Bounced Check, Bad Day: Financial Aid Helps Student

By Jane Dick,

(U-WIRE) CHICO, Calif. - The beginning of the semester started and most Chico State University students received their classes, textbooks and financial aid. But one student got much more than she had planned for.

Her rent and bills were due, her checks had bounced and the only thing that could calm Kathryn Bailey's nerves was a Camel Light cigarette.

Bailey's financial aid check was sent to her bank through electronic deposit, and the bank could not find a record of her account. The bank then sent the check back to Chico State's financial aid department.

Meanwhile, Bailey was writing checks to PG&E, the phone Company, the grocery store and more, assuming the financial aid check had been deposited.

"I ended up bouncing $300 worth of checks within a little over a week," Bailey said.

Bailey got a rude awakening when she received her bank statement with a negative balance. She then went on an investigation, playing phone tag with the bank and the financial aid department at Chico State.

After finally ironing out the mix-up, Bailey had to wait five working days for the check to actually go through the banking process.

Broke, irritated and annoyed, Bailey stood in the school's Free Speech Area slightly shaking, smoking a cigarette to ease her mind. The problem was settled, but days still had to pass before all was well.

"I'm really bad at managing money," Bailey said. "I'm constantly trying to figure it out every day."