Categories
College New York City Opinion

Email to Baruch College about tuition and financial aid.

Greetings,

First of all, I love Baruch College and CUNY. I’m having the best time ever. 

My professors are amazing. The support staff is amazing. Baruch College CUNY is the best opportunity ever. 

I finished almost all my schoolwork for the Fall 2021 semester about a month early. College is my number one priority. 

I’m not sure who I’m supposed to contact about the tuition that I owe, so I’m contacting the three offices. Please let me know if there is anyone else I should contact about this matter. 

I’m signed up for two classes this summer 2021. The online Baruch College website says I owe $459 for summer 2021 in addition to my financial aid. 

If I drop one of the summer classes and only take one class this summer, would that lower the amount of money I have to pay to attend Baruch College this summer? 

If yes, I’ll drop one summer class and only take one class this summer instead of two. 

Depending on how much I will have to pay to attend summer 2021 classes, I might not take any classes this summer. 

It all depends on what the Department of Social Services / Human Resources Administration requires.

Please let me know if dropping one class and only taking one class this summer will lower the money owed when you can. Thank you:-)

If taking one class this summer isn’t included in my financial aid, I might take the summer off. I’ll make the decision after speaking with HRA and seeing what the cost is to take one class this summer instead of two. 

The online Baruch College website says I owe $283 for Fall 2021. Can I pay that amount out of my Fall 2021 student loan refund? Or do I have to pay it before the semester starts? 

If I’m allowed, I’ll pay the balance due for fall 2021 out of my Fall 2021 student loan refund. If I’m required to pay the balance before then, I’ll pay for the fall in the next few weeks. 

Please advise. 

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

Categories
College Government Opinion

Email I’m sending to the financial aid office of every college in New York City about my 2020 HRA public assistance case recertification.

Greetings,

I’m a student at CUNY. I’m trying to find out the rules regarding student loans and public assistance. I’ve already gone through all the proper channels and I still don’t know.

This year my HRA public assistance case recertification was moved from November 2020 to December 2020. My student loans are going to land into my Chase Bank account a few weeks before my HRA public assistance case recertification. The amount is about $5000.

I was told by staff at CUNY and HRA Waverly Job Center that I can receive student loans and public assistance at the same time. No one at CUNY or HRA is certain if having thousands of dollars in my bank account or a large student loan deposit at the same time as my HRA public assistance recertification is going to affect my case.

If anyone has the answer please let me know.

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Some of the schools responded and said to contact my financial aid office. This is the email I responded to them with:

Greetings,

I’m confident CUNY has a lot of people who are on public assistance and financial aid. I asked them if receiving a $5000 cash deposit from student loans a few days or weeks before my HRA public assistance case recertification will affect my recertification and they said they weren’t sure. 

That is why I’m contacting every college in New York City to try and find a staff member who might have experience with this specific situation. I mentioned in my initial email that I already went through all the proper channels and I still don’t have an answer. 

I’d rather spend the time now to figure out the situation than wait and have an issue in the middle of the winter when I need to be focusing on my studies. My current GPA is a 4.0 after 27 credits and I’m doing everything in my power to maintain it. 

My school said they haven’t had a student with this specific issue so they can’t provide a definitive answer. They are as helpful and friendly as can be, they just don’t know. If it wasn’t for the awesome support at CUNY I wouldn’t have a 4.0 GPA. 

I guess no one on HRA public assistance has taken a direct loan of $5,000. 

If there is anyone else at the school who has experience with student loans and HRA public assistance please forward this email to them. My thought process is there has to be someone at one of the NYC colleges who has the answer. 

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Categories
Government Opinion

Email to the public assistance help desk at the CUNY school I attend.

Greetings,

First and foremost, I treat everyone at The New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA), CUNY, etc., with the utmost respect at all times. That is more important than anything. I understand that everyone is doing their best under the circumstances. I appreciate the consideration I receive from all parties involved. 

I just read the email you sent. I’m in quite a predicament. I have no idea why but for some reason my HRA public assistance recertification date was moved from November 2020 to December 2020. Normally I receive my student loans after my HRA recertification and it doesn’t affect my public assistance case. Now that my HRA recertification has been moved my student loan money is going to land in my account at the same time as my HRA case recertification. 

I’m homeless and I wouldn’t go back to a homeless shelter under any circumstances. I had a horrible experience at two shelters. For the past 5 years, I usually sleep in a chair on the subway platform when it’s cold. Now the subways are closed during my sleeping hours. Additionally, the school is closed. All my go-to places to stay warm are locked up for the winter. 

I need the student loan money to rent access to a coworking space so I have somewhere to go this winter when it’s freezing cold outside. The ATM’s will be filled with my homeless sisters and brothers, so I can’t stay there. Plus the police and bank security are constantly patrolling and clearing everyone out.

I’m going to require my usual $500 per month or so cash assistance and SNAP for food. If I have an issue in the middle of December or January with my public assistance, the coldest months of the year, that is going to be tough. I’m spending hundreds of hours now trying to figure this out so I can avoid a disaster later. Plus there are so many people on public assistance, who knows how long it will take for a glitch in the HRA system to update. 

My HRA public assistance case was already dropped once years ago and I was never given a reason. I do everything HRA asks immediately and I treat everyone with the utmost respect at all times. For the life of me, I have no idea why my case was dropped. 

The HRA approved job program I used to attend would tease us that they were going to drop our cases but that was after my case was dropped and it hasn’t been dropped since. The HRA approved job program would say FTC (fail to comply) over and over for fun. That place was torture. That is why I love the opportunity to go to school and do something productive instead of sitting around the job center from 9 AM to 4 PM 5 days per week doing absolutely nothing for 90% of the time with the staff threatening FTC. There were no computers to use, no WiFi, etc. 

Maybe everything will go smoothly with my recertification but I have a suspicion that $5000 cash from student loans might affect my case if it lands in my account on the same date of my HRA public assistance case recertification. I contacted every single HRA public contact and they refuse to provide an answer. I visited the HRA office on West 14th Street and they were not sure. Thinking about it now, I’m going to go back and try to speak with them again in person. I emailed the financial aid office at school and they are not sure if the money will affect my case. 

I have started contacting financial aid offices at additional New York City colleges, outside of CUNY, trying to find anyone who might have the answer or a contact at HRA. I’m going to contact the public advocate, Manhattan Borough President, Queens Borough President, and anyone else I can think of. 

If you have any additional contacts for me to reach out to regarding this matter please let me know. 

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

I love CUNY.

Categories
Government Opinion

This is another email I just sent to Steven Banks the Commissioner of The New York City Human Resources Administration / Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS)

Greetings,

My HRA public assistance case recertification was moved from November 2020 to December 2020 for some reason. I’m not sure why.

I believe I can recertify my public assistance case on either October 15 or November 1. Not sure which one, but it’s one or the other. Normally I would be able to recertify my HRA case on September 15 or October 1.

Is it going to affect my pubic assistance case that a $5000 student loan is going to hit my account literally the day I’m up for recertification of my public assistance case now that the date was moved? I was told I was allowed to receive a student loan while on public assistance. I just want to make sure.

I want the student loan 100%. I need it to survive this winter. I’m not going to a homeless shelter and everything is closed including the subway where I normally sleep when it’s freezing outside. I wouldn’t go to a homeless shelter, I’ve been there and I don’t like it. I’ll leave it at that.

I’m going to spend a few dollars of my student loans to rent access to co-working spaces that I can use to get out of the cold for a few hours here and there and get my schoolwork done.

Of course, I have to throw in here I have a 4.0 GPA after 27 credits with a 100% attendance record. All while being homeless the whole time.

Please provide any feedback you deem appropriate.

Thank you and have a great day.

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

Categories
New York City Opinion

Email to The New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA/DSS).

Greetings,

First and foremost thank you. I treat everyone at HRA with the utmost respect at all times.

I sent a message to the Access HRA email about the NYPD harassing me and trying to have me kicked out of school.

I have a 4.0 GPA after 27 credits with the NYPD harassing me, plus stealing and destroying my property the whole time. They have also physically attacked me on numerous occasions. I just had a hearing to sue them. They don’t care and won’t leave me alone.

3 quick questions:

1. For some reason, HRA stopped paying my storage. Thankfully I had my student loans to keep it going. My storage cost is $34 per month. I scanned the bill into the HRA app and I brought the bill into 14th Street HRA.

2. I can not update my mailing address in Access HRA. My new mailing address is: Mark Pine PO Box 1375 New York, NY 10163. I have been trying to update my mailing address in Access HRA for months.

Personally, I’m still homeless, my mailing address is the only address that changed. Anytime I try to update my personal information in Access HRA I get an error message.

3. My recertification was supposed to be for November now it says December. I want to make sure I submit my recertification the minute I’m allowed. I will make sure to have all the proper documentation ready. I’m going to research how I can recertify my case via the HRA website.

Why would my recertification date be changed from November to December?

Please advise on any of the information you can. I can only imagine how busy HRA is right now so as always I will be patient and understanding that everyone is doing their best under the difficult circumstances.

Thank you and have a great day.