August 19, 2018 | ° F

U. financial aid office offers students little help

I would like to direct this to President Richard McCormick since I know it is his mission to enhance the student experience at Rutgers University.

Each semester, a large number of students seem to have problems with the Office of Financial Aid and the Student Accounting Office. When the Financial Aid Office sends award letters to students, student accounting takes far longer to see this and apply those awards to term bills. I've dealt with this problem for three semesters and I am still wondering how our university manages to function with this service. It takes a fair amount of effort to get the two offices to meet in the middle and realize exactly how much a student needs to pay on a timely matter. As someone who lives far from the New Brunswick campus, it is very difficult to do this in person. After speaking to a number of different accounting officials, it seems they expect a physical visit to a campus. Also, it seems our phone network cannot handle the influx of calls from other students with problems as well. At this point I am at a loss, which is why I contacted you personally about this matter. When a student cannot confirm attendance online, cannot speak to an official by phone and would be highly inconvenienced by making a visit to a campus, especially with the systems put in place so students don't have to, I feel the system needs to be reevaluated. The only way to realistically improve student accounting and financial aid, thus improving the overall student experience, is to either merge the two offices together, have a computer system created that both offices can use and instantly have information available or at least have a phone system in place so students can easily get in touch with an official. I and a number of students simply don't understand how this system, although both offices have the same goals, can be so decentralized and slow with the advent of technology; it takes days if not weeks for information to be transferred between the offices, even though they are less than 100 feet away from each other.

Can we please see an effort to streamline and change these systems for the sake of the students? Thank you.

Jalil Farid is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in pre-business.

Jalil Farid

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