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

Higher One account neglect could delay financial aid delivery

By Kirsten Mahon/tr news editor

TCC’s administrators have learned that only 13 percent of students have taken action with their new Higher One accounts.

TCC has contracted all refunds to be processed through Higher One, a college financial aid disbursement company. said Bill McMullen, TR director of financial aid.

“It could be a tuition refund or it could be financial aid refund,” he said. “Higher processes the refund based on what the student has requested. The only way students can request it is by getting the information in the mail and following the guidelines.”

Because of the contract, students can no longer receive direct deposits unless they log on to Higher One’s website and make appropriate changes to do so.

McMullen said if students don’t take any action, the money would be mailed to them in a paper check 21 days after disbursement. If students haven’t changed their addresses with the school, they risk losing their checks altogether.

“Our concern right now is the numbers,” he said. “Something about 13 percent of students who received the card have taken some sort of action. About 88 or 87 percent have done nothing. We’ve sent the card to every registered student. About 50 percent of those are financial aid recipients.”

Financial aid recipients will be directly affected by this, McMullen said.

“Students normally would be expecting payment around the ninth or 10th of January, but this time they won’t get that unless they take action,” he said.

The registrar, business services and financial aid offices will barely be able to handle the traffic if students wait until January to take action, he said. An issue like this will easily increase the number of students waiting in line at the beginning of the semester.

McMullen is trying to figure out why students would not be responding to the emails, Blackboard notifications and signs around all campuses telling them about the new Higher One process.

“Well, if it’s not happening to me right now I’m not going to bother with it,” he said, piecing it together. “And two, we don’t always necessarily read everything we see, that being proved by trying to push on a door that says pull. We know that the emails sent out may look like junk mail, but we sent another email telling students it is not junk mail, with a picture of the Higher One envelope containing the card inside.”

McMullen said the administration is considering having instructors inform their students about the card in class.

If students have lost or thrown away their Higher One card, it is possible to be issued a new one. But students should be advised that a whopping 87 percent of the student population is in this situation — and can expect delays.

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