AUSTIN (KXAN) — A group of students at Austin Community College is waiting for thousands of dollars in financial aid they’ve been approved for.
KXAN found out about the funding delay after a student wrote to us with their concerns and found out it’s due to the college’s implementation of a new system that manages their day-to-day business activities.
The college said $131,800 in financial aid refunds was supposed to be disbursed on Oct. 22. When they realized on Oct. 18 there would be a delay, they sent an email to students who may be impacted.
“I am myself… [a] veteran, and we are struggling without these funds that we borrow for gas and expenses, etc. There is no hope in sight. Most of us students live paycheck to paycheck,” said the student who wrote to KXAN.
The student added the college hadn’t told students when they could expect those funds. ACC told KXAN they should be disbursed by Wednesday.
Freshman Josella Jock can empathize. She’s received her funds but relies heavily on them.
“If I was waiting for my financial aid, I would really be concerned,” she said. “If I don’t get it, it’s like, ‘no school for me.'”
Jock is hoping to go to medical school and become an optometrist, inspired by her cousin in Uganda who was born with eye problems.
“My dream is to actually just study here and go back home and establish a very big eye care hospital or something,” she said. “For those that have difficulties seeing, I want to make that reachable for them.”
ACC said it recognizes many students rely on these funds to not only pay for tuition but textbooks. Jock said she also uses it for gas.
“Austin Community College District cares deeply about its students and their success and is extending payment deadlines for those awaiting financial aid refunds,” a spokesperson wrote to KXAN, adding students impacted by this delay will not be dropped from classes for nonpayment.
The college said it also sent an email to faculty, letting them know some of its students may not be fully prepared for class.
ACC said this disbursement delay was not the result of a glitch but “the timing of implementation of the new system as it would be for any system change or update.” It said it’s a one-time change that won’t happen again.