Financial Woes

So I originally didn’t want to post again until I got my acceptance email from Kansai, but I felt like updating.

Currently, and I’m sure even after I get accepted, the biggest concern of mine is making sure I have enough money. I don’t just want to take the bare minimum amount of money with me. I want to be able to travel and buy things when I’m there. By no means am I expecting to spend money however I like, but not having to live off a stringent budget is definitely my goal. Since I’m 24, I am considered an independent student. Generally what this means is that I claim my own income on my FAFSA and I receive enough aid to cover almost any expenditure that comes up during a semester. This current semester I received enough in grants and aid that I decided not to work to focus on classes and so I’d have to time to get everything ready for Japan.

After talking to the study abroad coordinator at the financial aid office, he assured me that I more than likely will receive enough to cover all the cost involved in the program plus a good amount of extra money. I still have to wait for them to get my acceptance from Kansai and work my budget out though. So that bit of information could always change. He also advised me to talk to the Student Business office to see if I can get my financial aid refund earlier.

Now I don’t know how most schools handle their financial aid refunds, but at EMU we usually don’t see our refund money until the second or third week of the semester. The money first goes to our student billing account and then refunds directly to us in a separate student banking account. What I find weird is that they don’t change the date for students going overseas. I know we have to pay certain fees during orientation at Kansai, but if we don’t even get our money until a week or two after that, then what do we do? Also, our meal plans aren’t going to kick in until October. So for a month we have to use our own money to buy food. By the time we get our money from EMU in our student accounts, we would have to withdraw it all and get it exchanged and then possibly open a Japanese bank account. Realistically, if I can’t get Student Business to change my refund date I’m really not sure what I am going to do for money.

While it’s still something I don’t have to worry about quite yet, it’s always in the back of my head. Hopefully things will work out.

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