University’s decision to dissolve OSA leaves students concerned


Samantha Unger, Editor-in-Chief

As rumors of a potential “disbandment” of the Office of Student Assistance circulated, hundreds of students found themselves at risk of being deregistered from their courses overnight. With an added increase in wait and response times, members of the University community were left concerned with how these changes would affect their accounts.

Students quickly took to social media to express their grievances with OSA and to share their experiences with getting deregistered.

“The University told me my loan would take 10-15 days to process. I called 21 days after the 10-15 day period and they said my application hasn’t even been sent to the Department of Education yet. I have five days to pay it or I’m deregistered. They already took my FASFA money and they are about to kick me out over $7,000,” said a University student who wishes to remain anonymous.

Another University student said, “I have tried to get into contact with OSA since Sept. 7 and still have yet to speak to someone to sort out my registration for a semester that’s now almost halfway over. Not to mention, they hung up on me three minutes ago.”

In a letter sent to The Pace Press, Vice President for Enrollment & Placement Robina Schepp and the Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs and Research Joan Walker addressed the reorganization of OSA and clarified how students should request assistance moving forward.

“The success of our students is always our highest priority. We have identified ways to restructure our student support services to make them more efficient, easier to locate and to better drive student success,” Schepp and Walker said.

“These are administrative changes; all student supports and resources remain intact, although we recognize that students have had challenges connecting with Student Accounts and have been frustrated with the response time,” they continued. “The team at Student Accounts has been working overtime and we’ve engaged our Advising staff to better keep up with the demand. We continue to look for ways to serve our students better.”

An anonymous University senior said, “I have been on hold with OSA for over two hours before with 20 people in front of me. Having worked for the University in a different department where employees answer phones to help students and their families, it is a bit unsettling there hasn’t been a revamp of sorts to fix the lack of communication.”

Schepp and Walker briefly explained how and why services housed under OSA are going to be reorganized. While Student Accounts (including Billing), Financial Aid and Veterans Services remain part of Enrollment Management, the University decided to restructure other parts of the department in order to better align the daily work of each office.

An anonymous University student said, “I was told that OSA had contacted me ‘multiple times,’ which is not true in the slightest, all because someone in Financial Aid messed up a loan LAST semester.”

“I got an email that says my Financial Aid awards have been changed because I am not residing in a ‘residence hall as expected’ despite being a residential student currently living in the dorms. Nothing even changed in my portal or my awards,” added another University student.

Non-financial functions that were formerly housed in OSA now report to the Provost’s Office.

“The Office of the Registrar is responsible for course scheduling, degree audit, diplomas and transcripts, transfer credit evaluation and grades, so it made sense to move it formally into the Provost’s office. If students need assistance with any of these areas, they can email [email protected],” said Schepp and Walker.

Detailed information about this reorganization was shared during the University’s “Student Conversation” event on Sept. 22, which is available to watch at

During the conversation, Associate Provost for Student Success Hillary Knepper commented on the restructuring. “OSA has basically been dissolved and we are realigning our services and structures… it makes it a lot easier to solve problems,” Knepper said.

“The services of the former Office of Student Assistance office continue, but the umbrella organization formerly known as ‘OSA’ does not,” said Schepp and Walker.

On Sept. 28, the Student Government Association on the New York City campus posted a statement on Instagram directed towards “any student personally affected by the mass de-registration.”

“SGA was informed of different reasons as to why students may be facing challenges communicating with OSA. This does not justify the situation and we are working our hardest to ensure that students get back into their classes, as well as ensure that our International Students facing this problem do not lose the status of their F-1 Visas,” it read.

In a meeting held on Sept. 30, SGA presented several action items to OSA administrators, including extending the deadline for students to clear their accounts, restructuring the process of reviewing student accounts post tuition deadlines, adopting a new system that does not disproportionately affect students with scholarships or financial disparity and upgrading communication systems within the office. Updates to the meeting will be provided soon @sganycpace.

To get information about your bill as Student Accounts makes their transition, Schepp and Walker recommend opening a HelpDesk ticket at

Emailing inquiries to Financial Aid ([email protected]) or Student Accounts ([email protected]) automatically generates a trackable HelpDesk ticket, but is less efficient than going directly to the HelpDesk and responses may take longer than three days.

Students can also sign up for a virtual or in-person appointment at or call  (877) 672-1830 to speak to a representative (choose option 1 for Financial Aid or option 3 for the Student Accounts).