Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Struggling With Life

    I look around as my trip nears and wonder what it is that I'm risking. In many respects I am a very lucky guy, but what sort of future do I really have here? For example.....
May 27, 2011

Dear Scholar:

Each semester, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recognizes those students who have achieved excellence in their educational programs.  Your commitment to learning, as shown by an exemplary grade point average, has earned you a place on the Dean’s List for Spring 2011. 

Please accept my congratulations on receiving this high honor from the University.  I look forward to your continued success at UTC. 

Description: Description: Dean's Signature

Herbert Burhenn
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences
Dear Student:
The UTC Financial Aid Office regrets to inform you that you have not met Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards, effective with Spring 2011 semester grades.
Federal and state regulations require students to meet Financial Aid SAP standards; students not meeting these standards are ineligible for federal and state financial aid.
       Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards require students to:
 1) maintain a course completion rate of 67%.  Students must pass a cumulative 67% of all credit hours attempted;
2) maintain a 2.0 cumulative overall GPA; and
 3) complete degree requirements within 150% of attempted hours required in the program of study.
       For more details please review the standards at

The reason you are not currently making Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress status may be reviewed on your MyMocsNet account. From the Money Tab choose My Financial Aid Eligibility, then Academic Progress.

       You may appeal your Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress status by completing the appeal process:
http://www.utc.edu/Administration/FinancialAid/pdf/SAPAppeal1011 .

 And here is the request for additional appeal paperwork and the requisite appeal letter


I am writing in regards to the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal you recently submitted to the Financial Aid Office. We did not get a letter of rationale in your appeal. You will need to write a letter stating why your Course Completion Rate (CCR) is 66%, the minimum requirement is 67%. We get your CCR by dividing the number of passed hours you have by the number of attempted hours you have.

Reasons can range from having a significant amount of Withdrawals or a semester of two where you did not make passing grades. You will need to explain in your letter why your CCR is below the minimum requirement.

I will defer making a decision on your appeal until you get that information to me. However, please be advised that waiting to submit that letter could prolong your financial aid, if approved.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Kerri Kocincki
Financial Aid Counselor
Office of Financial Aid, Dept. 4805
University of Tennessee- Chattanooga
615 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403

     When I was called by an agency, under the employ of the federal government, and informed that my defaulted loans (which resulted due to problems at ETSU after a semester of straight A's) could be rehabilitated if I simply filled out the paperwork, I took the opportunity. This was a result of changes within the department of education following the election of Obama. So for the short term I enrolled in a community college here in East Tennessee while I sent my transfer info from ETSU to UTC. Since returning to school, (at the prodding of the government), my completion rate has been in excess of 80% (at UTC it is 90%).

   When I received that call from the department of education my completion rate was nowhere near 67%( because of dropped or failed classes), why was this not of concern then? I find this ambivalence unsettling, especially since I just achieved a 4.0 in a competitive area of study this spring at UTC. What exactly does the government want?
   When UTC accepted me back in the fall, on the first day of classes, I didn't have money for the move so I lived in a parking lot, sandwiched between Jewish and Confederate cemeteries, without power or running water. Though I missed two weeks of classes before I began I still managed to scrape by. I dropped one class but still finished fall with 12 hrs and a 3.25.

  FYI. I have a certified learning disability, Disorder of Written Expression. Writing (and school) is something which is done with a great deal of difficulty. However, when I have the drive I can make a compelling argument. So Kerri, will I be allowed to finish these next two semesters at UTC and take my arguments to law school or will I be forced to drop out of school and take them to the Chattanooga Times?
Thank You,
Israel Eugene Gillette

I'd rather deal with a rabid cartel goon than a bureaucrat any day of the week. Latin America, here I come!

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