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Money, Money, Money! – Judy Hager

We have money trees in the Financial Aid Office at the University of Jamestown. Have you noticed them? They are not Christmas trees, as my husband claims, they are money trees. No, they don’t really grow money – they symbolize the fact that we can help students find money for their education. Don’t everybody come a’runnin – the money isn’t even real. But it’s cute. And isn’t that what really matters?

UJ awards a lot of scholarship funding to students. I could bore/impress you with statistics about how much money we award, but I won’t. Just trust me that it’s a lot. And there are plentiful scholarships and grants available from other places – the federal government, the state, clubs and organizations, churches, etc. There’s also other funding like work study and loans of all shapes and sizes. We financial aid folks will do everything we can to make this place affordable for our students. Because financial aid is fun! I looove financial aid! But I wasn’t always part of the fun lovin’ financial aid folk…

I worked in the Admissions Office here for a long, long time. Then, one day a few years ago, I went to what the admission folks call the ‘dark side’. (Financial aid people call admissions the dark side too, just so you know…) That move presented a greater challenge than I realized at the time. Not only did I need to learn about financial aid processing functions quickly, I also needed to learn regulations (there are sooo many in this area!), and I needed to obtain access to be able to do the work that needed to get done. Thank goodness I’m a pretty boring person – I got the access fairly quickly. And there’s lots of resources out there to help the ignorant and the lost. Also, the world of financial aid is acronym hell. I’ve never seen so many acronyms in my life. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. And I had to learn those to keep up.

A few months after I started in financial aid we hired Amy Myers. This was a very wise move on our part. She is so smart and such a hard worker and she already knew the acronyms. We keep Amy hidden in the office behind the trees so she can be the worker bee processor that she is. Katie Dunphy joined our little staff this past summer and she’s been a trooper. We’ve thrown stuff at her (sometimes from behind the trees when she couldn’t see what was coming) and she hasn’t whined or complained or even said no. Katie came to us from the medical world, so at times, out of habit, she refers to students as patients and files as charts. It makes us smile. We’re all admittedly financial aid nerds, so it doesn’t take much.

One of our goals is to turn the scary world of financial aid into an approachable and friendly world. (And what really scares people most is the unknown, so we want to share what we know so you all know it too.) If not the world, at least our office. So…what can we do? We water our money trees often, practice smiling at our scared patients, work diligently to solve the puzzles, and embrace the acronyms. We’re happy to share with your our knowledge of FSA, FISAP, FWS, DL, SSIG, NDISP, AY, ED, NASFAA, RMASFAA, NDASFAA, AAI, ATB, COD, COA, CIP, CDR, DRT, MPN, EC, ECAR, SAR, ISIR, FAFSA, FOTW, IFAP, MRR, PPY, NSLDS, POP, SAIG, SAP, SSN, TFA, YTD and much, much more. Come visit anytime.

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Posted:April 1, 2016

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University of Jamestown at a glance

Financial Aid

  • Academic Scholarships
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • Fine Arts Performance Awards
  • Journey Awards

Campus Demographics

Placement Rate

1,100 students from 30 states and 20 countries
(Undergraduate 2017)

Student to Faculty Ratio - 12:1