Financial Support & Scholarship office races to deadline

Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway With free payments approaching quickly, the Financial Aid Office is rushing to meet scholarship deadlines for UNO students
Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway
With free payments approaching quickly, the Financial Aid Office is rushing to meet scholarship deadlines for UNO students

By Joesph Conrad, Contributor

The due date for tuition and fee payments is quickly approaching. Sept. 23 is the last day payments will be accepted without incurring a late fee, but some students may face a problem with their account. Some scholarships have not yet been applied, creating uncertainty for many students.
While most of the awards have been applied to tuition, some of the merit scholarships are still not showing up for students, causing their tuition statements to appear higher than they should be.
Merit scholarships have always proven more difficult for the university to factor into student accounts by the time tuition payments are due. These awards have specific qualifications, and each college must ensure that students are fulfilling their obligations. The vast majority of these types of scholarships have simple stipulations, such as a full-time student requirement, while certain scholarships have even more complex requirements like an internship component.
Though the office of Financial Support and Scholarship is responsible for adjusting tuition, each department oversees these types of requirements for their scholarships, which can sometimes delay the process. These requirements take substantial time to oversee, often causing these scholarships to be applied a few weeks into the semester.
Another issue is these awards must be entered manually, as the amounts often vary year to year. Students see less of a problem with renewable scholarships, such as Scott Scholars and Maverick Advantage because individual colleges are not responsible for their logistics, allowing them to be applied at the same time as federal aid.
However, this year’s process has been slower than usual. It seems that some students may not see a correction to their tuition before the bill is due. Even with this issue, the university seems to be sticking to their deadline.
In an email sent out to merit scholarship awardees in the School of Business, students were advised to pay their tuition regardless of if the scholarship had been applied or not. The administration recommended that awardees should calculate their tuition with the benefit of the scholarship, and only pay the difference. If students overpay their tuition due to miscalculation, they can expect reimbursement from the university.
Marty Habrock, who took over as Director of Financial Support and Scholarships last spring, said that the slower scholarship posting is not due to a lack of effort.
“The staff in the Financial Support and Scholarships [office] is working extremely hard and putting in the extra time to make sure that the majority of scholarships are applied and posted by the time tuition is due,” Habrock said.
The office has seen some changes within the last year, which have resulted in departmental restructuring and training of new employees; this can be partly to blame for the delay. Habrock assures students this is only a temporary speed bump, as the reorganization will “make all areas of financial aid processing more efficient, including the scholarship area.”
For many students, the issue should be resolved before the Sept. 23 deadline. The Financial Support and Scholarship Office is working everyday to ensure that the majority of scholarships are entered.