WSU working through its financial aid issues

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 15, 2012 

Washington State University continues to work through a backlog of student financial aid issues that cropped up a month ago.

About 2,000 students still have not received their financial aid, though officials at the school's Richland campus said those students have been helped.

"My understanding was that most of our students were taken care of," said WSU Tri-Cities spokeswoman Melissa O'Neil Perdue.

Problems arose when a new multimillion-dollar software system installed during the summer failed to work with other university systems in disbursing student financial aid, officials have said.

That led to hundreds of students scrambling to university financial aid offices to find out how they were to pay their tuition and book costs, as well as basic living expenses.

About 300 to 400 students at the Richland campus were affected and about 100 of them were given nearly $132,000 in interest-free, short-term loans, O'Neil Perdue said.

That's a small fraction of the almost $1.5 million in loans the school has provided to affected students on all its campuses.

But problems are persisting and officials said some of the student accounts will have to be processed by hand.

WSU President Eldon S. Floyd has extended a temporary suspension on tuition late fees for the remainder of the semester and extended the loan program.

"While we are making progress, we still have a considerable backlog with file review," John Fraire, WSU vice president of student services said in a news release. "We've hired additional staff to help with the backlog, but the process remains time-consuming."

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