In an effort to better accommodate student needs, the University of Iowa Office of Student Financial Aid will move across campus.
Effective Jan. 7, the office will relocate to 2400 University Capitol Center. It has previously been housed at 208 Calvin Hall since 1975. The office will join other campus services, such as Information Technology Services and the Office of Sustainability, on the second floor of the Old Capitol Mall.
The office provides financial services to UI undergraduate, graduate, professional, and prospective students to demystify the cost of college. This includes private-loan counseling and providing students with the correct information about financial resources, said UI Office of Student Financial Aid Senior Associate Director Cindy Seyfer.
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According to the February state Board of Regents financial-aid report, during the 2017-18 academic year, more than 77 percent of in-state UI students and more than 52 percent of out-state students completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Of the in-state students, 53.7 percent demonstrated financial need in addition to 40 percent of out-of-state students.
The Office of Student Financial Aid works with this large percentage of campus to provide financial help with the cost of college and will continue to do so at the University Capitol Center.
The space was originally occupied by the College of Public Health, Seyfer added. She said the decision to move locations came from a desire to better meet the needs of students.
“We looked at the different ways in which we were meeting the needs of our students and being able to work with them, and we realized that we had a lot of constraints in our current space,” Seyfer said.
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The new location will provide services that the Calvin location did not have the ability to offer, including a waiting room for students, Seyfer said. Previously, the only place for students to wait to follow their check-in was the hallway due to a lack of space.
UI Office of Student Financial Aid Associate Director Kelsey Ryder was enthusiastic about the addition.
“In our new space, we’ll have a waiting area, so we’re excited about that. It’s going to be a nice, welcoming space right in the front door,” Ryder said. “There will be comfortable seating. We’re getting a mural that’s kind of Hawkeye-themed … so that’s exciting for us that students will have a designated waiting area.”
Other amenities will include a conference room, the Swipe student check-in service, and a student workstation where a student can fill out entry or loan paperwork and be in reach of assistance should they require it, Ryder said.
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The offices will offer more privacy to students and their families discussing potentially emotional finances, Ryder added.
“All of our advisers who see students on the front lines will have offices that are much more confidential than what we have now, which some of them are in cubicles, and it just doesn’t feel as private if you’re a student there,” Ryder said. “Those people will have offices so I think that will be another way to improve the student experience.”
UI first-year student Asha Keller said she approved of how the move would benefit students.
“I feel like it’d be more accessible for it just to be [at the Old Capitol Mall] because I, personally, don’t know where Calvin Hall is, so I would have to go look for that, whereas if I could just come to the Old Capitol Mall, that’s easier on me. And I definitely like privacy when discussing financial matters.”