Net checks: wait now, spend later

Ahhh…net checks. Many of you have thought about them at least three times this semester. Of course, what you’re really thinking is: “When are we going to get it?” and “I need that money now!” Well students, I wish I had good news for you. I wish I could tell you they’ll be delivered soon, but unfortunately, I cannot.

For a lot of people, the thought that you get a check from your scholarships or financial aid is a wonderful prospect.

It helps quite a few people because they can use the money to buy things to make them comfortable. But the question is: Do they spend the money wisely?

Now I can classify my net check people into two groups-the before and after spenders.

The before-net-check spenders expect a check quickly, and go out and splurge! They buy all they want, expecting to get the money back soon, assuming there won’t be a problem. Then when time rolls on, they see no check in the mail, and reality kicks in.

They start to sweat, hoping and praying because they know they’re living on the bare minimum of $55 the rest of the semester.

The after spenders are a little different. They wait until actually getting the check before overindulging and then are left with about $150 for the rest of the semester.

FAMU being the caring and organized institution it is, it must be painstakingly clear that it will take time issuing net checks and ensuring they are the right amount.

So, you should know to cater for this delay and be smart enough to hold off on the spending until the check is in hand.

Here’s another reality check. In lieu of recent budget cuts, this might be the last check for some for quite a while.

Net checks could be extinct by next year if budget cuts continue. Because, trust me, FAMU is going to squeeze its pennies tightly in its pockets.

Many of the present aid and scholarships could no longer be available to freshmen in the same capacity in the future. So, for the moment, we should be thankful we’re even getting a net check in the mail.

For all of you waiting eagerly for your checks…what can I tell you? The best I can say is that it’s in the mail.

How soon to expect it? That, I cannot say.

Melissa J. Bridgewater, 19, is a freshman public relations student from New Jersey. She can be reached at