Financial Aid experiences tight budget

By on February 28, 2016

The budget for the Financial Aid Department is “tight” this year, Associate Vice President and University Director of Financial Aid Dominic Yoia said.

This means the office did not have sufficient funds for students who asked for additional aid after receiving their regular award package, he said in an email. When a student gets a financial aid package, he or she can ask for more money, but this year, Financial Aid was not able to fulfill all of these requests. However, the money that was already granted to students is not in jeopardy.

“This year we struggled. I’ve been here for 17 years, and this was the toughest year I can remember…[for] meeting all the needs of our students,” Yoia said.

A student’s financial aid package is determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile, Yoia said. These forms tell the university information that applies to a wide range of services, from scholarships to work study. If there is anything more needed, a student can contact Financial Aid.

There are multiple scholarships available for students, according to the Quinnipiac website. One of these is the freshman scholarship, which is given before a student starts at the university. This academic scholarship’s value can range from $5,000 to $24,000, and the student needs to maintain a 3.0 GPA to keep it.

Another way where there can be more aid given is with the Request for Review form. Yoia said it is given out in a situation where there is a change in economic standing, like if a student’s parent loses his or her job. The form is a way of telling Financial Aid the specifics of what has changed.

Freshman Rachel Hoban said she feels the increase in student population doesn’t help Financial Aid’s ability to grant need-based aid to students.

“Our [class] is the biggest that Quinnipiac has ever had,” Hoban said. “You can only give so much financial aid to people who genuinely need it.”

Senior Sara Olyaei also shares a similar sentiment.

“They started increasing the number of freshmen [they accepted]…the amount you have to pay keeps increasing every year,” Olyaei said. “I think it’s because of the large number of freshmen we get every year, and that many people could be asking for more aid,”

However, if a student needs more money and is considering getting a loan, Yoia said pursuing a private loan should be a last resort.

“Anytime you see the news, or on television, a student that’s in debt… it’s because they’ve borrowed private loans, in addition to the federal loans. So we always discourage students from overborrowing,” he said.

Freshman Lauren O’Brien, who has taken out a private loan, said she is only able to attend Quinnipiac due to the $21,000 she receives from the school, along with some scholarships from other sources. Even though O’Brien has heard the school does a good job with preparing students, she is still nervous for the future.

“Obviously, it’s sad these days that kids are gonna graduate and then they have a extreme, crushing amount of debt… It’s scary. I’m not excited. It’s gonna be hard,” she said.

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About Matt Grahn

Staff Writer, Journalism Major, Political Science Minor