Student financials causes confusion

By: Gerard Albert III/Assistant News Director


The student financial office sent out an email to students who have an unpaid balance on their account alerting them that their access to their Fall 2018 courses have been revoked.

The email, sent Thursday, Sept. 6, said students had until Friday, Sept. 7, at 5 p.m. to pay their fees or be permanently removed from classes.

Students worried and confused about their enrollment status and financial aid disbursement filled the Student Academic Success Center on Friday, Sept. 7, to make payments and ensure their enrollment. Students interviewed by Student Media were frustrated as they waited to make payments or inquire about financial aid. Some said they worried that they were not going to be able to stay enrolled.

Sophomore Nicholas Monte told Student Media that he had to pay around $1,000 out of pocket in order to stay in the school.

“I’ve had constant issues to deal with in order to not be sent home while at FIU,” said Monte, “all of them dealing with money.”

Other students were under the impression that their tuition and fees were covered by  financial aid and scholarships only to find out on Thursday that they still owed money.

Sophomore Sa’hure McDonald said his financial aid amount was greater than what he owed to the school, however, he said he was notified by email that he had a late fee on his account. He said he didn’t know that part of his aid was used by housing, leaving him with less than what he needed for tuition.

“If my financial aid was going somewhere else why didn’t [student financials] tell me?” said McDonald. “Why didn’t they say ‘hey you don’t have enough money to cover what you need to.’”

Kevin Coughlin, vice president for enrollment management and services, reached out to Student Media after the posting of this article with a statement regarding the enrollment cancellation.

“Each semester, we are required to cancel a student’s enrollment if they have not paid the tuition balance they owe by the last day to pay for the semester (this semester it was Aug. 28),” read Coughlin’s email. “We also send various communications to the students who are on the list and continue sending communications throughout the following days to ensure students are aware of the process.”

Coughlin also said that his office reviews students’ financial aid and students will not have their enrollment canceled if they have enough aid to cover their tuition whether or not the aid has been posted yet, or if they have paid the first installment of their payment plan.

Anyone with questions regarding financial aid and enrollment can call 305-348-7000.

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