When students hear the phrase “the financial aid office,” it’s usually followed by a groan or two. Paperwork? Ew. Pass.
I get it. School is already stressful, and making sure you can secure the money to go can heighten that stress.
Many people dread the financial aid office, I know. Once upon a time, I was in those shoes too. But my opinion changed once I began working there.
It’ll be two years in May that I’ve been employed there, and I can honestly say that the individuals who work there truly care about making sure students are taken care of — and I’m not saying this just because I work there. It’s simply because it’s true. So let me fill you in, student to student, on some of the things I have come to learn and respect, starting with deadlines.
When I first came to Weber State, I did not take the financial aid process seriously. If I remember correctly, I procrastinated up until weeks before my first semester began. I grew so frustrated with the office. Why are they taking so long? My file is simple. Where is my money? How hard can this be? Reality check to myself: it’s not all about me — in fact, there were thousands and thousands of other students who were in the same boat.
May 1 is the priority deadline for financial aid applications. If you want federal funding for school, and if you’d like it on time, I suggest you take that date seriously. Or, you could ignore it and find out the alternative outcome on your own. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Basically, the deadlines posted on the financial aid website (http://www.weber.edu/financialaid) are there to help students out. Take the time to look through your resources (I know you have Wi-Fi).
Another positive aspect I’ve learned from my position is patience. Like I said before, I could not wrap my head around why on Earth what I needed wasn’t being done on my time. After only a few weeks working, I saw how immense the workload is for full-time and part-time workers alike. When I become impatient, I remember just how difficult things are on the other side, and I do my part to make things easier.
Speaking of patience, there is no need to yell. Please don’t. It just leads to stress and an elevated heart rate for everyone. Whatever it is you need help with, just know we are trying. I promise.
Okay, now that I got that off my chest, let’s talk about one last thing.
Check your Wildcat email. Please. So many questions, frustrations and confusion could be resolved by checking that purple and white envelope in your eWeber Portal. I say this because I’ve been there. I remember having requirements I didn’t know about and being furious because it was prolonging the process for me to get my financial aid.
Don’t be like the old me. Be like the new me: Take your deadlines seriously, relax and be patient — and please check your email. I will forever be thankful to you.