Figuring out who to talk to about what is tricky in college. You might get the runaround or never get the answer to your question, which is extremely frustrating. Or you might get multiple answers to the same questions and you might not know which answer is the right one! Today I’m going to share some insider tips on how to communicate with offices to take care of business.
If you’re absolutely not sure of where to start, you can always ask your advisor which office you should speak with. However, if you have a financial aid question, you should not expect your advisor to know the specifics of that department. Always seek to get your answers straight from the source.
I strongly recommend visiting the office in person. If you choose to call, your call could get dropped or you could be on hold forever. Emailing is also an option, but really, in person is best.
Take a few minutes to think about your question. Write it down if you need to. So often I encounter students who have gotten different answers from different people because they asked their question in a slightly different way to each person or answered follow-up questions differently. Getting the answer you need starts with asking the question as clearly as you can and answering any follow-up questions truthfully and completely. If you’re not sure, say so – it’s okay, we’ll help you figure it out!
I highly suggest you have something with you on which to take notes. Here are some things you might want to consider documenting:
- What office did you visit? When?
- With whom did you speak (name/title)?
- Purpose for your visit
- List of questions to ask
- Ask for contact information if case you have follow-up concerns or questions
- Do you know your student ID number or at least have your ID with you?
- Are you following up on paperwork you submitted? When did you submit the paperwork?
- If you are turning in paperwork, make a copy of it before you turn it in, or ask for a copy at the office where you’re turning it in
- How long will it be before the transaction will be posted to your record? How can you check (using the student portal, follow-up phone call, etc.)?