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Financial aid Fast Pass speeds process

By David Floyd
On March 19, 2014

Since January 2013, students have been able to speed up the duration of their visits to the ETSU Office of Financial Aid with a policy called the Fast Pass System.
"The program is very effective because students can make appointments at their own convenience," said Lisa Bell, an assistant director in the Office of Financial Aid.
"They don't have to wait in line, and as a result, visits are easier on a lot of students."
Normally, students would have two options: call and make an appointment or wait in line for five, 10 or 15 minutes during busy months to see an adviser.
Now, students can make an appointment online at a time specifically convenient for them.
Students with Fast Pass appointments can avoid the line by checking in at a separate desk set up outside the office.
Online appointments are available during the busy months of the semester, between June 1 and Sept. 30 in the fall, and January during the spring.
Students can call the office anytime during the year to schedule an appointment; however, online requests are only available for specified months.
"Honestly, students have always been able to make appointments to see financial aid counselors, but over the past few years students have a shown a tendency against that," Bell said.
"They just wanted to come see a counselor when they wanted to see a counselor."
In an attempt to benefit a greater number of students, the office has been attempting to generate wider knowledge.
"We mention the Fast Pass to parents during orientation," Bell said.
"We also send out monthly emails about general information. Sometimes we include information about the Fast Pass, but we start doing that routinely in June."     
Currently, the office has three counselors available to see students who make Fast Pass appointments.
Counselors are assigned depending on the student's requested time slot.
"Students need simply to visit Fast Pass webpage, make the appointment, and then they will be assigned to a counselor who's available for their requested time," Bell said.
More information is available on the Office of Financial Aid webpage.
The Fast Pass link is located in the top right corner of the page.

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