Mapping Your Future survey reveals financial aid professionals under stress due to the pandemic
June 23, 2020
Contact: Beth Ziehmer
Mapping Your Future
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lake Dallas, TX (June 23, 2020) - Financial aid professionals are concerned about their office's ability to process aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a Mapping Your Future survey.
The survey, sent out by Mapping Your Future in early June, received 282 responses and was conducted to determine the impact of the pandemic on financial aid professionals. The survey revealed that more than 75 percent of the respondents were either somewhat, very, or extremely concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on processing financial aid. In addition, 84 percent of the respondents said they were concerned about the impact of the coronavirus on them personally.
Although the responses were split when asked whether it was easy or difficult to work during the pandemic, more than 70 percent said their workload had increased during the pandemic. Among the top challenges faced by financial aid professionals during the pandemic were communication with colleagues, their physical workspace, social isolation, internet connectivity, and work schedules.
"Financial aid professionals were already stretched before the pandemic - having to understand complex information on a variety of legal, financial, and regulatory topics and often doing so while short staffed," said Catherine Mueller, executive director of Mapping Your Future. "With the pandemic, there are new pressures put on financial aid professionals to manage the distribution of emergency aid, respond to regulatory changes, and assist students and families who may need more financial aid due to the pandemic - all of this while dealing with the challenges of working from home."
Among the resources that financial aid professionals have relied on during the pandemic include the professional trade associations for information and training, as well as new technologies to send information and documents securely. When asked what solutions are needed as they work during the pandemic, many of the responses included new technology, additional staff, and training for the new work environment under COVID-19.
While more than a third of respondents aren't sure when they will return to the office, about 30 percent have returned to the office either part-time or full-time. Their biggest concerns for the future include the COVID-19 impact on higher education in general and specifically on student enrollment at their institution.
Mapping Your Future will conduct another survey in late August or early September to again analyze the issues facing financial aid professionals and to compare the results to this survey.