By Jesus Figueroa
Financial aid is a resource many community college students use to help alleviate the financial needs that come with a higher education —school supplies, books and transportation — but it’s not an easy process to receive the funds.
College students need the financial aid reimbursement money to help pay for books, meals or transportation, but with the process being slow and or troublesome, it becomes money which is prolonged to receive.
The process for applying should not be as complex year after year.
The free application for federal student aid forms are not the simplest to fill out, but once filled out the process should get easier although many students know that it doesn’t.
Even when the paperwork is filled out before the deadline the process is not over.
Many students make the deadlines, but still find that more is needed, which can take up to a month to be told to turn it in.
More forms are needed to be turned in depending on students’ individual situations.
Many times students do not get notified until about a week before the first financial aid payment is going out.
After these forms are turned in it can take two to three weeks for them to be processed, or like the fall 2014 semester, six to eight weeks.
All this time waiting for financial aid impedes a student from getting books on time.
The financial aid money I was supposed to receive for fall 2014 just got deposited to my account in the second week of spring 2015.
The wait for financial help to get books for some may cause them to feel a much heavier burden or a larger amount of stress. More and more restrictions and obstacles are being put in to stop the process from going smoothly.
If there are more regulations coming from the state to prevent financial aid fraud, then more staff needs to be hired so that students who need the financial aid money to continue with their education can receive the help they need.
School can be stressful and many students also work to get ahead. The student success initiative is there so students can get the help they need to succeed in their college career and in doing so, getting a good job afterward.
The failure of the school to help alleviate the stress of a low-income student continues semester after semester. More hindering regulations make the process stretched out more than needed.
While some students can get loans or borrow money, many others rely on financial aid solely to make it through the semester.
Some students share books to save on money. Some borrow books from friends who have taken the class or go read textbooks at the library but are not always given the time to adequately study for a test.
Students need their books to fully be able to study, to learn and to excel in their classes.
Having books for hours at a time, instead of permanently at the their disposal keeps students from truly succeeding in whatever subject they choose to pursue.
There are some students who struggle throughout an entire course without a book.
Those students can possibly pass a class, but they may not actually learn anything from it.
Student success does fall on the student, but there are programs in place to help the students who need it.
While state officials make it increasingly more difficult for students to find their interest, East Los Angeles College makes it stressful for students with financial needs.