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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Long financial aid lines plague Southern U. registration

Sundae Hays got in line at 4 a.m. Friday at Southern University to have her loans processed so she could pay her tuition.
By 5 p.m., she was still waiting and had at least a few hours to go, the Las Vegas native said.

“It’s so aggravating,” a cold and exhausted Hays said while waiting in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. “They’re moving so slow. It’s really frustrating.”

Long registration waits, particularly for financial aid, have been such a problem this week that new Chancellor Kofi Lomotey opted to keep registration open an extra day starting 8 a.m. today so more students can pay up before classes begin Monday.
Long lines are not new for Southern, but students said the wait times are worse than ever this year.
The new chancellor said he was completely caught off-guard by the problematic process and has vowed to fix things for next semester.

“We’ve had some challenges to say the least,” Lomotey said. “We have a process that needs to be changed, and we’re going to ensure this doesn’t happen next time. “We’re very sorry that this occurred,” he said.

Lomotey said he will consider all options for the future, including more automated or online systems.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “But the nature of it is not something we can change midweek.” Also, there is a shortage of financial aid advisers at Southern that must be quickly rectified, he said.

Southern Student Government Association President Jamal Taylor said he is very concerned about the problems and the students affected are “rightly frustrated.”


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