Book financial aid has potential(Opinoins)

If you're anything like me, you almost always have a little monetary trouble picking up all those expensive books at the beginning of every semester. This is largely because of the cost of books in the bookstore, but if you're also anything like me that's the fastest, most convenient way to get books. Sometimes ordering books online just isn't fast enough when you need the books now.

Well, fear no longer about having problems getting those books. There's an initiative trying to be pushed through by a few individuals that will bring this dream to fruition. It's been in the works for a little while and all the kinks are trying to be worked out.

However, for something like this to go through, the State Auditor has to approve. Now, for some reason our wonderful State Auditor thinks a plan like this wouldn't be in compliance with FERPA at all. What the State Auditor doesn't seem to be understanding is that the system that this plan uses stores no kind of sensitive student data at all. It only stores a student's PINDM (that 6-digit number at the bottom of your student ID), the student's name, and the monetary amount of the purchase. How any of that is sensitive information boggles my mind when people are freely giving out their Social Security numbers out on a daily basis to near strangers. Isn't that out of compliance with FERPA somehow? I would certainly think so.

Furthermore, the Banner system (information database used by all offices on campus) has already been modified to accommodate this change. It wouldn't be a stretch by any means to enable this for anyone eligible to receive financial aid.

Not surprisingly, the only way to get these changes is for our State Auditor to approve it in one of two ways. First, being to contact Bruce Walker, Concord's legal council and him write a letter of approval of the idea to the State Auditor. Lastly, the only option after that would be to contact a Federal Higher Education attorney to give his/her opinion on the idea to the State Auditor. But for either of these to even be done they'd have to go through the University President (Dr. Beasley) or through the Board of Governors. Knowing bureaucracy and the speed at which it (doesn't) move we could possibly be seeing this by the time all of us graduate.

This kind of financial aid would be good for the entire campus and enrich student life significantly at the beginning of the semester. So, I urge all you readers who would like to see this happen to write letters, e-mails or make appoints to Dr. Beasley and let him know you want to see this happen.

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