“Hold” on Financial Aid: Why some holds are pointless and hurt students

Nov. 10, 2014

DeKeveion Glaspie
[email protected]

Spring 2015 registration is upon us, and with that comes another bill to foot to continue your higher education. While many will fight for the chance at an open seat in next semester’s classrooms, a different war will be waged against those who have holds on their accounts.

Holds are amounts of money that a student has yet to pay and can bring problems when getting ready for the next semester. With holds, students are unable to add classes for the following semester. This system creates more problems than it solves.

Holds on student’s accounts shouldn’t be taken so seriously and financial aid should be more lenient.

College is expensive and the ability to pay upfront is a luxury many on campus don’t have. When grants are given out and the loans have reached their max, the student has no choice but to fi nd other ways of paying off their balance.

Placing holds on student accounts make sense when it is the end of the spring semester. But placing holds after the fall semester can place an unnecessary burden. No student wants to think that they may have to take a semester off halfway through the academic year.

Holds are sometimes placed on students for amounts that shouldn’t impede the ability to register for classes at all. Will Franks, junior English major, experienced this upsetting circumstance after a late fee was attached to his account due to a small balance for Paw Prints.

“The Financial Aid Offi ce has charged me for classes three separate times for one semester,” said Franks. “I understand the way the system works and I’m okay with going into debt, but charging $65 for a $2 paw print charge is unacceptable.”

Try outrageous. Paw Prints automatically charges to our student accounts and many students might not expect this burden, which can make for a nasty shock when trying to register for next terms classes.

Whether you have no problem or have reached the end of the rope of patience with Financial Aid, paying tuition is a must.

Here are some tips for getting through the semester without stressing over your financial aid and avoiding holds:

1. Fill out the FASFA as early as possible

2. Google different and unique scholarships (i.e. being left handed, being from Alaska)

3. File for COF (College Opportunity Fund)

4. Get a work-study job

5. Enroll in summer classes (the time that you are in college will decrease)

These tips can help students deal with excessive and unnecessary charges, leaving one to only deal with what is really important right now: grades.

School is meant to help us, not keep us from reaching our goals.