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Monday, October 19, 2020

Fall students receive early financial aid book credit, program to return in spring

A new book credit program offered through the Pierce College bookstore allowed students who rely on financial aid to purchase textbooks and other materials before financial aid was disbursed on Friday.

According to Candy Van, assistant manager at the bookstore, any student who receives financial aid and was deemed eligible was automatically notified through their L.A. Community College District email inbox. Once students received the email they could immediately go to the bookstore and use their “$500 starter” in book credit. Though the program has ended for fall, it is expected to return in spring.

“It is all about helping everyone to get their books early,” said Van. “I look at it as recycling back so everyone could benefit.”

Financial Aid Director Anafe Robinson said she would like students to apply as early as summer for financial aid in order to receive eligibility for the program next fall. Students who are eligible for the program this semester may also be eligible for the credit when it returns in spring.

The program enabled students to use their financial aid book credit one week before the semester started and during the first week of classes until Friday, Sept. 4. All charges made would be deducted from students’ financial aid disbursements.

More credit was available to students who provided proof of enrollment in more classes, according to Van, who said 668 students had used the program as of press time. She added that if anything went wrong with a student’s financial aid after book credit use, the bookstore would provide an interest-free payment plan based on the funds owed.

Robinson said the program is time-saving for students and the staff in both the bookstore and financial aid office.

“The book credit program is on an automated system, students’ names and information are now saved on a computer,” said Robinson. “It saves time from students going back and forth from the financial aid office and bookstore.”

David Do, Associated Students Organization president, said that the ASO promoted the program by word-of-mouth, and had considered other means of promotion.

“We would like to see more students using the program,” Do said. “[It’s a] great program and a great opportunity for students.”

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