Student aid offers students new, "live" web portal
With the launch of its new "live" web portal this month, the Office of Student Aid is modernizing the financial aid process. Following the lead of Bearings, the Student Records site, the service is paving the way for more efficient, paperless communication between the College's administration and students.
"There has been an effort in the past six months to improve the student service side of financial aid," said Gary Weaver, Associate Director of Student Aid.
By displaying all data in real time, the site provides students and parents continual access to the most up-to-date, accurate information. Using personal ID and PIN numbers, they can check the status of applications, download instructions and required documents, receive important messages from the aid office, and view their complete loan history and financial awards.
The service will expedite the filing process, effectively distribute financial aid documents, and considerably decrease paper and postage expenses for the office. "We are now out of the business of mailing award letters," Weaver said.
With almost 42 percent of the student body currently receiving financial aid, the web portal is likely to impact a large share of Bowdoin students. "Already the student response has been pretty significant," Weaver said.
He added that the launch has been a "great success" and that the office had experienced very few problems. "After the product itself became available, the site was up and running in four weeks," he said.
Interactive web forms, which students can complete and submit over the internet, are not yet available but Weaver thinks this will change within the next year. He urged returning students who are currently receiving financial assistance to pick up their ID and PIN numbers at the Office of Student Aid. For security reasons, the office will not email them or release them over the phone.
The new web portal can be viewed at: www.bowdoin.edu/studentaid/myaid.
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