Last updated: August 06. 2014 1:19PM - 156 Views

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PENDLETON — With fall semester just six weeks away, the phones in Tri-County Technical College’s Financial Aid office are ringing off the hook with returning, prospective and current students, along with parents and the general public, calling with questions about FAFSA deadlines, scholarship requirements, and debt management.

Instead of waiting on hold or e-mailing questions, you can get instant answers via social media through a new Tri-County Twitter Account called @AuntFAE (Financial Aid Expert).

Financial Aid Coordinator Catherine DuRant and Ross Hughes, quality assurance/work study coordinator, and Jessica Hollifield, part-time administrative specialist, are giving instant feedback through @AuntFAE, an expert in financial aid and literacy, who advocates making smart choices as a student “so your post-graduation paycheck belongs to you, not Uncle Sam.”

In addition to a high volume of daily phone calls about every aspect of financial aid, the Financial Aid staff has 30 to 35 e-mails waiting for answers when they come to work every morning. Over the weekend, that number is higher.

By tweeting @AuntFAE, you can have immediate answers during the week and over the weekend through Twitter. Twitter questions usually have an answer within 10 minutes.

“We are promoting spending wisely and making the most of your resources,” said DuRant. “We’ve been getting lots of promotion this summer through the Bridge to Clemson office. Parents are following us on Twitter and are receiving consumer information about deadlines, loans, and appeals. Our big focus is on loan repayment and default management.”

All Tri-County students have free access to Inceptia, a non-profit organization providing premier expertise in higher education access, student loan repayment, analytics, default prevention and financial education.

“We encourage all students and the community to reference @AuntFAE by using our hashtags — #BudgetWisely and #BuckSave. We would love to see your money saving tips and financial success stories,” said DuRant.

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