Def talk to the dean.. "Hiding" under $500 bucks doesn't seem like any kind of massive fraud, and if you can get the employer who was putting money in that account for you to verify that it is likely that you did not know about it, all the better. Call, write letters, and visit. Honestly, a visit might be your only option in the end, so saying its too far away seems kind of ridiculous to me-- its a BIG DEAL, so having to travel really is not that significant if you can get this straightened out. Just be prepared to act apologetic, b/c if the guy is stern like you say, he will probably explain that the onus is on you to find out where all your money is and to report it (that stupid quote about ignorance not being an excuse in the eyes of the law).... i think that this is something that you could get cleared up if you are persistant. $500 is really not so much money that it would hugely impact your financial aid package, so if you write a letter (i would overnight it to the dean) and explain your situation, it might get cleared up right away..... And, no decision is ever final, so even if that is what you are being told, don't believe it until u have talked to everyone and anyone at that school.