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In the News: Kristin Roach on the Financial Aid Process

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Kristin Roach, director of financial aid at the University of St. Thomas, spoke with the Star Tribune on the steps for seeking financial aid for college.

From the article: In 2016, the government upended the long-held routines of admissions and financial aid officers at colleges around the country by shifting the start of the FAFSA process three months earlier. For students applying to start college in the fall of 2017, they could submit the FAFSA on Oct. 1, 2016, instead of Jan. 1, 2017. It's been that way ever since.

"That's a tremendous thing if families are willing to step into the process at that time," said Kristin Roach, director of financial aid at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. "But it's also tied to admissions."

In response, many colleges and universities moved their early-admissions process to earlier in the fall. That's because they don't examine financial aid requests until deciding whether to admit a student.

At St. Thomas, prospective students are assigned a financial aid counselor as soon as they're accepted. And if they decide to enroll, that counselor will stay with the student until graduation. "Our hope is they provide a financial safety net as the student persists at St. Thomas," Roach said.