12 On Your Side: Students will wait longer for reimbursements

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Students at Augusta Tech will have to wait another week or two before receiving their student aid reimbursement checks.

Justin Upton received an email from the school at the start of the semester stating the school was moving from checks to Visa card reimbursements. The email also said students would receive the re-loadable cards by Jan. 9.

"It's pretty aggravating," he said.

He has still not received his card or the funds that will go on it.

Over 85 percent of Augusta Tech's students receive student aid. School officials do not know how many of those will receive reimbursement cards.

"Well this is our first time obviously going through this process," said Melissa Frank-Austin of Student Affairs.

She says students should have received their cards by now, but if they have not, then they need to contact student accounts. She says student aid money will be transferred to the cards on Jan. 31.

Upton doesn't understand why school officials were not clear on the date that he would be receiving his money.

"It's confusing," he said.

Upton is going back for his third degree. He says he hopes learning computer networking will help him find a better paying job to help support his wife and new daughter.

"We're short on money and actually have to live with family right now," he said. "The student loans is important, not only for my books, but also to help us financially with our bills."

News 12's Liz Owens asked Frank-Austin if she felt there is a lack of communication between the office and students.

"I don't I feel so," she replied. "We did our do diligence."

School officials are asking students to be understanding during the transition from checks to cards.

Augusta Tech is one of about two dozen technical schools in Georgia making the transition this semester. They say they hope cards will prevent long lines in the office and help the school become more environmentally friendly.

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