Financial Aid Changes Over to New System
By Jasmin Jenkins, Advertising Manager
As of June 2014, the UNCP Office of Financial Aid has partnered with CFI School Servicing Center, which has more than 50 years of experience in administrating financial programs for higher education for students attending North Carolina colleges and universities.
The decision to do so was mandated to UNCP by General Administration. The purpose of this partnership is for operational efficiencies. The CFI is trying to eliminate students from having to submit multiple documents when applying to different schools and to help students who are seeking financial aid.
According to their website, www.sscwp.org, the School Serving Center is a collaboration between College Foundation, Inc. (CFI) in Raleigh, North Carolina, Financial Aid Services Inc. (FAS) in Atlanta Georgia, Decision Partners in Massachusetts, and North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
“If a student wants to apply at UNC Greensboro or East Carolina, but they want to apply at UNCP as well, they will not have to fill out paperwork for each college because CFI will already have their information stored after they fill out paperwork online,” Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships Jenelle Handcox said.
The School Servicing Center requires that students do an online interview and online paperwork before the financial aid office can step in.
“Both positive and negative feedback have resulted due to this change. Some students feels that it takes longer to do everything online and there are some who are dissatisfied with the online process because they would rather come into the financial office, but we cannot help them if they have not followed the instructions for CFI,” Handcox said.
“It can be really cumbersome for students who would rather bring their paperwork into the office,” she added.
The June 2014 Office of Financial Aid newsletter states that the CFI School Servicing Center streamlines verification processes for students.
Should a student be chosen for verification, they will receive email correspondence from the School Servicing Center.
“Without the CFI confirmation, students will not be eligible for financial, that’s where a lot of the problem lies, because some students have no idea about the verification service which was sent from the Office of Financial Aid by email to every student,” Handcox said. She also advises that students produce a “timely response because it is so important.”
For students who feel that the financial aid office is slow about processing their financial aid, these students are advised to review their paperwork process.
Two questions to ask yourself are: Did I do the online interview with CFI? Did I do my online paperwork?
“We cannot help students until they go through the servicing center,” Handcox said.
“A lot of students complain about financial aid, but what they don’t is that the people in Lumbee Hall are really here to help us. They can only help us if we help ourselves,” senior David Cobb said.
To learn more about the school servicing center, visit https://www.sswp.org/home/about.htm. Watch for emails from verification@SSCwp.org or firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions on what you need to do to complete the process.