Will financial aid ever get its act together?

Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College disappoint students. Photo courtesy Google

Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College financial aid officials continue to put student degrees in jeopardy, due to an increase of unanswered phone calls.

As we continue to progress through these unprecedented times, in person contact has become extremely minimal.

To ensure Centers for Disease Control guidelines are followed, the majority of in-person classes have transitioned to completely online, or Hyflex classes for students who desire — with a maximum of only 10 persons in a classroom — are allowed to experience in-person teaching.

Many students are opting for remote instruction and relying on Zoom; many of their concerns can only be attended to via email, or phone.

Many student concerns stem from the inability of financial aid officials to be located on campus.

Former student Taylor Hall said the inconsistency of FAMUs financial aid officials caused her to matriculate over to TCC this semester.

Due to not being able to get a hold of financial aid officials my status has been affected tremendously,” Hall said. Due to there not being enough representatives to speak to at the time of need, I wasnt able to meet certain deadlines. It not only put me in a sticky situation, but it affected my progression in finishing school.”

Along with FAMU financial aid officials, staff officials — advisers — have put students on thin ice involving their semester schedules.

Jaela Davis, public relations major, is concerned about the lack of help between FAMU financial aid and staff officials, and how it may affect her graduation date.

When trying to contact financial aid during COVID-19, there would be an extensive wait time beyond what one may be used to dealing with,” Davis said. Ive also had a lot of trouble communicating with advisers, due to many just setting a quick reply without reaching back out in a timely manner.”

Switching the perspective, former TCC student Jermicia Oliver saidTCC’s financial aid caused her to temporarily drop out.

Their communication is horrible,” Oliver said. I personally contacted them about my leave of absence and when I returned back to school the financial aid office told me I had to go through an appeals program to be able to receive financial aid to pay for classes, or I would have to pay out my own pocket.”

Due to being notified without warning, Oliver was left with only one option, which was to temporarily withdraw until her remaining balance was paid.

Oliver originally was scheduled to graduate this semester.

It is in high hopes that students soon begin to receive the assistance they require from FAMU and TCC financial aid and staff officials. Is it too much to ask?