Something is not adding up at all. Since you seemed confused and I'm confused reading this what I would do is take all the documentation you have call the school and verify who the head is in the office and schedule an appt to go in, bring what you have and get this figured out. While you are waiting for the appointment you can also verify with the collections company the data they have, date received and make your notes for your meeting. Ive never heard of this happening to someone with paperwork before. But does not suppose me (from my days working in an office..lol). I'd stop making phone calls and just go in person to get it cleared up. Also easier to read their body language when they reply to you. As far as the amount increase could be interest, penalties or max charge-off amount they can write-off for taxes. I personally would not put up with the run-around. At this point with it being in collections I would have someones head. I'd meet with the dean too just to make sure my issue is made known. If they get involved from a complaint it should stop the run-around. Just keep track of everyone you speak too, dates, documentation etc of your experience. You may need that down the road. One more thing, when they say it is in collections....is collections third-party or collections dept. within the school? If within the school you should have a better shot getting this mess cleared up. As far as collections you should have been notified. As far as the federal end, they can look into this for you if the loan is through them. Based on what you supplied so far it still is not clear loan type, who the servicing agent is and where the collection account lies. Don't give up or feel overwhelmed. If you were wronged it will be fixed. The fact that one of the office personnel remembers you dropping it off in person means you gone one point in your favor.
Are you sure that your school account, not your federal loan, is in collections WITH YOUR SCHOOL and NOT THE FEDERAL AID SERVICER? Sometimes if you don't pay off your tuition, your school account will go into "collections" with your school until you pay the school. If your federal loan was for $2200, maybe it did not pay all of your tuition and you still owe the school $3178 in addition to the $2200 you paid them. so your tuition was $5378-$2200= $3178 still owed to your school.