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The Dog Ate My . . . Scholarship Check?

Nicole Burdakin
December 17, 2013

The Dog Ate My . . . Scholarship Check?
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Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires have claimed GBHEM-issued scholarship and loan checks throughout the years – and even a rambunctious puppy. To the recipient, the loss can feel like a major disaster.

Never fear! All reported lost or damaged checks can be reissued through the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Office of Loans and Scholarships.

 “We’re happy to reissue lost or damaged checks,” said Allyson Collinsworth, executive director of GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships. “We want to make sure no one loses the money they’ve been awarded. We can work with any situation, and our office is accommodating and attentive to all issues. Life happens.”

When your check is lost or damaged, the student recipient or parent should contact the office by e-mail ( or for scholarships and loans, respectively) or by phone (615-340-7342) to request a new check. You will need to explain how the check was destroyed or lost and provide the check amount and the name of the person to whom check was issued.

You may be amazed by some of the ways checks from GBHEM have become damaged or lost.

One frantic mother e-mailed the Office of Loans and Scholarships photos of a puppy and a half-chewed loan check. Rider, a four-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi had eaten the other half. “The dog ate my check,” as it turns out, is not quite as funny as “the dog ate my homework.”

Other destroyed loan or scholarship checks that had to be reissued include one that had been through the washing machine in a jean’s pocket, which the student then sent back to GBHEM in an envelope. He also included a letter to explain that no, this was not an envelope full of celebratory confetti but rather the remnants of a gruesome spin cycle.

In order to keep banking information confidential, GBEHM continues to issue paper checks despite the risk of accidents.  “Be careful where you leave your checks,” Collinsworth said, “but know that we can help should you need a reissue. Our staff is empathetic and will laugh or cry with you; then we will help you as quickly as possible.”

Students, however, are not always to blame for misplaced checks. One father found a scholarship check in his file cabinet – three years after issuance. GBHEM was able to reissue the money.

Even a college or university has at times misplaced a check. Surprisingly, there have been few cases of theft.

Burdakin is editorial and production assistant, Office of Interpretation, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.