a cosigner. … Now, I have a $9,000 debt and until it’s paid I cannot go back to school. This is my third semester out off school, now, and I’m dying to go back.

How does a 21-year old, with little credit, go about paying off a $9,000 debt? Are there any tools. … ways. … that I may shorten the time it will take to pay off this loan?


Dear Brittany,

It sounds like you are stuck in a tough spot. The school will claim you attended and used their services and failed to provide financing with the student loan so you are on the hook for that. And they will prevent you from enrolling or transferring credits till you satisfy that old balance.

I’m not confident you’d be eligible for a retroactive loan from the government so you are in a bind.

If it’s the same Oglethorpe University, the one I just looked at in Atlanta online charges $1,170 per credit hour.

Why not just attend the local community college for $75 per credit hour and work over the next two years to pay off the debt to Oglethorpe?

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode

2 thoughts on “Oglethorpe University Has Me Deep in Debt. – Brittany”

  1. At the present time, I am not working. I owe close to $70,000 in student loans because of bad money management. I want to go back to school but I am not eligible for Pell Grants from the government.

    What can I do? I had registered for class and attending class and the rug was snatched from under me. I was told to drop my classes if I couldn’t pay for them.

    • Gloria,

      I hate to state the obvious but maybe you simply can’t go back to school till you get your current student loans rehabilitated. If these are government backed loans call your loan servicer and ask them what you can do to get these back on track so you may be eligible for the additional school loans you are looking for.

      But can you really afford more loans?


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