The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students face issues with funding their fall courses

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By Hope Sandusky/editor-in-chief

Some TCC students have had to drop classes due to a newly enforced regulation that sets how much financial aid students may receive based on their degrees.

Over the past summer, TCC enacted stricter guidelines that determined financial aid eligibility and amounts for students. For students to remain eligible for financial aid, their courses must fall under their degree plans.

“This is the first semester that we are enforcing this, but it isn’t anything new really,” NE financial aid director Mary Lou Bledsoe said. “We just now have the technology to ensure students are staying on the path that they said they wanted to accomplish at TCC.”

TR student Kate Thomas said she found out not all of her classes qualified toward her degree only a few days before classes began.

“They should have said something to students sooner or sent out something rather than wait for us to figure it out on our own,” she said.

Bledsoe says the guidelines help students focus on their degrees.

“This keeps students on track and keeps them accountable,” she said. “We don’t want to give aid for courses students are not eligible for.”

NW counseling and advising assistant director Lilia Covio-Calzada said students may not know what their degrees even are.

“The problem is a lot of students don’t realize what they are signing up for,” she said. “They don’t know what the different degrees mean, so they’re picking classes and programs that aren’t what they actually want.”

Bledsoe agreed with this, saying the best things for students is to meet with the financial aid and advising departments.

“I encourage students to come in and meet with us one-on-one because that will probably clear up the majority of questions or concerns they may have,” she said.

Bledsoe also said that the enforcement should help students think long-term about their plans.

“It seems like a big deal, but when you really think about it, classes are so cheap here that in the grand scheme of things, you really aren’t paying a lot,” she said. “That’s why students need to make sure they are using their aid wisely because this is something that has long-term effects, and they don’t want to use up all their grants and loans before their final semester.”

See related story Degree audit can solve financial issues

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