‘One stop shop’ for financial aid opens next Spring

Story by Emily Williams, Contributing writer

Fred Dietz, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, said Murray State will have a “one stop shop” for information for students during the first week of Spring 2016 and the first two weeks of the Fall 2017.

The one stop shop will integrate the Bursar, Scholarship, Financial Aid and Registrar offices. The location has not been finalized, though Dietz said it will likely occur in the Curris Center.

“The idea is to have numerous offices in one area at the beginning of each fall and spring semester so that students do not have to go from one side of campus to the other side of campus to get answers to questions,” Dietz said.  “We hope this idea will offer students some convenience and enable answers to be obtained in one area without the stress of going from building to building.”

Janet Balok, Financial Aid director, said the one stop shop is still in the “very early planning stages” and the depth of information that will be provided to students  there is still undecided.

“We’re still trying to determine if it will be more generalized answers or more in-depth answers that are going to be offered,” Balok said. “We’re all doing some research in our individual departments and we will reconvene in a couple of weeks to try to determine which route we want to take.”

Clint Combs, president of the Student Government Association, said the idea was presented to SGA on Sept. 28 as an idea that came from the president’s office.

“The concept is based around creating an easy-to-find location and staff it with members of some of the most trafficked offices on campus for the first couple weeks of classes,” Combs said. “Since scholarships is located in the Curris Center and financial aid is in Sparks, it can often be a confusing hike for some students, as they try to get all of the start of semester kinks worked out.”

Combs said he believes it is important to note that the shop will be limited in scope of what they can offer because they won’t be relocating the entire office. However, he said they will be able to provide many of the basic services and refer others to their main office for more in-depth issues.

Combs said everyone who spoke up at the SGA meeting spoke in favor of the idea.

“I think this is a great idea,” Combs said. “It is a great development to ensuring we are the best student-centered university in the nation.”