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Financial aid department sees few students taking advantage

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Photo by Garry Fahlman
Photo by Garin Fahlman

Langara’s financial aid department offers many options for students in debt, but few students are taking advantage of ways the school can help.

Yesterday, the financial aid department held a workshop for students offering tips on handling student loan debt after students graduate. The workshop provided useful information for students in debt, however, only one student attended the workshop.

“Most students forget they can come and talk to us,” said Parvin Saadatmand, who says the workshops usually range from five to 15 students. “We are more than willing to answer any student loan-related questions.”

Part of the reason why there has been confusion may be because the financial aid office recently moved from room B113 to a new room next to the registrar’s office.

The workshop focused on several different ways students can manage loan debt, including students with specific needs, such as those with disabilities.

“They have to go through a process of assessment to see that they have exhausted all the other options and they are on permanent disability status… the government will eventually forgive their entire loan.”

Students need to make sure their fees are paid

Saadatmand said that Langara aims to make things like paying fees and tuition easier for students. For instance, students who receive B.C. loans to pay for their tuition, an automated system will handle their loan payment, giving it directly to Langara. Though financial aid claims that this system has been effective, this year it caused several students loans to not be paid, sending the money directly into the students’ accounts instead of to the school.

Saadatmand stressed that even though Langara has used the system for years and believes it to be reliable, students should always be vigilant when it comes to making sure their tuition is paid on time, because “mistakes happen.”

“We always tell students it is their responsibility to make sure [their tuition] is paid.”

Langara also has different bursaries for students to improve their financial situation. These bursaries are offered once every semester. The amount of money available for students depends on how much money the college has left over.

“We encourage students to apply every term.”

Reported by Garin Fahlman and Kelci Nicodemus

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