My University let my financial aid refund go to a scammer…do I have any recourse? : personalfinance

So I go to a public state University. Today my school notified me that someone somehow got access to my school username and password (that they have us use for everything, like school email, online class access, financial aid management, etc), and by just getting access to my username and password, some scammer was able to log in to the part of the school’s .edu site where we manage our financial aid and they put in a different checking account and routing # than what I had previously inputted. This caused my federal financial aid refund $$ — the money I was planning on living on for the next three months — to go to someone else’s checking account.

Now I’m out $3000+ in federal aid money. I have no idea how I’m going to afford to live for the next few months, and my school so far is not taking responsibility for the error. They’ve told me I’m not the only student affected, but I have no idea who else is affected or how many others are affected…it’s a massive school. I also have no idea if legally I’m on the hook for any grant/loan money that was taken.

Do I have any recourse here? Can I legally demand that the school gives me that $$ that they lost so I have something to live on, and ensure I’m not on the hook to repay any loan money that was lost? Seems like a pretty big oversight that someone can just get a hold of my username and password — who knows whose fault this was that they got it, mine or the school’s fault? — and be able to just put in a new checking account and routing # and be able to walk away with thousands of dollars in my fin aid money. I know fraudulent transfers like this can be reversed, but what if the money in the fraudulent account is already long gone? Not great timing with the worldwide pandemic and all either…my school basically has no offices open and no one available for a face-to-face chat about this, only by email or phone call with long hold times. So far they have only notified me of the error, and aren’t offering any solutions ๐Ÿ™

Any help is greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ™

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