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American University Antigua Loan Crisis

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by js703458, May 16, 2008.

  1. js703458


    May 15, 2008
    It is of great concern to this student that the AUA administration has for a couple of months now failed to meet even the lowest standards expected of an educational institution in communicating with and holding itself accountable to the student body concerning the current financial aid situation. Let me explain...

    It is common knowledge that the U.S. is experiencing a credit crunch and that it is very difficult for newer schools to secure private loan providers. I do not fault the school for this as they appear to be working diligently to resolve the situation. What I find thoroughly unacceptable is the complete lack of communication with students or student government, the absence of any official administrative consensus whenever I call or write, and the assumption that we students will bear this burden regardless of the financial and academic difficulties it causes us.

    To be more specific: two months ago numerous supervisors at MyMedInvest informed me that they would not be certifying loans to AUA at least one week before AUA informed the student body that they lost their contract. In fact, to my knowledge, no official release ever went out stating that the MyMedInvest loans hadn't been approved. I called the school multiple times only to be reassured that MyMedInvest was wrong, and that I needed a co-signer. Then I was told that I didn't need a co-signer. When I wrote requesting some documentation, I received an email addressed to another student bearing his social security number and personal information. The New York Financial Aid office then based their staff in Antigua in the student lounge for over a week, for the said purpose of applying for the MyMedInvest loan. The three times I went in their network had crashed and I was unable to do so. I then filled out forms for a loan from AUA.

    A few days later I was told that the school would provide the loan, but only for tuition, and that I would be responsible for the cost of living, room, board, etc. I called a week later and was told that this was no longer true, that they now had two providers, but that they couldn't release the names of the companies at that time! In the past two months I have called the school and left my contact information over twenty times. Only once was my call returned, I returned it and left a voicemail, which was itself never returned. During registration I applied through Richland Loan Processing Center and found that they charge a $542 processing fee normally applied to government loans, but signed it anyway. I was told to wait two to three weeks for the check to arrive on island.

    I called a week later to determine the status of my application and was told that they had no record of me ever applying. I called today, was hung up on three times, connected to the switchboard operator, who told me everyone was going home at 5:00 PM, and transferred to voicemail. The voicemail told that the New York offices are open to 7:00 PM on Thursdays. I attempted to leave a message for someone in Financial Aid but the automated switchboard didn't have extensions for anyone in Financial Aid. Just a few minutes ago I was notified by my co-signer that they didn’t receive the terms and conditions addendum along with their part of their application in the mail.

    When I began attending AUA I had many doubts about accreditation, licensing in the states, student services, and accountability on behalf of the administration, as did many other students. Our collective concerns were addressed in a town-hall format meeting attended by the President and the Dean, and facilitated by the Student Government Association. Those who attended walked away informed, confident in their school, and pleased that their problems had significance and deserved address. Perhaps it is time to hold another such forum for the benefit of everyone involved in and or affected by the current student loan crisis. We deserve to know where the next loan will be coming from, what the school's long term financial aid plan is, and AUA's gaurantee that we will be able to complete our medical education through loans rather than out of pocket!

    It is in the interest of the school as well as the students to address this issue immediately! American University of Antigua, take some responsibility!
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  3. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV 5+ Year Member

    OK I understand but the loan problems are shared by all students including SABA a school that is much much older and more established.

    AUA is properly Listed with WHO and IMED listed there is no accreditation for the Caribbean schools ( I hate it when it is posted over and over) AUA is a legit school.

    What do you want AUA to do? Lie and tell you the names of Loans they yet have? All the schools are telling the students the same things, Loans are coming but the truth is until you are applying for an actual loan then yo do not have one. The school does not have one.

    This is just not AUA but all Caribbean schools

    Welcome to the Caribbean. You took the risk now it is riskier.

    I took the risk and it seems it may be ok for me

    I hope it turns out for you.

    But the school is legit this is a loan problem AUA has no control over loan companies and the US economy and yes some do pay out of pocket.

    I wanted to add I have read these Kind of stories from all the Caribbean schools including SGU ROSS and AUC...............
  4. AngryBaby

    AngryBaby El Hefe 10+ Year Member

    As of right now, SGU's med students aren't having a problem securing loans unless they need to a private loan; which usually encompasses Canadian/non-American students. Chase, BofA, Citibank and some smaller bank are still offering loans for GradPLUS.
  5. js703458


    May 15, 2008
    I am not questioning whether AUA is "legit," whether it boasts accreditation, nor am I oblivious to the difficulty of securing a private loan for a Carribean medical school, especially a newer one. That was neither the purpose nor the direction of the post, if indeed you read it. The problem is as follows: AUA is not communicating with nor providing information or support to the students currently attending. I of course don't want AUA to sugarcoat it, I simply ask for a phone call, an email, for basic administrative cooperation.

    Please reserve your patronization for less informed, more naive users. I have lived in the Caribbean for some time and am very familiar with how other schools work. Students at AUA are requesting the standard administrative services every student who invests in a medical education deserves. That we understand the risks is one of the primary reasons we are asking for accurate, timely information.
  6. oldpro

    oldpro MS IV 5+ Year Member

    My friend thats my point, you are naive to think a school , any school, cares about you. AUA is set up for one reason and one main reason alone, to make money.

    All the schools in the Caribbean are private schools. They have a history of poor Communication, I spent 1.5 years at may school and 1 year before that reading and researching and now 1 year later in clinicals. I'm wise enough to know that the schools do not care and you have to fend for yourself.

    I too do not have money for later at the end of the year and have to borrow from relative or something to finish. Yet I will not post what you have even though I have been going through the same at my school.

    Now you know.

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