One-Stop life hacks for incoming freshmen

Courtney Green

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Many students privately express frustration with their university’s financial aid department, no matter what university it might be. So how can you make One-Stop actually one stop? Here are some tips for old and new students alike:

Check the website. While this may sound utterly obvious, checking One-Stop’s website for answers to easy questions might save you a lot of time and run-around. One-Stop’s contact page provides links to several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), depending on the category your question might belong to. Their website also contains how-to videos if you need a walk-through on removing a specific hold and whatnot.

Call or go early. If the website doesn’t provide an answer for the question or issue you have and you need to speak to someone, call or go in early. One-Stop recommends calling between 8 – 10 a.m., except on Friday when the line goes live at 9 a.m.

Email is your friend. Email is the closest to instant-messaging you’ll get with One-Stop. If you have a question or issue that’s not urgent, you might want to consider shooting them an email. On their contact page, there is a form you can fill out at the bottom– do be sure to type your Osprey email in the ‘Email’ field. Also, check your email— sooner rather than later. Sometimes, that not-so-urgent issue becomes an urgent issue, requiring an appointment. If you’re not checking your email, you may miss a request for an available appointment time.

Collect paperwork and documentation. If you need to fill out forms or provide the financial aid advisers with documentation of some kind, make sure you have everything before your appointment. This will save you from unnecessary return trips.

Compose a list of questions ahead of time. To save you from extra trips or hair-pulling phone calls on hold, write out a list of questions beforehand. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy– a memo or note on your phone, or even a text to yourself, will do just fine. By writing or typing your questions out, you lessen the chance of forgetting something and having to call or go back.

Don’t take it personally. If you are having a problem, chances are you aren’t the only one. Virtually every UNF student has a hold placed on their account at some point. Many of us use financial aid and loans to pay for school as well, and both of these forms of payment come with their own host of issues. UNF isn’t out to get you, specifically, and One-Stop is there to help. 

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