For Provincial Financial Aid, operations have run slower due to higher demand and a shortage in staff, causing a delay in the release of funding for some students. This delay has caused anxiety for some students as they wait to see what amount of funding they will receive.
Normally if a student applies six to eight weeks before classes begin, their student loans will come in on time. That was not the case for Kaden Major, a second-year Kinesiology student, who applied in July.
“I didn’t hear from [the Financial Aid Office] for a really long time, and they said I should have it when my study period began, but I didn’t get it until Friday [Oct 16], I only got an email saying it was electronically processed and nothing more. I’m waiting to email student services to ask how much I owe,” said Major.
The confusion regarding Major’s student loans was a major stressor in the first quarter of his school year. He feels the university has taken this into consideration, and have made efforts to be more understanding towards the struggles plaguing their students.
“The school has been pretty good with me because I first got a month-long extension, and then another six-day extension after that,” explained Major.
Major is not the only student who’s appreciated UNB’s way of handling this situation. Tristan Fahie, a fifth-year student, expressed appreciation for the university allowing him to pay a 25 per cent deposit, which granted him an extension until the middle of October.
UNB is allowing students to pay a small portion to hold their fees, or ask for a hold on the late fee until their loan comes in. While Fahie was fortunate enough to have savings, this is not the case for other students who may not have a financial safety net.
“The government isn’t really great at communicating, so I was basically sitting there for weeks having no idea whatsoever when I was going to get the money and if I was going to get it before I absolutely needed it,” Fahie explained, stating that this was an added stressor on top of adjusting to online classes.