When the Dallas County Community College District and its seven schools moved to consolidate and become Dallas College, the change had an unintended consequence.
Dallas College student Jenny Torres said she’s waited weeks for her federal student loan refund.
“First it pays for classes. Whatever is leftover, they issue a refund. The refund can be used to buy supplies, books, access codes for math classes and science,” said Torres.
The aspiring nurse and mom of two said she tried to call Dallas College about her federal student loan refund. Since the campuses are closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, Torres said she struggled to reach someone who could give her answers.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Torres. “It’s a lot of holding.”
This week, she received a reply saying disbursement of federal funds is delayed because Dallas County’s recent consolidation required approval from the U.S. Department of Education.
“We got stuck in the middle and nobody told us,” said Torres.
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Earlier this year, Dallas County Community College District announced a move to consolidate from seven separate colleges to one institution. It said the new accreditation would make it easier for students to graduate because accreditation rules required students to earn at least 25% of their credits toward a degree at one institution. Under the Dallas College umbrella, students could accumulate credits at different campuses.
In a statement emailed to NBC 5, Dallas College wrote:
“Unfortunately, the transition to Dallas College brought about some unforeseen challenges in getting financial aid refunds issued to students as originally planned. We are taking extraordinary measures beyond our normal processes to address these issues and ensure students receive their funds as soon as possible. We are also working with students individually and pointing them to additional funding sources like our Emergency Aid program. Dallas College cares deeply about all of our students and we are working diligently to make sure they get the aid they have applied for and deserve.”
According to Dallas College, there are 26,017 students receiving Federal Student Aid assistance for the fall semester. Dallas College said the delay in disbursement only impacts students who receive financial aid refunds and some have received them.
NBC 5 reached out to the U.S. Department of Education multiple times since Tuesday. A press officer confirmed it received our request, but the agency has not yet responded to our questions by Thursday.
Torres said Dallas College applied the aid to her tuition.
Wednesday, Torres learned Dallas College is working to process her aid and it should hit her account by Friday.
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