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iRattler more helpful for registration, not finances

Correspondent

Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009

Updated: Monday, October 12, 2009 00:10

Staff members in the Office of Student Financial Aid suggest that students check iRattler before contacting the office about financial aid issues.

Nancy Cotton, manager of the iRattler help desk, said students could obtain most of the information they need about their financial aid through iRattler.

"I think it's just a matter of them [students] logging on and reading the information," Cotton said.

Korwin Clayton, 22, a fourth-year English student from Sernandina Beach thinks some students do not fully understand how to use iRattler.  There is a tutorial on how to navigate iRattler but it focuses on how to enroll, add and drop classes. How to navigate the financial aid module properly is not included in the tutorial. 

Cotton said she thinks a more detailed tutorial would help students.

"If we put it out there they [students] have to use it," Cotton said.  She also said that she is interested in what students have to say and that a new tutorial would have to be an "effort between the students and us."

Nakita Shavers, 22, a fourth-year political science student from New Orleans, said she had issues with iRattler in the past.

"I don't think it gives you enough information so you don't have to call them [Office of Financial Aid]. You can't ask iRattler a question and expect an answer," Shavers said.

Shavers also complains that the system frequently locks her out or is down completely.

"They can't make us depend on a computer system because you never know what can go wrong. They are supposed to be the ones to help us, not iRattler," Shavers said.

Marcia Boyd, director of student financial aid, said it is both the job of iRattler and the financial aid staff to provide good customer service to students.

"The premise of iRattler is to provide students with an online information system that is up-to-date and convenient. It also eliminates the student service that is up-to-date and convenient. It also eliminates the student making unnecessary phone calls and visits to various student service offices," Boyd said.

Clayton does not agree with Boyd.

"They're misleading students to make their day easier," Clayton said. "Some of the information on iRattler is inaccurate. iRattler would tell me one thing and I'd go to financial aid and they would tell me something else."

Clayton also said that iRattler simply does not provide all the answers.

"At the beginning of the year I was logging on to check [my financial aid] and my lender, the school and iRattler were all saying different things," Clayton said.

Despite the issues that some students have with customer service in financial aid, Boyd said that there have been improvements.

"Based on the customer service surveys that we have collected for the 2009-2010 academic year, these surveys indicate that visit the Office of Financial Aid [has had] significant improvements in the financial aid delivery process," Boyd said.

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