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American Today


Examining the Impact of Financial Crisis
on Student Aid

By Mike Unger

The global financial crisis has affected virtually every aspect of the economy, and student aid is no exception.

Hoping to educate students, faculty, and administrators about the current state of the situation, the Financial Aid office Thursday held a seminar entitled “Weathering the Storm: The Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Student Financial Aid.”

One theme arose over and over during the presentation, which will be held again Monday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m. in the School of International Service lounge.

“We want students and families to know that we’re capable of assisting them,” said Shirleyne McDonald, associate director of financial aid. “If you have any concern at all, talk to us and we can help.”

The credit crunch has tightened the private student aid market, said Brian Lee Sang, the office’s director, but that doesn’t mean money has completely stopped flowing.

“In some cases students applying directly to private lenders are denied and they think the road ends there,” he said. “We can still help those students secure loans. If students are beating their heads against a wall, come see us.”

The office continues to assist students applying for loans from the federal government, which remain readily available.

In this type of environment, students should be aware of fraudulent lenders who seek to charge them to secure financial aid. The general rule of thumb is never pay to apply for aid, Sang said.

“We are turning up every stone to see what we can do,” Sang said.