From the director of UC Davis' Financial Aid Office, Lora Jo Bossio:
says Davis is saddled with an ancient computer system, which, unfortunately, can't be easily cured of quirks like printing useless characters next to some of the aid information.NH, for example, stands for nothing more than North Hall, which is where the financial aid office used to be located.Bossio
acknowledges that the financial aid process is overly complicated and needs to be simplified."Does it have to be that complicated?It's nuts!"she
says. Student Self Help Expectations and Contributions: Davis gives these terms to its assumption that students will contribute $4,000 in earnings each year to their college expenses.Davis also expects each student to borrow another $4,500 each year, which means each student has to come up with $8,500 a year somehow.That's a bit of a challenge for freshmen, who can't borrow more than $3,500 from the Stafford loan program.Bossio
office can help arrange alternative financing, through Perkins or private loans.But her
office also suggests students achieve their contributions by reducing their expenses.
Including a PLUS loan as part of the aid package total: Bossio
says Davis started including federal parent loans in its awards because "We had a lot of families ask 'What are our options?' We don't want to encourage or push loans," she
Electronic award letters: Although some schools insist on sending out paper financial aid letters because many low income students and parents might not have access to the internet, Bossio
says Davis' system of sending out postcards directing students to the website (of which this is a screen shot) "is great."She
says less than 100 students request paper letters each year.