ASU financial aid, students at odds - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU financial aid, students at odds

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August 17, 2004

Albany- The third floor hall in the ACAD building was relatively calm by mid-morning, but that wasn't the case when the Financial Aid Office opened.

"The numbers were so large that we had to decide that today we were just going to take off and process, process the paperwork for those students and as many as we could," says Financial Aid Director Kathleen Caldwell.

School officials say there may have been up to 600 upset students demanding to know what happened to their financial aid.

"Approximately, about four weeks ago we did send out close to about 1500 postcards reminding students that you have not applied for financial aid for 2004-2005."

Caldwell says it's not uncommon for students to procrastinate, and even though priority deadlines are April 15th, the school gave its students until July 30 to turn in all necessary documents.

"Once you don't do it online and according to the time scheduled that they give you, then that's normally when the problems arise," says senior Kelvin Crawford.

Crawford says he's adhered to deadlines every year and never had any problems getting his money, but others haven't had the same success.

"The online thing was done in June and it went through the process, and I just got a paper back saying that I need something," says senior April Lewis.

Lewis is frustrated that she wasn't notified until the first day of classes that she needed to furnish W-2's to complete her application.

"I work during the week, so I have to find time to come up here so it is very challenging," she says.

That's a problem many others students are likely having.

"Remain positive. We are here to serve them and we're going to serve all of them, we just can't serve them all at the same time," says Caldwell.

Crawford's advice for his peers...

"Like the old saying goes, the early bird always catches the worm."

Financial Aid officials say the office will be open Wednesday, but are urging students to go to the school website to see what documents they're missing before they show up.

Students waiting for Financial Aid may still attend classes.

Posted at 4:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com