Breaking Even

Loyola students can use their excess financial aid to help cover the costs of their textbooks


Andrew Leach

Gina Do, a biology sophomore, searches for the textbooks she needs this semester in the Loyola bookstore. The financial aid office at Loyola is allowing students to utilize excess financial aid money to help cover the costs of textbooks each semester.

Nick Ducote

Textbook costs may be one less thing to worry about while transitioning into the new school year at Loyola.

Loyola’s financial aid office is allowing students to use excess financial aid to pay for textbooks at the university’s bookstore during the first two weeks of each semester. Loyola undergraduates can use a maximum of $600, while graduates and law school students are able to use a maximum of $1,000.

Judy Vogel, director of student finance, has been one of the many financial aid advisors walking students through the process of the new program.

“Financial aid includes tuition and fees, but also can cover cost of attendance, such as transportation, books, supplies and all that,” Vogel said. “If the student has paid enough financial aid where they’ve covered the student bill, plus there’s extra money, then we can let them charge their books with that extra money.”

Utilizing excess financial aid to pay for textbooks isn’t new at Loyola, however. Vogel said the university started the program last fall.

Vogel said it’s important for students to know that they may receive their financial aid a little more slowly during the fall. Due to the large influx of freshmen, the system is a little slower, but Vogel assures students that everything will speed up come spring.

“In the spring semester, students generally receive their aid faster because it’s the second half of their financial aid disbursement. So all of the paperwork is usually in by that time,” Vogel said.

Catherine Polk, the new manager at Loyola’s bookstore, said that though she has only been here on campus for a month, she has helped Loyola transition with this program very well.

She said that the new program is more about convenience for students.

“Our system mirrors with Loyola’s very well. It’s seamless,” Polk said. “Our files are exchanged, and we know instantly whether a student has financial aid. They can order online using it. I encourage it, because it prevents them from having to stay in a long line at the bookstore.”

Jasmine Justin, psychology sophomore, said she was on campus a couple of weeks before the school year started and hoped to get a head start on her school shopping. However, she still had to wait for financial aid to grant her acess to her excess funds.

“I can’t get books right now if I wanted to. I have to wait until the money gets into my account,” Justin said. “So now I’m just waiting.”