The university is down to the final days of the semester, and some students still haven’t received their net checks.
Tracy Kilby, 22, said this is the first time she has ever had to wait this long to receive her net check.
“Usually, I receive my check within that first batch of checks,” Kilby said. “But I guess because they switched lenders, that’s what’s causing the holdup.”
Waiting for her check hasn’t been easy for the senior theatre education student from Miami. She has had to rely on her friends and family to help pay her rent and other bills.
“Right now my rent is late, and my parents have been there to help me,” Kilby said. “They’ve sent me the money they would’ve used to pay for their mortgage so I could pay my rent and buy groceries.
“I did everything (financial aid) told me to do. I signed the promissory note and waited. They keep telling me to be patient, and I have been patient this long. But I really need this money.”Financial aid officer Wallace O’Neal said the reason some students haven’t received their refunds is because of the change in lenders.
“Earlier this year, the school changed from Direct Loan to (Federal Family Educational Loan Program), so that is a process,” O’Neal said. “But once students sign the promissory note and get their aid, it’s up to student accounts to send out net checks.”
Najee Rosier, a 19-year-old freshman, said her experience with financial aid has turned her first semester at Florida A&M University into something very difficult.
“I didn’t expect this when I came to FAM,” Rosier said. “I was going to use that money to buy books, but that money had to come out of my pockets.
‘I signed the promissory note, so I’m hoping I get the money soon because I have a bill that isn’t paid. And I have yet to register for classes for next semester,” the business administration student from West Palm Beach said.
Students like Chris McCoy, 21, who said he already signed the necessary forms and received a small portion of his refund, said he does not understand why the rest of the money hasn’t been disbursed.
“I’ve been down there I don’t know how many times,” he said. “They told me they changed lenders so I need to do a new promissory note, so I did that.
“When I went back a second time they told me they were still waiting on the promissory note from the lender. But at that time, I had already got some of the money.”
This is not the first time McCoy, a senior business administration student from Newport News, Va. , had to deal with waiting for his net check.
“My freshman year, I didn’t get my net check until Dec. 18. The last two years, they’ve been pretty sharp with it, but it looks like Dec. 18 might be the day I get my net check again,” he said.
D’Andrea Cotton, associate director of student financial services, said the reason some students have not received their net checks is because their financial aid hasn’t been disbursed. When it comes down to student accounts, Cotton said they are the last stop in the chain.
“Financial aid sends us an electronic file twice a week,” she said. “In that file there are the names of students who are eligible to receive their money. We process refunds twice a week based on that information.”
The Office of Student Financial Services encourages students to do direct deposit, Cotton said, so refunds can be received quicker than with physical checks.