Letter to the editor: State agency aims to ease financial aid woes

I am writing in response to an article regarding processing delays of financial aid for some TCU students, “New system causes financial aid delays,” published Thursday.The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board administers all financial aid programs for the state, including the College Access Loan program. In the last 40 years, we have provided in excess of $1.5 billion in low-interest loans to more than 200,000 Texas students in an effort to increase participation in higher education.

As a non-profit state agency, we are charged with helping students and their parents.

We take this responsibility very seriously. In this vein, we recently completed a multi-million dollar computer system upgrade. This system, currently used by over 25 lenders nationwide, will increase efficiency and improve customer service to include offering online, real-time access to student loan accounts.

As with any new system, we experienced technical challenges that resulted in the delay of some loan applications. In response, we quickly implemented measures to expedite processing, and we are implementing additional enhancements designed to assure similar issues are avoided in the future.

We recognize the frustration and challenges some students at TCU may have experienced related to their financial aid. While we enjoy a successful 40-year track record of providing financial aid to students, we work diligently everyday to sustain and strengthen the trust and confidence of Texas students, parents and taxpayers.

We look forward to providing outstanding customer service to the TCU community and remain committed to increasing access and participation in higher education as we strive to achieve the goal of closing the gaps.

Dominic Chavez is the assistant director for state relations at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin.