The UNCG Student Government Association (SGA) met on April 11 to discuss financial aid and how it benefits students at UNCG.
The meeting opened with a presentation from Debra Slade, the Assistant Director for Outreach in the Financial Aid Office.
Slade explained the Financial Aid Office’s workload and their outreach program to help students recognize they are there to help.
“At the financial aid office, we have twenty-two full-time staff members,” Slade said. “Twenty-two people who work in our office to help a large percentage of nineteen thousand students coming here for schooling. We have provided workshops in the past, where we talk about financial aid, loans, and financial literacy. We rode busses to bring the admins to the students! We want to get the word out and make sure less students will be worried about last minute FAFSA questions and more students will have funds paid so they can pay off their tuition.”
Slade also recognized April as financial literacy month and expressed her hopes that more people will visit the office to access viable information about the FAFSA.
“If you have a question, please ask us,” Slade said. “When you ask us questions, you have a better understanding, rather than assuming or asking your friend what’s going on. Sometimes, people outside of the office give aid that is not accurate.”
The Financial Aid office is located in Mossman, room 159.
Afterwards, Attorney General Antonio Southern gave a report, as well as some encouraging words for current students.
“In freshman year, I hated UNCG,” Southern said. “I had a 2.9 GPA. Having all A’s and B’s through high school and then ending up with a C shook my world. I complained about everything going on around me and complained about UNCG in general. I then recognized it was key to put yourself in a position in which you can make changes, instead of being so negative all the time.”
Southern is soon to be graduating debt free with a 3.7 GPA and three full time job offers.
On terms of New Business, the SGA passed four new resolutions, two “Gift in Kind” funding grants for events, and two financial aid related meetings to be held once per semester in the coming academic year.
Senate bill 94-14 concerned funding to provide refreshments for Hungry Heroes day, an event being held on Tuesday, April 25 in honor of the “Dare to Care” food drive. The food drive will happen during the week of Monday, 24th through Friday, 28th. The bill was passed by the SGA with a Gift in Kind of $200.
Senate bill 94-15 concerned the Native American Student Association (NASA) and a Pow Wow event being held in the new gym on the 29th. The last Pow Wow held by the organization was in 2002. As such, this will be their first big event in 15 years. The Pow Wow will explore Native American heritage and will be free for university students. A Gift in Kind of $490.16 was awarded to the passed bill.
Senate bill 94-16 and 94-17 both deal with financial aid and its status as one of the biggest concerns of the student body. 94-16, in specific, is a bill to request a meeting between the SGA and the financial aid office each semester to go over the specificities entailed in each new iteration of FAFSA.
94-17 requested an SGA sponsored financial literacy event to help students become more financially literate. Each semester, a financial event will be held by SGA, allowing students to ask questions and debunk myths surrounding financial aid. Both 94-16 and 94-17 passed.
The SGA meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in EUC Maple or the Cone Ballroom, and is open to observation and commentary from the public.