Berkeley City College students protest

November 10, 2008 7:24:26 PM PST
Some students from Berkeley City College protested Monday because nearly 400 of them are still without their financial aid checks. The college district had promised to deliver all the checks by now, but has failed to do so.

It is nearly the middle of November and students still line up outside the financial aid office at Berkeley City College waiting for their grant checks.

Outside the school Monday a handful of students protested because they should have had the money in September, money to cover living expenses and school-related materials.

"We're having hard times paying our rent and meeting our financial needs at home. So, it is imperative for the district to hear our voice and to let them know we are serious and we are not backing down," said student David Hunt.

BCC falls within the Peralta Community College District. The district recently purchased new computer software but computer glitches have delayed the process.

When ABC7 News first reported this problem the district said it would begin cutting checks manually and would deliver them by last week. But that has not been the case.

"We have approximately 650 students who will be receiving financial aid, and we have already checks with names attached to 246," said BCC President Betty Inclan.

More than 400 students at BCC have yet to get their checks. Now the college president says there are still students with information missing from their files.

"So for example, it could be that the student may have dropped some units and we need to make sure the student is maintaining the kind of units that they need to have to receive financial aid," said Inclan.

Anna Jackson-Hill has waited in line every day since the semester started.

"This is my 8th semester here and I'm a dependent student which means they have all my stuff on file. They've had it for years and it hasn't changed at all," she said.

Eric Hoffman received his check last week.

"There was a sense of relief. I mean definitely not a deep breath of relief, but there was a small breath of relief, " he told ABC7.

A spokesperson for the Peralta Community College District says they are working through the backlog of applications and have promised to deliver all financial aid checks to students who qualify by this Friday.

That includes the other three colleges that fall under the district.


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