CWI students struggling without financial aid refunds
Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
Many CWI students who rely on financial aid refund money to pay their bills are financially struggling. This is the third week of the semester, and many still haven’t received their funds.
“It’s getting ridiculous to have to wait this long,” Charles Travis said. “If you know what it’s like to go into class and have the teacher ask you to pull out your supplies, and you don’t have them.”
51 year old Charles Travis is currently on disability and relies on going to school and receiving financial aid to get him through financially.
“That pays some of my bills, gets me by through my school, pays for some of my supplies that I need that teachers are asking for and it really makes it difficult to go to school when you don’t have the right supplies,” Travis said.
Travis is in his second year at CWI completing his core classes and hopes to become a mechanic.
“It’s really embarrassing to go into these classes without the right supplies,” Travis said. Supplies he’s waiting to buy when his refund money finally comes in. “You’re getting ready to go to school and you think, ‘Wow, I don’t have any of my supplies what am I going to do? I’m going to go in there and look like an idiot in class.’”
On top of that, Travis is also getting hit with a $100 late fee for not paying his rent on time.
Another CWI student on campus today uses the internet to do all her homework, but she relies on her refund money to pay her internet bill, which she has yet to receive.
“I’m just a little bit confused,” Travis said. “ I think there’s too much discrepancy in what’s going on in the school and it just doesn’t sound like the school I want to go to.”
CWI communications director Jennifer Couch says the financial aid disbursement process takes a while. They don’t disburse financial aid until the tenth day of classes, and refund money could take up to 14 days after that.
“If you’re waiting on a refund, it will be no later than the 14th day after reimbursements, and we are working really hard to make sure those hit prior to that,” Couch said.
Refund dates rely on many factors including the time paperwork was submitted and any other grants or loans students are receiving.
Couch says financial aid for most students who have accepted their aid and completed all other requirements were “disbursed” – i.e. credited to student accounts to pay for tuition, fees, and other CWI charges on September 9th. For many students, their financial aid exceeds their CWI charges and a refund of the remaining financial aid will be issued:
- Refunds will be issued no later than 14 calendar days AFTER their aid has been disbursed to their student account.
- Refunds are delivered to students according to their preference (debit card, ACH to the students checking/savings account, or paper check) through our refund partner, Sallie Mae. Depending on the student’s refund preference, most students will receive their refund approximately September 20th.
- Students can find more information about the refund process, selecting a refund preference, or tracking their refund on our “Disbursements and Refunds” page on our website, specifically the “CWI”s Refund Process” tab or in our 2013-14 Financial Aid Disbursement flyer.
- Please also note that some students – first-year, first time borrowers – will receive their grant/scholarship disbursements on September 9th but will not receive their loan disbursements until September 25th (and subsequent refunds shortly thereafter).