Accessing financial aid offices, the Bursar’s office, any office really, was already difficult, and COVID made it even more so.
HESC [NY State Higher Education Services Corporation], the agency that manages state aid, had to repurpose employees to focus on unemployment claims. Students had a really tough time getting a response to questions. Institutions were chaotic so we couldn’t rely on them for guidance. It was a very, very confusing time for students, for everyone really. I just encouraged students to continue to be proactive. One particular student had been contacting HESC for months about TAP [NY State Tuition Assistance Program], and it finally came through. It’s a win. The student is like, “I can be relieved now, my bill will be covered.” They could have very easily just given up, but