This review is not an evaluation of the institution and the policies that make up the financial aid requirements at LMU because God knows how they actually end up evaluating every single student on their individual needs (how the hell does my financial aid statement change drastically every new year?). This is more of an overview about the effectiveness of the financial aid office with the counselors who work there, and how easy it is to find help and get questions answered. Over the years, the financial aid office has proven to be the most reliable and most productive service provided at LMU. Student Housing, the Registrar's Office, and the Controller's Office have all at one time or another been a real pain and given me runaround. But the f-aid office has always been very accommodating with regards to what can be very personal issue for some individuals.
Located on the second floor of Xavier Hall, the office has never been crowded enough to make me wait for a lengthy period of time. Their system is set up to and excels at accepting walk-ins for counseling sessions. Just go to the main desk and put your name down on the sign-in list. It's just going to the doctor's. Of course, the office is also great for taking care of any standard procedural matters that need to be taken care. The student workers at the desk are both professional and knowledgeable about anything ranging to FAFSA to holds on your PROWL. They are able to look up everything there on the spot about your records and can give you any information about what kinds of forms you need to fill out or what is missing. I never have to come back or go to another office or wait for a phone-call.
However, what truly stands out about the financial aid is that it offers free counseling sessions. These professionals know all the in-and-outs and are there to help you whether you have a single question or need to have an hours long conversation. I not going to lie. Financial aid can be a bit frightening, and the counselors are there to be honest. There is absolutely no bullshit. It is kind of like being off the record. Don't be afraid to ask any kind of big picture questions. What would you do in my situation? Would it be better to do this or that. What usually happens under these circumstances. Should I accept this loan or that one? They are not afraid to tell you what you need to hear.
This may seem to be a little contrived, but the LMU's financial aid website is also a very useful tool. It is probably the most navigable and instructive site that any service at LMU offers. You can find all the forms there and extensive information on all the grants/loans. The f-aid office knows what questions students and parents have, and they give you all the answers on the website without hindering the availability of the counselors to help with individual circumstances.
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