By Diane D’Allessandro
CCC Journalism Program
The financial aid process at Camden County College can seem more like a struggle than a vehicle that can push students into furthering their education. During the beginning and end of the semester, students can be seen crowding the narrow hallways of Wilson West.
The Financial Aid Office has two or three advisers taking hundreds of students on a daily basis. A student named John waiting in the Financial Aid Office at 4 p.m. on Monday said, “I just signed in and there’s five other students ahead of me. I’ll be here for at least two hours waiting.”
The staffing levels and waiting times for advisement meetings can leave students feeling discouraged and bitter. Mike M., another student who receives grants, said, “I don’t mind waiting in the long lines at financial aid. At least I don’t have to pay for loans.”
Another reason students are feeling the blues about financial aid is the many forms that must be submitted for verification. All students seeking financial aid must submit the epic-size Free Application For Federal Student Aid for the school year along with the worry that their FAFSA may become singled out as needing to be verified.
Verification of the FAFSA could suggest to students that they need further proof of income or other points on the FAFSA must be clarified. The verification process can take weeks, even months before all of the paperwork can be processed.
The time that paperwork was submitted can also be an issue as to when students can sign up for classes. If the paperwork is turned in past the deadline, students are unable to sign up for classes.