By Szymon Galazka
Earlier today I sat down to talk with Ms. Rose Spielman, the Financial Aid Coordinator at the Annapolis campus. While the plan was to get her perspective on life at the College, as well as our financial aid, I was very fortunate to learn much more.
It does feel like Ms. Spielman has been everywhere before coming to St. John’s College. A year in South Korea right after college graduation, six years in different places in Germany, not to mention multiple states here – how could I not be jealous?! And there is more. Before coming to St. John’s College, Ms. Spielman worked for the University of Oklahoma for 2.5 years while studying towards her Master’s degree. After that, when looking for new challenges and opportunities, she moved to Maryland in 2015 and eventually found her way to the College in 2017 – the same year I myself stepped on that magical campus for the first time.
Ms. Spielman, because of her exposure to the staff, as well as both current and prospective students, is quite familiar with our lives at St. John’s. One of the things she enjoys seeing the most is the transition in confidence among the students since their arrival on campus. Indeed, St. John’s is a remarkably different community, so as students become habituated, they grow in confidence, which allows them to get even more from this one-of-a-kind experience.
As I wrote above, I was fortunate enough to learn much more about Ms. Spielman through the interview. She revealed that about three years ago, she began writing fiction (and then pointed out right away that her colleague next door at Financial Aid, Ms. Patience Wilson, writes, too!) Very curious to find out what exactly, she told me that she writes fiction whenever she finds the time. This, however, can be difficult because of the plethora of other obligations she has, whether its related to the household or the admissions season at St. John’s.
Finally, Ms. Spielman had some tips for both current and prospective students regarding financial aid. October 1st is when students can begin submitting their FAFSA and CSS Profiles. The rule is: the earlier, the better! The reason why is because for domestic students, the school can only accommodate a limited amount of federal grants and work study, so students who apply earlier are in a better position to receive them. As for international students, a similar rule applies to “the work study”, which is a job at one of the campus offices and an important component of financial aid for many students. Since work study positions are limited, students are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible. If you have any questions concerning financial aid, feel free to first go through your admissions counselor here at St. John’s. But if you have any questions that pertain to the work study or federal grants specifically, Rose said that she is more than happy to answer your questions (her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org). She is always delighted to talk with students!