WSU suffers financial aid disruption

Erich Schweitzer, news reporter

On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Winona State University’s financial aid system finally came back online after 10 days of being inactive. This comes as a relief to many students. Unfortunately, everyone is still in the dark as to why this disruption in the disbursement of financial aid happened or how it happened.

Mari Livingston, the director of financial aid for Winona State, could not be reached for comment on the situation. This means that students are still unaware of what happened that delayed the disbursement of financial aid funding.

More than 13 million students across the country receive financial aid from FAFSA. When Winona State’s system went down, many of the students part of the university were affected by it.

Student Sarah Wells said that the situation was “definitely surprising.” Another student, Rita Rybus, said, “it definitely adds a lot of stress.” Many students rely on financial aid to pay for their tuition, so when they are not able to get that money, it could lead to a plethora of problems. It also means that students cannot pay for their textbooks anything else they may wish to chargeto their student account.

The university eventually got the issue sorted out with the financial aid as well as university COVID-19 relief funds finally being deposited into students’ accounts. “That one amount was still a ton of money,” Wells said of the amount they received from the COVID relief fund.

Although the situation has now been handled by the university, there is still much confusion among students about how and why this happened in the first place.

When asked about this, Wells said, “What is the issue? They didn’t bother explaining that.”

She said she is glad the university handled relatively quickly, relating the issue to the instability in the economy due to the pandemic, but still found it annoying that it even happened in the first place.

In the emails sent out by Winona State’s financial aid team, they said the issue occurred due to a “software malfunction,” but didn’t go into any more detail than that. The email goes on to say that the issue was identified and that they were able to implement a solution.

While students may still not be completely sure of how this occurrence was caused, the issue has finally been resolved. The financial aid system is back online and funds have already started being transferred into Winona State students’ accounts.