A letter compiling delays and difficulties with College Aid will be sent to the Dean of Students on Friday by second-year Trenton Crawford.
Some students’ financial aid packages have been delayed, decreased in amount, or simply not received at all so far this year. A statement published on College Aid’s website attributed delays to the departure of some staff and the time required to train staff to use a new payment system.
Over the summer, Crawford said he received several e-mails from the financial aid office saying that he needed to send in tax documents that he had already submitted. He said his financial aid package was delayed two weeks into the beginning of the school year. Crawford had to take out an emergency loan to cover his bills before he got his aid return, which he eventually drew from to pay off the emergency loan.
Crawford is writing the letter to the Dean of Students, and he will attach the complaints he has collected from students. So far, Crawford has collected 71 students’ stories. Each student responded to five different questions in a form Crawford designed and disseminated over Facebook and e-mail.
“I asked the students to respond in a few sentences, but almost every single time they responded with a few paragraphs, because that’s how much they had to tell and how much this is affecting them,” Crawford said.
Crawford thinks that students who have had any problem with their financial aid packages both this year and last year should speak out. “Let the dean know, let their advisor know, or fill up the form, because any way any change is going to come about is if we let the administration know that we are affected by this and that we’re going to take a stand against it,” Crawford said.
“It doesn’t just affect one person…it affects your psyche, it affects your emotional well-being, it affects the people around you because you can’t go to class and do your work without having this looming debt over your head…it just has made the beginning of this year so much more difficult than it ever had to be,” Crawford said.