Financial aid needs to be clear


Jon Suarez

The financial aid office has brought peace of mind to many, though some students beg to differ.

By Matt Levine

For many students, financial aid can be a life saver as it allows financially disadvantaged students to attend school regardless of their status. The fact that we even have a system that allows this to happen is miraculous, because every person deserves a chance to attend college.

I have received financial aid from Moorpark College for the past year and have been fortunate to be able to attend school.

However, I have also had my share of issues at Moorpark College with their financial aid office and I know that I am not alone.

“I’ve had many problems with the financial aid office,” said Michael Stevenson, biology major at Moorpark. “I am a good student, but they cause so much stress.”

In the spring of 2013, I decided that I needed to take a break from school. When I returned to Moorpark, in the spring of 2014, I was only given one week to decide if I wanted to keep all of my classes, unlike previous semesters where we were given almost three weeks. Why was the semester so short?

“At least for me, I need a few weeks to fully figure out my schedule including work,” said Ashley Stoll, a second year Moorpark student. “I have two W’s because of the spring 2014 semester.”

Spring 2014 passed and I signed up for an online summer class. Soon after my class started, I received an email stating that my financial aid for summer had been denied because of a W that I received in the spring 2014. The email said that I had not completed all attempted courses over the course of the past four semesters.

I don’t think it is fair that I was being punished for something that was over two years old.

“The appeals committee is made up of reps from the counseling office and financial aid office,” said Kim Korinke, financial aid officer. “The pace of a student is a factor, it needs to be at 70 percent with a GPA about a 2.0.”

There shouldn’t be labels on students’ academic progress. Each student learns and progresses at their own pace, especially in college. I understand that dropping classes can be bad, but unless the student is flunking out of school or is taking fewer than full-time (12) units, a student’s academic progress shouldn’t affect financial aid status.