Campus Life | February 2nd, 2024
FAMU Financial Aid: The Never-Ending Fight
By: Hannah Kirby | Staff Writer
Spring 2024 is here, and school is back in session. Students have returned to campus eager to tackle the semester ahead. However, striving to be the best student they can be and obtain that 4.0 is becoming more and more difficult for FAMU students.
It seems almost impossible for students to succeed when they have no classes and no answer about when they can register due to student account balances. Many students nationwide depend on financial aid or outside scholarships to fund their tuition. It all works together when a student’s assistance hits their account on time, allowing them to get their classes for the upcoming semester.
But what happens when it’s delayed? Students are left with balances, making them ineligible to register for their courses, request an official transcript, and much more.
Fourth-year broadcast journalism scholar Danae Daniels expressed her difficulties with this issue.
“I can definitely attest to financial aid messing with my degree progression as it relates to me graduating on time. I actually had to take a semester off last semester because I had a bill that was over thousands of dollars. The discrepancies in my account were made aware of to me at the one-stop-shop of Fall ’23. I took it as my loss and had to figure out a way to raise the money for the bill,” Daniels said. “When I asked financial aid for any resources the financial aid department said there were no available resources they could provide me with or anyone I could speak to.”
Many students are paving their way through college, and it can become challenging to maintain high academic achievement while trying to provide for themselves. Daniels touched on the fact that when she asked if any loans or scholarships were available, financial aid representatives recommended that she look into private loan options.
A private loan is created by a private organization such as a bank, credit union, or state-based or affiliated organization. The loan terms are set upon the conditions set by the lender. It is often recommended that private loans not be the first choice in aid because they can be harder to obtain.
Private student loans without a guardian or some supervision can be even more challenging. Without that support, it can become difficult for students to obtain financing because they do not have much credit. Students are looking tirelessly for improvements within the university’s financial system so that they can leave with what they truly want: a degree.
Sophomore Jasen Glanton has suffered firsthand from not being able to enroll in courses.
“Inconsistency… having to deal with financial aid for one, two, three weeks just to handle my business. I’m a student at this school and want to thrive academically, but this is draining,” said Glanton. “One day things are looking up, and I’m sold this great big dream, and the next week I’m still fighting this same battle,” he said.
Financial Aid declined to comment on the situation. An office representative recommends that students refer to the FAMU.edu website when looking for ways to fix their issues, stating that many of their questions can be answered right on the website.
This tale is as old as time with financial aid, but students continue to persevere and make the most of their education experience. Daniels and Glanton encourage students to stay in high hopes no matter the difficulties they face and remember that the key is patience with persistence.