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Automated System Speeds Fin. Aid Process

WINTERVILLE—A new automated system for handling applications has significantly improved the financial aid process at Pitt Community College.

According to PCC Financial Aid Services Director Lisa Reichstein, the college implemented a new automated packaging system for financial aid awards in February. As a result, she said, 3,074 students have been notified they are eligible for financial aid during the 2012-13 academic year, compared to 1,028 at the same point a year ago.

“The computer system checks each student’s financial aid application to see what is needed for the file,” Reichstein said. “If nothing further is required, then the file is awarded by the computer system and an e-mail is sent to the student’s PCC e-mail account, letting them know they can review their award information.”

Reichstein said once PCC financial aid personnel have all requested paperwork in hand, students receive information concerning their award within a week or two. “Last year, because we did not have this ability, it took from four to six weeks to process files,” she said.

With the automated system in place, Reichstein said it is possible for students who apply for financial aid online to receive award notification within three to four days, assuming additional paperwork is not required.

Of the students already eligible to receive financial aid at Pitt in the coming school year, Reichstein said 2,597 are eligible to receive federal Pell Grants. She said 869 were eligible for Pell awards at the same point in 2011.