Hello everyone, I'm in a huge bind right now, I applied for a loan and got a Pell grant this semester, long story short I got some of it refunded to my account. The amount I got refunded was around where I expected it --- or so I THOUGHT. I already spent the money, and they didn't even notice they did it until I asked them why my 1098-T form was messed up. After doing some backtracking, the head of the office, whom I asked about my 1098-T form, once she realized the refund was too much, she is trying to claim that she "contacted me and tried to pull the funds before I could do anything with them". This is a lie, and she was very condescending and panic-ridden on the phone. I have a feeling she knows she messed up, and I messed up too. I don't want someone to get fired over this, and I don't want to have to pay back this money ALL AT ONCE, I'm hoping for a payment-system.
This is my fault and someone's fault in their department. I should have paid attention to my refund and matched up the numbers. But also it is their fault for refunding me too much money. My philosophy is "if you ask someone if you can have some money, and borrow some money, and they say yeah it's all over there on the table, does one usually count it right on the spot to make sure it is the right amount?"
The answer is No, one does not usually count it right on the spot if it was a large amount of money. But they SHOULD. I understand all this, this is not my problem.
So I did some number crunching, and she thinks I owe her about $7000, but if she did a little research, they only awarded me about half of my Loans/Pell Grant on my "Student Balance Statement". So in terms of reporting the money, the other half of what I was supposed to get wasn't reported on my statement. So I did the number crunching and realized that they did refund me too much money, but not anywhere NEAR 7 grand lol. I'm positive of this.
So I have two questions:
1) Can a University "TAKE" some of your Pell Grant money on the rule that I can only claim "so much non-loan refund" a year? (To elaborate, last year my Pell Grant refund was extremely high, and the school took some of the money because it was all about to get refunded into my account, and when I asked about it, they said I can only get so much of that money since my Tuition was already taken care of. So they either stole that money, or they are entitled to it. But which is it? If they did take it without any legal right too, I'm going to mention it when I meet with this lady next week.If not, my loss.
2) Chances are I'm going to have to pay back this small amount of money they refunded me that I didn't notice wasn't rightfully mine. How should I even go about paying that back? Will they understand that I'm only a student and don't have this amount of money just sitting around? So my last question is, Do you guys think that they will allow me to pay it off in increments? Or will they ask for it all at once and freeze my account until I pay it... or worst case scenario: Will they take legal action towards me?
Thank you very much to any and all who can give me some input, I know this sounds like a pretty idiotic story, I do feel dumb for not realizing I had too much money refunded, but I assumed they knew how to do their job. Thankfully I'm not the first person to have done this apparently, I saw some other threads with the same story, however they do not have the same questions that I have.
Thanks again (so much for long story short lol)