Campus Life | April 13th, 2023

Is Financial Aid Harming Students More Than Helping Them?

By: Ashlei Norton
Is Financial Aid Harming Students More Than Helping Them?

 “Did you get your refund check yet?”

“I’m about to go crazy with this $1300!”

If you are on an HBCU campus, I am sure you have likely heard these statements. These statements, for some, can be grand, while others, like myself, are still impatiently waiting for spring refund checks.

Many students from universities all over the globe rely on financial aid or assistance from their institutions.

What do the students have to say?

The problem with FAMU’s financial aid is the timeliness of the substantial assistance, the long wait times when you call the office, and how many students rely on it to pay for other expenses.

“I still haven’t gotten my money, so I’m sure you know how I feel,” Kynadi Harris, a fourth-year transfer student majoring in public relations said.It sucks because I have other things to do with that money, and when you call the office, you’re always on hold for a ridiculous amount of time.”

“I want to know where my money is.”

Harris was not the only student with recurring problems with the financial aid office on campus. Janae Holcy, a fourth-year nursing major, expressed many issues regarding being on hold with the financial aid office for hours at a time.

“I called up there on February 27 to sort out some issues about a loan I was supposed to receive to pay for my final semester, and I haven’t heard back from them,” Holcy said. “I was on hold for an hour and 30 minutes when they told me my money would be there by the next week, and the problem is, I have other bills to pay, including tuition, and it’s taking ridiculously too long.”

We know it’s terrible when multiple students complain about the same problems, but what exactly can be done to amend these issues?

Representatives Stepping In

“We get many complaints about the long wait times and money disbursements from students and parents,” Rachel Robinson, one of “the coordinators of financial aid, said. “We process so many accounts daily even though some students believe we are running slow.”

“It’s a tedious process, so we just want to make sure everything is distributed the right way.”

 It is stated that the financial aid disbursement process is tedious and aimed to be as accurate as possible.

Students have openly spoken about the department hiring more educated and friendly staff to assist students with their needs.

What can be implemented?

FAMU has a reasonably new and more significant financial aid building, so hopefully, more specialists can be trained in student support to ease the wait times.

We all want our money to be distributed right and also quickly, so hopefully, a problem like this doesn’t continue to put students in financial holes when they depend on refund money to get by.