Financial Aid Advice: Part II

Financial Aid Advice: Part II

Read on for a second guest post written by Erick Herrera, Deputy Director of Student Financial Aid at Penn, on navigating the financial aid process in the time of COVID-19.

In a post back in October, I wrote about how applying for financial aid can be a complicated and anxiety-producing process adding to applying to college. I also offered tips for a successful financial aid experience.

Given COVID-19 and the financial uncertainties it has caused, how to best finance your education may feel even more overwhelming. Please trust that the team at Student Registration and Financial Services (SRFS) can offer guidance and advice in these new circumstances.

When our office began working remotely back in March, we started to hear from current and prospective students as their families’ financial circumstances were negatively impacted by a sudden loss of employment or added expenses from the pandemic. The most common question was, “How can my family and I make my college experience more affordable since we are no longer certain what our family’s finances might be in the upcoming months and years?”

My best advice in response is for you to seek guidance and support from financial aid professionals and to stay informed of our available financial tools and resources.

  • Our office continues to improve its services from hearing your concerns, situations, and challenges.
  • Over this summer, spend time visiting the Student Registration and Financial Services website. We are regularly updating its content. We understand that COVID-19 will continue to present all of us with unplanned situations.
  • Explore our recently introduced initiative, Financial Wellness @ Penn, which will offer you tools and resources to help you improve your own personal financial well-being.

SRFS also needs to hear from you and your family if your financial resources change significantly after you submit a financial aid application, particularly if they shrink. We have processes for considering situations not initially presented at the time your financial aid applications were submitted.

Our team is committed to work with you. We want to improve and ease your experience with financial aid. It plays a crucial part in your education, but we hope it is also a part of your learning. No need to fear!

Erick Herrera

Deputy Director of Student Financial Aid

www.srfs.upenn.edu

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