New Guidelines for Financial Aid

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Author: Rashe’d Whatley  

The Financial Aid Office and the Enrollment Center are places that all students are familiar with and new changes for academic plans revolve around them. There has been a move towards promoting graduation among students and preparing them for four-year universities or a career over the past decade. Students who are eligible for financial aid loans, Pell grant, or scholarships must now take classes that are part of their degree plan; if they don’t then they must spend their own money for a class outside of that degree. For example, a student who may be pursuing an Associate of Science would have to pay for a pottery class on their own, etc.  

I wanted to interview a student for this article, but I thought my own story would be best to include. I came to Cuyahoga Community College in 2007 and it took me many years to graduate. I took classes in the field of study I chose, but I had to begin taking classes to apply towards my Associate of Arts degree. I had not met with an academic counselor before registering for classes and had no plans to graduate. I eventually ran out of credits and aid and I later returned to college with the aim of graduating. I later received some scholarships through Tri-C and an outside agency to achieve my Associate of Arts degree. I continue to register for classes in the fields I want to study and that I can apply to another degree, but I am responsible for paying for them.  

I went to the Financial Aid Office at East and spoke to the Campus Director of Financial Aid, Doneisha Taylor, MBA who sent me the statement as follows: “Course program of study is not new, but new to Tri-C.  This is the first semester that it was implemented so it can take some getting used to for students and staff.  The implementation of course program of study will ensure students are on the correct path to finishing their degree or certificate.” She also states that anyone can visit the Tri-C website any time to learn about how this will affect them and determine their eligibility. 

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