Financial Aid should be diligent

August 27, 2010 Commentary Print Print
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Some students who filed their financial aid for fall semester 2010 sometime in April, June or July of this year found out almost too late there was a glitch in the system in regards to the loan request form.

Antwan Leon, music education and political science major, said he filed for his student loans in April and was not told of the issue with the loan request form until he went to the Financial Aid office Aug. 20 to find out why he hadn’t received his funds.


Christy Johnson

“The only reason that I found out was I called and called and called, and no one answered in the Financial Aid office so I called the Bursar’s office and a lady told me that I hadn’t accepted the loan yet,” Leon said.

“She said my status said that I was eligible for it and that I needed to call them to see what I needed to do.

“So I drove all the way up here from Norman for them to tell me that I needed to do another application,” he said.

“I turned my stuff in early so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

This new system was supposed to make filing for FASFA easier by allowing students to apply online as well as be able to track their status, but instead it has been somewhat of a nightmare.

A student may also go directly to the Financial Aid department and have someone check the status of their loan and they may be told that everything is okay only to find out later something is not correct.

“I was told by two different financial aid workers that my loan information was fine and that all I had to do was wait for my money to come in,” Leon said.

“(But) that was not the case. I was told on the day that financial aid was to be disbursed that my loan request form was not processed.”

There are some people who work in financial aid that go above and beyond to help [students.] They understand the reason behind the loans and they will help you in any way they can.

Better communication could have prevented a lot of students from having to wait for their funds. The Financial Aid department could have encouraged students to make appointments so the office would not have overflowed.

I understand that mistakes happen and that some things are out of their control, but when there is a problem I feel that there should at least be an e-mail message warning the students so they can double check or at least be prepared.

Community Writer Christy Johnson can be reached at staffwriter1@occc.edu.

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