Student responses delay verifications
Complaints are down, but number selected for check increases.
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 10:09
The vast majority of the Alamo Colleges’ more than 64,000 students this fall have a new reason to routinely check ACES email.
Financial aid awards could be held up indefinitely if students do not respond to messages from student financial services.
By Sept. 5, Alamo Colleges had received 56,888 FAFSA applications and had verified 6,740 of them.
Change in federal law requires student financial services to verify every FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, randomly selected for the process this year.
Before the law change, only a percentage of the randomly selected applications had to be verified.
Among email messages to guarantee receipt of financial aid in a timely manner, students could find requests to respond by a deadline or rectify incomplete or incorrect documents.
Verification processing is estimated to take one week because the Alamo Colleges hired a verification service provider.
Complaints this year-to-date about data retrieval, system access, denied appeals, missed deadlines, and check disbursements fell 0.001 percent. In 2011, there were 63 complaints, and in 2012, it dropped to 34.
Dr. Adelina S. Silva, vice chancellor for student success for Alamo Colleges, said, “We take note of those.”
She said she believes complaints are down because changes in the law reduce eligibility for financial aid and improve communications with students.
The student financial services office at San Antonio College has extended hours, open to 7 p.m. Tuesdays.
The office is also open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday to Friday.
For more information, call 486-4600.