Blog: How to Handle Financial Aid Issues
By Elsa Blanco
My name is Elsa Blanco and I’m from Pinar del Rio, Cuba. I’m a senior at Florida International University majoring in Public Relations. My interests include South Korean pop, manga, photography, graphics editing, and any supernatural book. My goal is to represent a major publishing house or a South Korean record label.
How to Handle Financial Aid Issues
I’ve had a lot of Financial Aid problems. Accidently, I once started a loan transfer; I’ve been accused of not being a citizen; and my scholarships have literally disappeared a week before class begins. I’ve basically adapted an extremely calm and collective approach to Financial Aid – I’ve lived through it all! I think a lot of freshmen tend to overreact when something goes amiss.
I’ve seen the classic symptoms: staying on hold for 45 minutes, filling out the wrong forms, or waking up two hours early to make the line at the Financial Aid office and still waiting for over half an hour for assistance.
Obviously, the concern shows that they’re invested in their scholarly endeavors. However, my best advice is to just relax, take a deep breath, only go in person (too many phone calls have solved very little for me), and calmly explain your situation. The truth is as follows, most of the time the change isn’t your fault; it’s a faulty system.
The first thing you should do is check for any mass emails by the Financial Aid office. Mass emails mean that there is a universal technical problem and that they are working on correcting it; hence, there is no need to worry or make a line.
If there are no emails, then ask your fellow classmates. If they’re experiencing similar problems they probably went to the office and can tell you the cause and solution.
If your problem is highly individualistic (e.g. accidental loan activation) then I would suggest going in person. Don’t waste your time filling out forms beforehand since there are plenty of outdated forms still online. Faxing information isn’t a very good idea either; I’ve had three separate copies sent in three separate weeks completely disappear from the face of the earth.
Thus, go in person to ask about your problem, ask specifically for the links of the necessary information, and provide said information in person instead of electronically sending it.
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