LA QUINTA, Calif. - Cindy Mellard is a cosmetology student at the Milan Institute in La Quinta. She applied for financial aid back in September. She received funding for tuition but has yet to receive surplus funds she was promised.
"It's affecting our ability to live. We needed that money for food, housing, cause we can't work that many hours while we go to school," Mellard said. "Above the loan amount was close to $3,000, which we signed in that student loan. That excess is supposed to come to us and nothing, no word about it."
News Channel 3/CBS Local 2 reached to school directors at the La Quinta and Palm Desert campuses. One director confirmed Milan was under program review by the U.S Department of Education.
Fred Carini, the school's Chief Marketing & Admissions Officer, said the program has been under financial aid review for about a year and a half. Carini calls the review routine and says it's typically done every 3 to 5 years.
Carini doesn't know when the report will be complete but if student's are meeting the appropriate criteria, the school will advance the grant payment then request money from the Department of Education.
Mellard argues she did meet the criteria.
"Any questions we have they're quick to answer and they were quick to say, 'you will get your money at 450 hours', but as soon as we start asking questions it's like, 'We don't know. We don't' know. It's the government's fault'. We don't know. These are the kinds of answers we get," Mellard said.
Carini said he can't speak on a specific student's case but advises those with financial aid issues to visit a school counselor.
"The education is great. I think they need to be held responsible financially," Carani said.
Milan schools are still accepting new students. The marketing director for the school confirmed an advance would be offered to those eligible for FASFA.
As for Mellard, she's scheduled to graduate in October and said she hopes she gets her money before then.