The whole goal and bigger picture of going to school is finally finishing and getting a degree or certification to be able to move on to a stable career or a four-year college for a Bachelors. Most students at community college never got to walk the graduation line in high school and most students look forward to being able to celebrate earning a degree.
Since Emily Sarvis (see front page story, Surprise, you’ve graduated) was graduated without her knowledge she lost her financial aid and has to pay out of pocket for the rest of her classes and books this year to be able to move onto a four year college in her field.
Sarvis unfortunately had the privilege of walking the line stripped away from her, without being notified until after graduation of this last spring semester. She is going to school for a degree in biology, and because she was forcibly graduated early, she will have a hard time this next year finishing her intended degree.
Sarvis could have attempted to reverse the degrees she was given, but said she would rather try to pay out of pocket for her classes than try to file for a financial aid extension, which can be tough to get because approval is at the discretion of school administrators.
To get a financial aid extension one has to file for continuing federal funds and grants, and usually must have impeccable grades or GPA to even be considered for an extension. Also students have to wait a considerable amount of time to be approved, and because it is up to the discretion of administrators ones fate at school can be taken away in the blink of an eye, and students who are not prepared cannot continue unless they can afford classes on their own, which is usually rare during this post-recession time.
The insensitivity displayed by the records department in these matters is an injustice to students that work hard to earn their degrees and deserve to be able to walk the line at graduation just like everyone else.
The student records department really needs to take into consideration how a forced graduation and unsolicited degrees that are not being applied for are going to affect a student’s goals in college, and if students are even capable of being able to succeed without the help of financial aid.
Walking the graduation line is the final leg of college that students most look forward to at the end of their careers as students, and if students are having that moment taken away from them by being forced to graduate it defeats the purpose of celebrating getting a degree altogether.
At the very least, there should be notification emails set-up for instances such as this, and students should have the option to get degrees in a chosen, specified field before being forced into graduation.
Students that go above and beyond, such as Sarvis, who is president of the executive council of students and was a STEM-up peer mentor for students, that are worthy of better treatment from the departments of CNM’s main campus.