Avoid turmoil, manage your campus account now

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Avoid turmoil, manage your campus account now

Alyssa Stencavage, L&A&E Editor

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Second semester was fast-approaching, and Susie was excited to begin anew. It was freshman year, and first semester had been a little rough. Learning the ins and outs of college, making new friends, time-management – it all seemed to be coming to a head.

Naturally, Susie thought the next semester had to be better. However, she must have forgotten in the midst of everything else that she had received a notification about her Financial Aid Award and didn’t bother to review it.

As a result, she had a little trouble registering for classes, and with that trouble came added stress. What a great way to start another semester, huh?

Scene:

*Friend walks into the room after class ready to catch up and Susie is sitting at a computer with her hands on her head looking frustrated*

Friend: Hey! What’s happening?

Susie: UGH. I can’t register for classes for next semester, and I’m seriously FREAKING OUT. I’ve been sitting here for like, 20 minutes racking my brain trying to figure out what I should do.

Friend: Why won’t they let you register?

Susie: Well…there’s a hold on my account.

Friend: Why’s that?

Susie: I got selected for verification and I guess I completely forgot about it. I remembered seeing something in my e-mail about it, but I had so much going on that it slipped my mind and now this! So basically now I don’t know what to do because I can’t register until this hold gets lifted and there’s no telling how long that’ll take.

Friend: OK, listen, listen. It happens to the best of us, it’s not the end of the world. It happened to me, too. You’ll be fine, but it sounds like something you probably should have looked at before today.

Susie: Yeah, tell me about it.

-End Scene-

As exemplified above, Executive Director of Student Services Janine Becker said there are some common mishaps that those in student services see surrounding student accounts – issues that become a little overwhelming when registration time rolls around. The problem Susie faced isn’t the only.

There are some obstacles that stand in the way of the final destination:

Problem: The Financial Aid Award notification that comes between April and August isn’t reviewed. Becker said the impression is typically that financial aid covers anything, but that isn’t exactly the case.

Solution: Everything students need to take care of the financial aid situation is available on the portal. All that needs to be done by following the guide under the “My Financial Aid” tab in the top right.

Problem: Like Susie’s challenge, the verification process also comes in enough time for students to make sure everything is in order. If one is selected for random verification,that person is also notified between April and August. However, there is a downside if requirements are ignored. Ignoring requirements means no financial aid, and we don’t want that to happen.

Solution: That student need not worry if they follow the procedure. Again, all it takes is a quick glance at the top right-hand tab of the portal, labeled “Financial Aid Requirements,” and he or she will be well on their way to crossing verification off their list.

Problem: Next, come the bills, bills, bills. Becker said bills for the fall are available in late July and are due in August. For the spring, they are due in January. If you stay on task, and take care of everything while it’s fresh in your mind, those bills don’t have to become a hassle. Not surprisingly, what happens is that bills aren’t paid.

Solution: Pay your bills. That’s the best approach. Start by clicking on “View Invoice (eBill)” at the top of the portal under the Student Services tab. While the task might seem daunting initially, taking care of the bills when they come knocking at your door will save you stress later.

Problem: As if all of the above isn’t enough, there’s registration, which can become an aggravation all on its own. But this problem is compounded by all that comes before it. When registration comes around in November or March, unresolved financial aid award, verification and billing issues results in a hold on a student’s account. A hold, in turn, prevents a student from registering.

Solution: The most logical solution would be to take care all the other issues before getting to this point, so that those previous inconveniences don’t become more of a problem than they ever had to be.

Problem: Finally, we reach a dead-end. At this point it’s the beginning of the term and classes have already started. Everything prior to this point has been neglected, so a student isn’t registered, worst-case scenario is forced to leave school and therefore may miss registered classes.

Solution: If there is a solution here, it may only be to take a trip to student services immediately, and ask them for help in clearing up anything that may stand in the way of a successful semester. Better late than never.

College can be tough, it’s understandable. Practically every student has a full schedule and knows the challenge of having to try and find the most effective way to get everything done and still relax a little. Plus, there are numerous other distractions. However, this is also no surprise, and for those in their later years of college, they’ve been through it all before. We get the e-mails and notifications, but tend to shove them to the side and say we’ll get to them later. Therefore, we can’t exactly complain when the time comes where everything needs to have been taken care of.

To set everything straight, we need not look too far. Becker said everything is available on the portal – and even better yet, we have it all at our very own fingertips. What we have to remember is that if one thing goes wrong or is out of order, it slows down the process. It’s sort of like an interdependence of parts that create a domino effect of issues when one piece of the puzzle is out of place.

One important tip from Becker is to manage your resources well. Emails are always visible, and with the Wilkes Gmail system students even have the opportunity to look back on ones they might have missed to check on important information.

Becker said even generic e-mails from OneStop pop up from time to time. But even after monitoring your e-mail, be sure to actually check the items on the portal and then follow-up.

“Always check your account on the portal,” she said. “It tells you what you have to do. If there’s a problem, come to student services when it arises.”

If you’re still experiencing confusion, frustration or other problems, stop by student services and ask for help or contact Becker at 570-408-8009 or at janine.becker@wilkes.edu.

It only takes a little bit of time if nipped in the bud early on, and you’ll be safer for it later on down the line.

Flashback to earlier scene:

Friend: Hey Susie, what ever happened with that problem on your account?

Susie: Oh, good! I FINALLY went to student services and got it all figured out.

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