In June of 2008, I enrolled in the Illinois Institute of Art and began speaking with Natalie Church, who was assigned as my admissions advisor. Because I still lived in Kansas City, MO, she filled out an application over the phone with me for a private loan through Sallie Mae which was to pay for 1/2 of my rent plus $100 monthly for bills/utilities for the fall and winter quarters. I was told by Ms. Church that I was APPROVED for this loan.
At the end of June, I moved to Chicago and began my first quarter in August of 2008. The private "Creative Loan" that I was told I was approved for was supposed to be disbursed to me at the beginning of the fall quarter, which began October 6th, 2008. At this time, Natalie Church had left the Illinois Institute of Art to teach in El Salvador. I was assigned a financial aid advisor, Letrice Warrior.
At the end of September, I moved into a new apartment and was told by Ms. Warrior that I needed to turn in that lease so that I could receive the check which would cover 1/2 of my rent plus $100 for utilities. I signed the lease for the apartment, and turned in a copy to Ms. Warrior. I was told repeatedly by Ms. Warrior both over the phone and in person that "the creative loan check was on it's way". In the first week of my classes for the fall quarter, I was told by Ms. Warrior that the check should be arriving in the mail within two weeks. After two weeks passed, I repeatedly called Ms. Warrior and never received a call back. I also called her supervisor, Paula Price, leaving a complaint via voicemail that I needed a new advisor. I never received a callback from Ms. Price, and my advisor was never changed.
I went in the speak with Ms. Warrior in person, once again, to check on the status of the creative loan check that was supposedly "in the mail" two weeks previous. Ms. Warrior pulled up my financial plan, and could not tell me why the check had not arrived. She said she would once again approve me for that loan, and to check back with her the following Thursday (October 30th) and "hopefully the money would be there". Ms. Warrior said that the money should show up at the school by Thursday, October 30th, and she would then approve me for the funds, which would then show up at the accounting department. I could then go to the accounting department, claim the funds in the sum of $1,780 for my creative loan, and the school would then notify me when the funds were available, or mail a check to me. This was the first I was aware of this process, as Ms. Warrior repeatedly informed me that the check was "in the mail".
Since there was nothing I could do but wait until October 30th, that is what I did. When I went to see Ms. Warrior on the following Thursday, she was not in the office. I returned home, and called her at least 8 different times that day. I also called her the following day, Friday, October 31st, and again Monday, November 3rd. Even though I had left several urgent voicemails, I never received a call back from Ms. Warrior. That same Monday, I was informed by my building manager that if I could not pay two months rent within the week, I would receive a 5 day notice of eviction.
I went to see Ms. Warrior in person on Tuesday, November 4th to see if I could find out what was going on. Ms. Warrior pulled up my account and informed me the money was not there. She looked at my account via the Sallie Mae website, and the creative loan had been cancelled. She could not tell me why this had happened. She then called Sallie Mae directly, and Sallie Mae could not tell me why the loan had been cancelled, but COULD tell me that I was NEVER APPROVED for the creative loan, and that it had been pending since June, 2008. Ms. Warrior then put me on the phone with the credit department of Sallie Mae, and I was told by the credit representative that I could be approved for this loan with a cosigner, but I would not receive the funds for another few weeks. I did not have a few weeks, I had a few days, or I was going to be evicted. I then told Ms. Warrior to keep the loan cancelled because I had to withdraw because my only option was to move back to my Mother's home in Kansas. She gave me a simple shrug, and a "good luck".
If I would have known in June that I was not approved for the creative loan to cover 1/2 of my rent, I would have never enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Art, and would have never moved to Chicago to begin attending. Chicago is a very expensive place to live, and I was on a student budget. The pending time of 3 months that I was told the "check was in the mail", I was having to take out personal loans from family assuring them that I could pay them back as soon as the check arrived. Now I am left with debt to personal friends and family, an eviction notice, and a 4.0 GPA held at the Illinois Institute of Art for no reason. The Illinois Institute of Art, including Natalie Church and Letrice Warrior blatantly deceived and lied to me simply to fill a seat at the school, and it has cost me a huge halt in my education, accrued debt from staying in Chicago on a false hope of a supposed "check in the mail", and an unfathomable amount of pain and suffering.