Staff profiles: Cindy Osborne
While the summer provides a break for many students, the staff members at the Office of Financial Aid are experiencing their busiest time of the year.
“The busiest time of year is currently right now,” Cindy Osborne said. “We haven’t even reached peak yet.”
Osborne, a financial aid officer, said that the high level of activity is because the officers are working on processing financial aid packages for two academic years: the 2010-2011 year for students who are taking summer classes and the upcoming 2011-2012 year. The office receives many phone calls over the summer from incoming freshmen and their parents who are anxious about the upcoming year and may be unfamiliar with applying for financial aid.
“You need to know all of the ins and outs of the tax codes and the tax laws,” Osborne said. “We have to also find the time to process tax returns, FAFSAs, offer financial aid, get all the packages done, resolve any problems that have occurred, and — especially if federal regulations have changed — be able to implement those as quickly as possible.”
She said that it is helpful to also have a college degree because the experience of being a college student helps in understanding what the students are experiencing. Some basic counseling knowledge is also useful so that advisers may know when students need to be referred to the Counseling Center if there are other underlying problems.
“One thing I really enjoy the most is developing professional relationships with students and the parents. Some of them are just so much fun,” Osborne said.
Students can call, email or stop by the Office of Financial Aid, located in the Student Services building.
“Our director is wonderful. He has an open-door policy; no appointments are ever necessary,” Osborne said. “You just simply walk in during office hours, and you can see an adviser.”