New director of financial aid appointed

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 6:25 PM
New director of financial aid appointed by Hannah Webster

Edinboro University recently appointed Diana Sanders as its new director of financial aid. Originally from Oklahoma, Sanders has 10 years of financial aid experience, with her career starting at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Since starting her career in financial aid, Sanders has worked at six private and public universities where she has gained experience in processing certificates, master’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.

Prior to taking the position, Sanders wanted to be sure that Edinboro would be a place that she would want to work and a place that she could easily fit into.

“I noticed at that point and time you guys [Edinboro University] were looking for a president and I saw a lot of changes happening on the horizon,” said Sanders.

She continued, “I knew it was going to be a fresh experience with lots of new people. I am really super glad to be here. I think it’s a beautiful campus.”

There are many things that Sanders is excited about with her new position. Most importantly, she is looking forward to working with students on becoming more financially literate. She is excited to be teaching students how to borrow and budget effectively. 

“A lot of students don’t realize that if you borrow the maximum amount of loans every year you’re in school [that] when it comes time to repay those, especially if you’re going to grad school, you may potentially not be able to afford those payments,” said Sanders.

Sanders would like to help students become smart borrowers. With that, she suggests students look into income-based repayment plans. She explained that students do not always realize they don’t have to borrow everything that’s out there. 

Students sometimes come into her office looking frazzled after realizing they filed their financial aid wrong. Sanders helps students and walks them through their mistakes so they can understand where they went wrong.

She explained that students do not always realize paying for college is a temporary thing and there are ways to make payments so they can complete and obtain their education.

“You can’t afford to not be here because of how many occupations want degrees. If you don’t have the degree, often times you’re going to get passed over,” she said.

Sanders also stressed her concern of students pursuing all the free money possible and understanding the difference between a grant, work-study and a loan. At Edinboro’s financial aid office, students are encouraged to apply for work-study opportunities before taking out any loans.

“What you’re doing today could impact you three or four years down the road,” said Sanders.

She continued to explain that wherever students go in life, companies will be looking at their debt-to-income ratio.

Since students are only applying for loans the first year they borrow, the process becomes automatic in the years following. Unfortunately, they don’t always realize how much they are actually borrowing.

Sanders suggests students look at the amount they have borrowed and the loan repayment plans because payments are about $10 to every $100 they borrow.

Sanders also mentioned there are about nine different repayment plans that are offered to students. The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a helpful tool for students who need to settle their loans.

“It is important that they look at these things now so they know what repayment looks like for later,” said Sanders. 

Interim Dean of Students and Campus Life Dr. Mary Beth Mercatoris stated, “She [Sanders] has displayed a wonderful work ethic where she prioritizes the needs of her students. She displays empathy and sincerity in working with students.”

She suggests students visit scholarships.net, scholarship.org, or the financial aid office to consider money borrowing options and scholarship opportunities.

Hannah Webster is the social media editor for Edinboro Campus Media.

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