CHICAGO — A Chicago State University student who was declared dead — even though she is very much alive — is raising money so she can stay enrolled in school while the government updates her status.
A mix-up at the Social Security Administration led to Ashley Walker, a chemistry major at the university, being listed as dead after her father died, according to a post from Walker on the GoFundMe page where she's soliciting donations.
Walker didn't learn of the problem until she tried to enroll in classes at Chicago State for the spring semester, and the university said it wanted to see Walker's Social Security card. She went to a Social Security office and was told she had died Aug. 31 — the day her father died.
The U.S. Education Department removed Walker's financial aid for the fall, Walker said, and has started the process of removing it for the spring. In order to stay enrolled at Chicago State, she has to raise $20,000 before Monday, when her tuition is due, according to her GoFundMe.
Walker set up a campaign to raise the money on GoFundMe and has raised more than $3,400 so far.
If Walker isn't able to raise the money and stay in school, she wrote, she'll lose a Harvard fellowship she was offered. She had hoped the fellowship would help her achieve her goal of being the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in astrochemistry.
Credit agencies think Walker is dead, she wrote, and her credit score has fallen to 540, adding to her troubles.
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