OPINION: Late financial aid causes troubles for students

By Gustavo Buenrostro

The spring semester is more than a month in and students still have not received their financial aid.  That is not okay.

Many students are going to the Financial Aid Office to figure out why they haven’t received any money yet. 

What the office tells students is that they don’t  know when they will receive their financial aid.

The best they can do is tell students whether or not they will get it that week.

But how pointless is that? Students would know whether they received the money or not, otherwise they wouldn’t go to the financial aid office to ask.

This isn’t just an issue at East Los Angeles College; students all over the district aren’t getting their money.

It’s understandable  if the system is keeping money from the students and nothing can be done at the moment.

However, it is nowhere near acceptable because students still don’t have their money.

Many of the students depend on their financial aid for food, transportation, buying school supplies and books for classes.

And when they don’t get it, what are they supposed to do?

In a day, a student spends $3.50 on transportation . If they go to school Monday through Friday, they spend roughly $17 a week. That’s not counting if students use services like Uber, which vary in price.

More work needs to be done to fix this problem and while I may not know how much effort is being put into fixing it, it’s not enough.

If more effort was put into fixing the problem with the system, it would already be fixed.

It’s extremely frustrating not knowing when students will get their financial aid. As someone who relies on financial aid, anger-inducing.

I have to get through the week with the $20 my mom generously gives me for food and transportation.

She shouldn’t have to give me anything.

What is worse is that the district sent out an email saying that students will receive the money no later than Feb. 18. That was nearly a month ago and the issue is still not resolved.

In the end, this whole ordeal is unacceptable and students shouldn’t have to go through it.

The least the school and the district can do is be more transparent and give students updates regarding their financial aid. For a lot of us, this really is the only                                       source of income we have.

We don’t have time to look for a job with a full time school schedule.

Some students have a plan for the semester and these issues make it more difficult for them.

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