Grad students invited to forum on financial aid

Bryan Keogh

Graduate and professional students will be able to voice financial- aid concerns today at a Coffman Union forum.
Officials from the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will address problems in financial-aid distribution. A computer glitch delayed about $20 million in aid to more than 10,000 students in September.
“Things did not go right with financial aid this fall,” Vice Provost Craig Swan said. “We want to identify areas where the system didn’t work for the students.”
PeopleSoft — the new software program the University converted to in August — was not fully implemented on time, causing problems with the aid dispensation, he said.
“This is a new system; with every new system there will be problems,” said Ben Solomon, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.
The Council of Graduate Students and the student assembly are sponsoring today’s event.
“This is ideally a good way to have an information exchange,” Solomon said. “We’re really hoping to get a diverse set of views.”
Nancy Sinsabaugh, the interim financial-aid director, will also answer student questions about software difficulties.
Both Sinsabaugh and Swan said the forum will be a great way to hear students’ perspectives on making the financial-aid system more efficient.
“My intention is to listen,” Swan said.
The forum will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Coffman Union rooms 351 and 352. Those unable to attend can submit comments at gapsa.stu.umn.edu.

Bryan Keogh covers professional schools and welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3232.