Commentary: SGA and university available for assistance

After the joint workshop last fall with the Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) that discussed budgeting, credit cards and credit scores, the Student Government Association (SGA), in its venture with SFS, is dedicated to helping students with economic issues. SFS is ready to assist students and families in making the best financial decisions with financial aid counselors available to discuss changes in financial circumstances, funding options from federal, institutional and private sources and ways to manage educational costs.’
All students should know they can walk in at any time and ask to talk to a counselor, even if their own counselor is not available. The Office of Student Financial Services is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in 356 Richards Hall. Students may also e-mail their counselor to set up an appointment. The SFS website features the most recent version of the financial aid counselor listing, with alphabetic or student-type caseload breakdowns.
SFS and SGA are also sponsoring workshops throughout the semester to help students learn important financial information including a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filing workshop, Financial Aid 101, Loans 101 and Scholarship Searching. Information on these workshops will be available soon on both the SGA and SFS websites.’
Many students are nervous in the current economy about being able to pay for their next semester of classes. Financial aid is the top priority of students as shown in the SGA budget priorities survey, as well as of the administration, shown by Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Life Philomena Mantella’s e-mail to all faculty members in December. During President Joseph Aoun’s meeting with the SGA executive board the first week of the semester, the major concern of the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees was financial aid. Students can feel confident that faculty, staff, administration and even the Board of Trustees are working together in the best interests of the students.’
If any student has questions about financial aid or wants more information, please contact your SFS counselor and know that the Financial Affairs Committee of SGA, along with the Office of Student Financial Services, is dedicated to helping students through these difficult times.

‘- Jennifer Hardy is vice president for financial affairs of the Student Government Association.

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