I was a student at Lehigh Valley College in Center Valley, PA back in 2004-2005. It was time to reapply for the next years FAFSA and State grants. However, what I qualified for wasn't enough to cover the amount of tuition, so the Financial Aid department told me I had to get student loans. They rushed through to process and told me that I couldn't finish my degree unless I signed for the loans they provided. They never counseled me in applying for other grants or to go with other loan companies other than what they provided. So, without having much knowledge at 19 years of age, I signed their forms for student loans through Sallie Mae. Through unfortunate circumstances, shortly thereafter I was unable to finish my schooling, and had to drop out.
The college has since been shut down completely. I can't finish my degree there, and NONE of my credits will transfer to my local community college. I understand through the local newspapers that there was much controversy regarding the schools financial aid practices and there were many lawsuits filed against the school for the same reason I have. I don't know what the outcome of the lawsuits was.
The bottom line is, I believe the college was receiving kickbacks from the student loan company for having students sign loans that had not only insanely high interest rates, but would be considered sub-prime loans. I believe that their Financial Aid practices were illegal. I now owe over $20,000 in student loans, and I can't even use the credits now to finish my degree. I had to start all over again with zero credits at my community college. I received nothing from this except horrible debt which I can't even afford to pay back because the interest rates are through the roof. Please help me if you can. I want to move forward with my life, and am trying my hardest to get out of debt. I would except full responsibility for the loans had it been done through legitimate practices and I wasn't taken advantage of for being young, dumb, and poor at the time. I just wanted to make a better life for my daughter.