Students experience financial uncertainty due to records system update


Patrick Hamilton

Illustration depicting LORA Self service loading on to a computer.

Maria DiFelice, Assistant News Editor

Olivia Delahoussaye thought they were going to have a relaxing summer with the thought of school out of their mind. Delahoussaye, an English senior at Loyola, said that this was not the case. 

Instead of a nice summer without any worries about school, they received an email in mid June from the university’s financial aid department saying that they owed $27,000 for the Fall 2022 semester. When getting that email, Delahoussaye said that they weren’t worried and just thought that their financial aid hadn’t been applied yet. They waited a couple of weeks hoping to receive an email from financial aid saying that all of their aid was applied. Delahoussaye said they never got that email, and that is when panic set in for them. 

They decided to make a phone call to financial aid. During the call, Delahoussaye said that the lady was condescending and did not help them fix the problem that was happening. There was no way of getting an answer through email and the phone call was discouraging, Delahoussaye was stuck and said they didn’t know what to do.

“If you send them an email they will never get back to you because the way that they set up the system it’s so hard to get information,” Delahoussaye said. 

Delahoussaye is not the only student having financial difficulties amid the switch from the old Loyola Online Records System to the new one, LORA Self-Service, which was implemented through Project LUCI.  

Tuition for the Fall 2022 semester was due on Monday Aug. 15, which was the first day of freshman move-in, according to Loyola’s website. Students were said to be having these issues well after Aug. 15, having financial holds on their account during upperclassmen move-in, which according to Loyola’s website was Aug. 18-20.

A Loyola student, who asked to be anonymous for fear of backlash, said that a couple days before school started she went to LORA Self-Service to pay her tuition and saw that none of her scholarships were added to her billing. She called the financial aid office on Monday Aug. 15, she said.

“I was in panic mode because at my previous university, I didn’t have to call financial aid or anything like (that). All my scholarships were automatically put in,” she said.

She said that because of the lack of information given to her about the amount she owed, she needed to take out a last minute loan in order to pay her Fall 2022 semester balance.

Ashley Damon, a sophomore double major in advertising and psychology, said that when she first got her student balance, her scholarships and financial aid were not put in as well. Like Delahoussaye, Damon was not worried at first glance and just thought her aid and scholarships were looked over. After a few weeks, she emailed financial aid. After that email was sent, her balance wasn’t fixed, and it took them two more weeks to fix the issues of her aid not being properly put in the system, she said.

Loraine Chotin, who serves as an assistant to the Provost, said that they were aware of students having these issues, but not aware that any students had to take out unexpected loans. She also said that there have been no added late fees to any students who had issues during move-in week. 

The old system, LORA, was created in 1979 and needed updates. Chotin said Switching from an old system to a new system is never easy, but they are working hard to fix all the problems.

She acknowledges the new system is flawed and reassures students that all issues that were brought to their attention are fixed now. She also said that the Financial Aid Department works as quickly as possible to resolve all issues, and they will continue to do so. 

“We are working to manage this as quickly and efficiently as possible with little disruption to students,” Chotin said.

Chotin added that they plan to incorporate these solutions into the office’s practices moving forward.