Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Students frustrated with refund process

Laci Barrow
View of the Office of Financial Aid and Student Financial Services, which are housed in the same suite in Thomas Hall. The two departments have separate roles on campus.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect an error, which implied that the Office of Financial Aid and Student Financial Services were responsible for adding and removing charges to student bills and that the Office of Financial Aid handles refunds. 

Every semester, students anticipate the arrival of their financial aid packages to secure their placement at Loyola. Whether used toward tuition payments or books, financial aid at Loyola is crucial for the student body, as 99% of students receive some form of financial assistance. 

Although the Office of Financial Aid and Student Financial Services are housed in the same suite, Student Financial Services receives and processes refund requests, according to Associate Director of Financial Aid Kaitlin Harper-Loendorf.

For history senior and commuter Janel Blessing, the anticipation for her refund was a long process for her under the Office of Student Financial Services. 

As a non-traditional student, Blessing said that she relies on her refund to pay her bills as an older student.

“It’s put towards my expenses for school and books, travel as well,” she said.

Although the Office of Financial Aid distributes aid packages, they are not responsible for distributing refunds.. That responsibility, according to Harper-Loendorf, falls under Student Financial Services.

Without a quicker assistance process for her appeal, Blessing said she would have to take out a more expensive private loan. 

When determining the status of her financial aid package for the 2023-2024 school year, Blessing said that she experienced complications with communicating with the office, especially in regard to her aid appeal. 

Harper-Loendorf said via email that financial aid packages for students aren’t issued until over the summer to prioritize new incoming students to Loyola, so requesting aid appeals too early impacts when they can be processed for returning students.

Digital filmmaking junior Adelind McGoldrick said she’s experienced communication issues with receiving her refund over the past three years, as a previous campus resident and current commuter.

When sending emails to Student Financial Services, McGoldrick said that it would take nearly a week to hear a response back.

McGoldrick said that better communication is needed between the student body and Student Financial Services. 

“I’m either waiting by the phone or being transferred to different departments,” McGoldrick said.

McGoldrick said that because she works two jobs, on and off-campus, and takes 18 credit hours, she only has the time and opportunity to meet with Student Financial Services over the phone or by email.

When McGoldrick first moved off-campus, she said that the communication lessened once she moved out of the dorms. 

“It took two to three months after I sent my forms letting them know that I wouldn’t need housing in 2023-2024 to get my refund,” she said. 

Although the housing charge caused some issues for McGoldrick, Harper-Loendorf said that the process of adding or removing charges for housing bills comes from Residential Life and not Student Financial Services.

Another student, who previously lived on campus and is now a commuter, is history senior Leila Jones. Jones said that she has always struggled to get in contact with Student Financial Services.

When studying in Australia in Spring 2023, Jones said that she had issues obtaining her refund to assist her time abroad.

“I was told that my refund may not apply for the expense of housing while studying abroad, which was shocking and anxiety-inducing,” Jones said. 

Jones said that although she had less of a stressful experience while living on campus her first two years, her communication about her refunds were nonexistent. 

“Whenever I have called, ever since freshman year, I have been sent to voicemail,” Jones said.

Mass communication sophomore Gabriela Santos, who has always lived on campus, said she has also had little success with getting in contact about her refund. 

In between her schedule, Santos said that she tries to go to Student Financial Services in-person, but she still remains confused by what she needs to do for her refund towards financial help for her parents.

“I was told about what I could use [the refund] for, but I never got how to use it. The money is just there, waiting to be used,” Santos said.

Whether through in-person visits, phone calls, or emails, Santos said that Student Financial Services need to establish ways to efficiently communicate with the Loyola student body.

“There are things that the financial aid office should talk about to better educate students, rather than having to find out on your own,” Santos said.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Dajah Saul
Dajah Saul, The Wolf Editor
Dajah Saul currently serves as The Maroon’s Wolf Editor. Dajah is a senior majoring in English with a concentration in Film and Digital Media, and she is interested in pursuing the publication or film industry in her future. In her free time, Dajah loves to read, listen to a variety of music with her headphones at all times, and absorb any form of pop culture in the media to rant about. Dajah can be reached at [email protected].
Laci Barrow
Laci Barrow, Photo Editor
Laci Barrow currently serves as The Maroon's Photo Editor. Laci is a junior mass communication major focusing on public relations and minoring in marketing. She loves connecting with her community through the art of storytelling. Outside of the Maroon, you can find Laci scoping out spots to take great landscape pictures and weightlifting. For inquiries, reach out to Laci via email at [email protected]

Comments (2)

All The Maroon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    AnthonyMar 10, 2024 at 2:37 pm

    God bless

  • Z

    ZachMar 9, 2024 at 9:51 pm

    I’m glad the Maroon covered this. Every semester I run into issues with my refund. I have never once gotten my refund automatically deposited. Every semester since my sophomore year, I’m a senior now, I have to go in person to tell them to put my refund through. Even though it’s been longer than 14 business days since I put in my request. And coincidentally, 2-3 days after I go in person my refund goes through.

    I feel like they just hope I forget about my refund or try to push back giving it to me as long as possible.