Student Aid Woes Plague Monarchs

Months after applying, financial aid continues to elude many students who are still waiting are still waiting to receive notice of whether they will be granted scholarships for the fall semester.

By Patricia Rivera, Staff Writer

With the semester in full swing, some Valley College students have yet to receive all of their financial aid assistance.

“Technically, [students] have until the end of the spring semester to still receive money,” said Vernon Bridges, the manager of financial aid. “It is best to apply early as it takes 4 to 6 weeks [on average] to process a financial aid file under normal conditions.”

Some of the reasons for the delay are that students either turned in their FAFSA form right before deadline or they missed the deadline altogether. Even so, students will receive their money based on their individual circumstances.

If students are enrolled for both the fall and spring semester, they may receive their money throughout both semesters. According to Bridges, the deadline to receive assistance depends on a student’s enrollment.

“I turned in the application, so I’m just waiting,” said art major Adriana Briano about her financial aid status.

Applying for financial aid, according to undecided major Adrian Ramos, the process has been easy for him, and he is hoping to use the money toward buying a laptop and other school supplies he would not otherwise be able to afford.

Some students have not been as fortunate as Ramos. Criminal justice major Jonathan Tax has had a negative experience with the FAFSA process.

“I find the process to be stressful, because there is not enough help in the office,” Tax said. “There are enough computers but not enough staff to answer questions.”

Most students apply for assistance on their own and only go to the Financial Aid Office for guidance or to see what corrections need to be made on the application itself.

To apply for financial aid, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline for the 2013- 2014 school year was this past March.

Financial aid is money set aside by the federal government and the state of California to help students pay for college and it comes in many forms. The forms are grants, fee waivers, work-study jobs, and loans.

The Financial Aid Office is located in the Student Services Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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