Student Voice

Thursday

May 23, 2024

77°

Letter to the editor

Input welcomed, appreciated

April 20, 2007

Last week's editorial on the Office of Financial Assistance hit home. This is my first year as the director, and I want input from students, even when it's negative. The author was right on track when pointing out the complexities of the entire aid process. Even professionals with years of experience still have much to learn, particularly with rules changing constantly. Our office is often put in a position to give potentially devastating news to students.

However, being the bearer of bad news is no excuse for providing inadequate or rude service. The good news is that change is on the horizon. We are about to hire three full-time administrators, whose principal focus will be to ensure we provide meaningful, understandable and compassionate service. We've made some changes already, such as reducing the number of our forms and rewriting them to make them less daunting. We will be undergoing additional training for our staff and reworking our Web site. Finally, as part of the overall restructuring of Enrollment Services that began shortly before I arrived, we are excited to be part of many changes that will positively affect our office as well as Admissions and the Registrar.

Please bear with us as we move forward. In the meantime, I want you to know we have (anonymous) feedback forms outside our office door, and I encourage you to take the time to complete one once you've been in to see us. In addition, feel free to e-mail me or stop by to see me about any issues you have. All of my staff is dedicated toward making the financial aid process as easy as possible, but the editorial shows we need to try harder to make our office an inviting one. You have my guarantee that we are addressing these issues.

Sandra Oftedahl
Director of Financial Assistance

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