The Financial Aid office was forced to push its deadline for the distribution of some students’ bursary applications.
After fixing the technical issue with ACSIS that caused the long delay last fall, Financial Aid was able to process the applications more effectively this time, for the most part.
Around $2,450,000 were distributed to more than 4,600 students through bursaries this winter semester, but according to Financial Aid and Student Awards manager, Krisha Stanton, there was a delay in some of the applications due to the logistics behind the payment part of the process.
“The applications for the bursaries were all adjudicated together once the bursary cycle closed, however, the payment cycle is a manual process,” said Stanton.
This is why some students started receiving bursaries as early as Feb. 10 while some others had to wait for the last set of cheques that was mailed out on March 9.
First year tourism and hospitality management student, Meghan Guilbeault, was notified on Feb. 26 that her application for a bursary had been approved.
In the e-mail Guilbeault received, she was told a portion of that bursary would be applied to the outstanding balance she had with the college.
“I only got $350 because they took off $150 because I forgot to pay $17 of my tuition,” said Guilbeault. The $150 fee is Algonquin’s standard late penalty fee.
Despite this, Guilbeault was glad her application was processed and approved.
“Any extra money helps,” she said.
First year cabinetmaking and furniture technician student, Rose Muir, was not as lucky as Guilbeault. Muir had to wait until March 8 to find out her application had been approved.
“It hasn’t been a huge inconvenience,” she said. According to Muir, not having the money on time wasn’t the issue. The slightly problematic part, she found, was not having the information.
“Applying to other funding or programs is more difficult,” said Muir referring to the matter of not knowing the exact amount of funding she can declare when applying for other grants or bursaries.
These delays, however, are expected to be resolved with the development of a new bursary application system for upcoming years. The project, which Stanton spoke about in an interview with the Times in January, is already in progress.
“The high level design phase has been completed for the bursary automation project and the project is now in the detailed design phase,” said Stanton.