Improvements are evident in Financial Aid office

From lengthy lines to speedy net checks, Florida A&M University’s Office of Financial Aid is now on the right track and wants to continue down that path.

The financial aid office was once one of the most dreaded places to go. But, it is now showing great signs of improvement in service and the quick disbursements.

Michelle Lassiter, associate director for financial aid, who has 15 years of financial aid experience, said she feels that the upgrade in service was a team effort from both the financial aid office and the students of FAMU.

“It was a team effort, everyone got on one page to do the job,” Lassiter said. “Students finished their financial aid reports on time and really it starts with the students.”

Students are really taking notice of the positive changes.

“Financial aid has improved because last year I applied for my financial aid late and my tuition and money was still disbursed on time and I was able to register for my classes,” said Brandon Davis, a sophomore marketing management student from Detroit.

“This year the staff in the financial aid office are more helpful then in the past…they would always give me the run around, but it was not like that this year.”

Ashley Ridley, 21, a fourth year pharmacy student from Delray Beach, said she feels financial aid has grown a lot during the time she has been a student.

“Freshman year I received my financial aid check late, sophomore year I only received half of it, but the last two years I received my refund check on time without any problems.”

For some students the timely disbursement of refund checks came as a surprise. But Lassiter said the checks came at this same time last year.

“The refunds came at almost the exact same time last year. The only difference may be that more students got them on time this year then last,” Lassiter said. “If the students are late completing their financial aid reports then they will receive their refund checks late.

Lassiter added that the reports should be done by March 1. And, if it is completed by March 2, it’s late.”

Some students credit the financial aid offices recent success to the change in personnel.

Romaeo Williams, 21, a senior computer engineering student from Cocoa said, “In the past I don’t think we had the right people in the right places doing the right job.”

Lassiter also said that some of their success is a result of her staff’s understanding of the computer system.

“We had to get everyone retrained on the computer system, which is Peoplesoft, [and] it is a knowledge based system,” Lassiter said. “We also updated the staff on the policy and procedures, and retrained them so that we all were on one page.”

Students are not the only ones pleased with the recent improvements. Lassiter said she feels the satisfaction is mutual.