One, two, three, four, five, six people… I’m counting six people currently ahead of me in line for financial aid questions, concerns and issues that needs to be addressed for the new academic year. And I’m annoyed.
No. I’m pissed, actually.
(Insert any “wtf” gif that relates to my, and several other students attending historically black colleges and universities, situation.)
I’m pissed because my particular question, concern and issue should have been handled weeks ago. You see, this is one of many reasons why I love to hate the financial aid process at HBCUs.
At black colleges, it seems to me, the financial aid folks will respond back to your urgent needs and wants only when the “agents” are good and ready to.
But no matter how bad you want to slap everyone working the office that day—it’s important to deal with financial aid representatives in a positive way.
Here’s 5 tips to tame your temper when visiting financial aid offices at a black college:
1. Think twice before you speak
Trust me. The best way to go about dealing with the agents at the financial aid office is to think before you speak. The last thing you want is to say something that you would regret at a later date. Financial aid reps may be petty at times. But don’t you stoop so low.
2. Be polite
Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be a little extra if you must. A smile and a good approach will take you far during your matriculation at a black college.
3. Document EVERYTHING
OMG. I can’t tell you enough how important it is to document the whole shebang when interacting with financial aid agents. From the time you enter up to the time you graduate, documentation will be your savior at an HBCU.
Write down names and numbers. Save letter statements and emails. And use such as empirical evidence when an agent act as if he or she don’t know what’s going on. Okay?
4. Resolve the issue
Resolve the issue at hand rather than to focus on who or what made you mad. Your temper can make things a lot worse. Woosah, homie.
5. Plan ahead
Take a timeout from your studies and social life on the yard before handling your business at the financial aid office. Proper planning is key. Know what you’re seeking, and state your questions and concerns directly without offending the good ol’ folks at financial aid.
Ready for college but not sure what to expect, or even bring? Before you say goodbye to your parents and friends, check out this ultimate guide to surviving your first year in college, and in particular at the country’s 107 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). We created the #HBCUFreshmanBible to help build a bridge for students to make a successful transition from high school to black colleges, you can read more here.