After The Miami Hurricane posted an article entitled “‘‘I can’t afford to be here’: Economic disparity riddles UM’s student body” on April 12, financial aid reached out to the sources quoted in the article to offer support.
Both freshman musical theatre major Ainsley Nelson and freshman architectural engineering major Blake Gomien received emails from UM’s financial aid department offering a meeting with one of their representatives.
“He was so kind, one of the kindest people I’ve ever talked with in terms of the situation,” Nelson said. “I have high hopes that my finances will increase and my financial aid package will increase.”
The representative was able to find Nelson additional resources to help take some of the financial stress off of paying for the next school year. The financial aid office also informed Gomien of additional funds he could receive because his parents are Florida residents.
Nelson had talked to both the housing office and financial aid before, but was able to receive more attention when she spoke out about her frustrations publicly.
“I think it was the fact that I was being honest about how they treated me and about how they’re dealing with this situation,” Nelson said. “That the other people had the ability to read this and hear and it could possibly ruin the reputation and that’s what it took for them to reach out.”
Gomien noted that the staff was not who he had frustrations with about financial aid and housing assistance, but rather, the systems in place at the University as a whole.
“They hire very personable people when the system is broken,” Gomien said. “The problem is not the people I had contact with, it’s the people who are higher up or running a business or education.”
Nelson feels thankful for the attention that she was able to receive from financial aid, but knows that she is not alone in her struggles. She hopes the university continues to reach out to other students in need of extra financial assistance coming into the 2023-2024 school year.
“I’m very glad something is being done,” Nelson said. “I just hate that it took this much for something to be done about it. I wish every other student who was in my situation gets the help that they need so they don’t have to transfer.”
The Miami Hurricane reached out to UM Admissions, who failed to reply with a comment.