Financial aid awards will be sent via e-mail

Because many UW-Eau Claire students rely on e-mail for receiving assignments from their professors, the financial aid office is taking advantage of the frequent webmail use.

The financial aid office is beginning to e-mail students revisions of their awards rather than sending them through the US postage system as they have done in the past.

“What we hope is that this will feel like a nice enhancement to students,” Kathy Sahlhoff, financial aid director, said. “Hopefully it will limit the number of times students need to come into the office.”

The office will begin sending out the e-mail system this week.

With more than half of UW-Eau Claire students receiving some form of financial aid, which includes scholarships, grants, loans and work-study, Sahlhoff said the new system will save time for everyone.

“E-mail seems to be the most reliable and quickest form of contact from the university, as opposed to mail where a roommate could misplace it or it could be sent to your parent’s address,” senior and financial aid recipient Tina Gerard said.

In the past, students had to call or go into the office if they wanted a change in their revision, but now they can just reply back to the e-mail, Sahlhoff said.

The letters will be in the form of an attachment and look similar to award letters students are used to seeing.

Computer Networking Services will notify the financial aid office of students who have inactive e-mail accounts, and hard copies will be sent to them, Sahlhoff said.

Original notifications of awards as well as denials (which are rare) will also be sent through the mail. Sahlhoff said that is because original awards go out early, sometimes to incoming freshmen who don’t have their e-mail set up yet. Also, signatures are required on original awards.

Bursar Chuck Rumpel said there has been discussion about allowing students to have their finical aid checks directly deposited, but no changes are being made yet.

The financial aid office is not the first office to try contacting students via e-mail.

Sue Moore, University Registrar, said the registrar’s office has been e-mailing students grade reports since Winterim, 2001.

“It’s an opportunity to get things out to people more quickly and save some of the costs,” Moore said. “It’s been going pretty good for us. I’m surprised and pleased that we didn’t really run into any problems.”