PASCO, Wash.-- The financial aid office at Columbia Basin College is still closed to students so staff can sort through a high number of applications.
The number of people applying for financial assistance is up 20% this year over last, compared to enrollment which is up 3.8%, according to Erica Jesberger, Communications Consultant for CBC.
The Financial Aid Director, Ceci Ratliff, says the economy is the reason for the jump. She explains even though the job market is good in the Tri-Cities, there's still fear about jobs nationally, so more people are going to college and even more are looking for ways pay for it.
Ratliff says the number of applicants for financial aid has been up for the past three years. They shut down for one week last year, and Ratliff says, "We have been closed on Fridays for several years now to help catch up with paperwork but the Fridays haven't been enough when we have the big backlog for the fall quarter. This year, we have closed more days and more weeks than we ever have in the past." There are about 2,700 applications to sort through.
The CBC Financial Aid office will open up again on Monday, August 16th. Students can still check their status at the student employment office or drop off documents outside the financial aid office.