Disbursement Discrepencies, Part II

By: Daniel Johnson, Staff Reporter

Enrollment Services VP sets record straight

The Financial Aid office is working to speed up the process of disbursement to get financial aid out to stu­dents faster, said Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services Eugene Padilla.

In response to Volume 18, Issue 8 “Disbursement Discrepancies” article, Padilla said he wanted to clarify the information provided by Director of Financial Aid Lee Carrillo and Director of Enrollment Services Glenn Damiani about how and why financial aid disbursement occurs.

One way being considered to speed up disbursement is by switching to electronic pro­cessing, which could shorten the wait by two or three days, he said.

The idea of giving students access to funds for buying sup­plies that cannot be purchased at the book store earlier than disbursement is something that is also being looked into, said Padilla.

“If it makes a student more successful, then it is something worth discussing,” he said.

A student dropping a class for lack of equipment is not something the school wants to happen, he said. He encour­aged students facing that prob­lem to speak with someone in CNM Connect or the Dean of Students Office.

“There may be things that I cannot control, but if a student needs help, they can always come see me,” he said.

Carrillo and Damiani said in “Disbursement Discrepancies,” that the dis­bursement dates are set by state policy, which dictates financial aid checks being issued the fourth week of a term.

Padilla said that state poli­cies provide guidelines for dis­bursement dates, but the dates are not set by those policies.

“It’s not their job to set the date, it’s ours,” said Padilla.

The state census that Carrillo and Damiani referred to in “Disbursement Discrepancies,” is a record of student enrollment status, but is no longer the process that is used, said Padilla.

Now, it is recorded by the enrollments status of students on the eleventh day of instruc­tion, so there is no longer a need to wait for the state census, he said.

All information on when and how much money is being released is processed through Banner — administrative software developed for higher education institutions to maintain financial and person­nel data, he said. This helps to protect the integrity of the financial aid office, the college and the future aid of students, he said.

“Our process is a way to prevent us from having to take back money from students and protect them from any nega­tive outcomes like probation or financial aid suspension,” said Padilla.

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