Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Office of Financial Assistance Letter to the Editor

I would like to thank The Miami Hurricane for highlighting some of the challenges and complexities associated with the financial aid process. As UM continues to prioritize allocating financial aid to those students with the greatest financial need, it is necessary to complete a thorough analysis of a student’s financial need. This requires collecting detailed information via the College Board Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and associated income and asset documentation. The financial aid application deadline for continuing students is April 15. In some cases, additional information may be verified at a later date, such as housing status or the number in college.

Annual changes in income or assets, housing status, changes in the household size, or the number of people in college will have an impact on financial aid eligibility from year to year. Financial aid eligibility is allocated based on the information provided by the family. If information is received that indicates that the original information is not correct, a financial aid advisor will assess the new or additional information and make adjustments to a student’s financial aid eligibility.

During the 2015-16 academic year, the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment (OSFAE) met over 99 percent of all demonstrated financial need for the eligible students.  In addition, student debt for the graduating 2015 class was reduced by $7,000. In order to provide greater levels of student service and educate students on the importance of financial literacy, OSFAE implemented the Fiscal Fitness (http://www.miami.edu/admission/index.php/ofas/fiscal_fitness_program/) program. And, finally, telephone support was extended to 6 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday.

To further enhance student service, the Office has begun working with SGA to create a student advisory group.  The Office has initiated conversations with the Division of Student Affairs to create a financial aid forum where students can learn more about new initiatives in financial aid.

In the end, it is our goal to work with students such that they attain their hopes and dreams of attaining a UM degree. Our team will continue to work to make these dreams become a reality.

Sincerely,

Raymond Nault Hix
Executive Director
Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment

September 28, 2016

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The Miami Hurricane Student newspaper at the University of Miami


2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Office of Financial Assistance Letter to the Editor”

  1. Ricardo says:

    Typical financial aid, saying that they lowered student debt 7,000 for the class of 2015 but failing to acknowledge the rise in cost per credit every year. Nault Hix should be ashamed by how he is running this department. This goes beyond them losing documents, it is about financial aid taking away money for students because of “accidental aid”. Own up to your mistakes and do not have students suffer with crippling debt as a result of your incompetency. Its a shame that the University of Miami is reiterating their goal of providing need-based aid for all students yet taking away money each summer. There needs to be change. UM is an amazing institution but must do a 180 with how financial aid is run.

  2. Amber says:

    What can we do for students who are graduating with a rediculous amount of debt? I had many scholarships, but unfortunately, almost just as many loans, as my parents were unable to help me pay for college. By the time I graduate with my masters AND undergraduate degree from UM I will have over $125,000 worth of loans to pay off. As a young adult that will be entering the career field, this is going to leave me with heavy financial burdens for years to come. The cost of tuition at UM has spiked and gone up over $300 a CREDIT since I have been in attendance. Why is tuition being raised so fast? Why are the academic scholarships, in return, not being expanded with the tuition hikes? Students like me keep the UM average debt rates very high. Why is there not more help for self funded graduate students? I would love the financial aid office to answer these questions. Saying they cover 99% of financial aid needs is anvery disconcerting statement, considering much of it ends up being covered by many loans with high interest rates. I love UM, but something seriously needs to be done for the students graduating with staggering debt.

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.