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NIC computer glitch delays students’ financial aid

College to provide food bank information

College students in northern Idaho facing a delay in financial aid because of a computer glitch will be able to get information on local food banks.

North Idaho College officials in Coeur d’Alene told more than 450 students that their financial aid disbursements will be a week late because of a problem in the college’s loan processing software. The money was originally expected to be released Thursday. Classes started Aug. 24.

“I’m extremely disappointed that so many students will need to wait a week to receive their aid,” Eric Murray, NIC’s vice president for student services, told the Coeur d’Alene Press. “This is not acceptable as a standard for NIC; we expect to be able to provide better service.”

Murray said the school has gathered food bank information for students in dire need. He said in extreme cases, the school will guarantee to landlords that students will have their financial aid next week.

“There is no doubt that students are going to struggle this week,” Murray said.

Earlier this week, officials found that transmissions of loan information between the college and a loan guarantor, California-based Educational Loan Management, had run into problems and some loans had not been transmitted.

Financial aid administrators fixed the problem Wednesday, but the students’ checks won’t be available until Sept. 10.

About 75 percent of students at the college receive some kind of financial aid.

“I can assure that the process will be fixed for next semester,” Murray said.

In nearby Montana, the University of Montana extended its late registration payment deadline to Sept. 9 because the university’s administrative software was offering sporadic service.

University of Montana President George Dennison said the school wants to do everything possible to make sure students have time to enroll.