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August 2011 Newsletter

by Adamchik,William Joseph last modified Aug 16, 2011 04:23 PM

This is the 20th edition of the Financial Aid Newsletter. This publication is primarily for undergraduate and graduate students. It will help keep you informed of upcoming deadlines and financial aid news throughout the year.

Read this newsletter to be informed on fall 2011 financial aid requirements, processing, procedures, and more!

Click here for the PDF version of this newsletter.

In this edition:

New SAP Policy
Fall 2011 Aid Disbursement, Higher One, and Residual Funds
Fall 2011 Financial Aid Advance
Financial Aid & Bursar Account Balances In A Prior Aid Year
Fall 2011 Part-Time Aid Adjustment
Additional Financial Resources
2011-2012 Federal Direct Stafford Loan Information
Parent PLUS Borrowers (for undergraduates students)
Graduate/Professional PLUS Borrowers (for graduate students)
Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)
Federal Grants Update
Reporting Outside Aid
Scholarship Checks
The UofL ULink Website
Financial Festival
Questions About Your Financial Aid
Service Learning America Reads Job Opportunity
Upcoming Important Dates

Additional important financial aid dates are available on our homepage at www.louisville.edu/financialaid.


New SAP Policy

New regulations from the U.S. Department of Education have prompted changes in the University of Louisville's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.  The following guidelines should be followed by all students:

  • Students must complete their program within 150% of the published program length.
  • Student must earn 67% of their attempted hours.
  • Undergraduate students must meet their published program minimum Grade Point Average.

Please visit our website for a more detailed explanation of the revised SAP Policy: http://louisville.edu/financialaid/satisfactory-academic-progress/new-sap-policy.html


Fall 2011 Aid Disbursement, Higher One, and Residual Funds

Aid Disbursement

Once the Student Financial Aid Office completes a review of your eligibility, we will electronically disburse all available financial aid funds to the Bursar's Office. The Bursar's Office will then post that aid to your account. Disbursed financial aid that exceeds your balance owed to the university is considered residual funds. Please note that some financial aid programs (such as the Kentucky KEES and TEACH Grant) have later disbursement dates.  Our office will begin disbursing fall aid to the Bursar's Office for undergraduate students on August 17.  After the registration period is over, disbursements of available financial aid to the Bursar's Office are scheduled to occur at least twice a week.

Higher One

The University of Louisville contracts with Higher One (an outside company that specializes in student refund payment services) to deliver all residual funds to students. With Higher One you can request either direct deposit of your residual funds to a free Higher One checking account with a debit card or direct deposit to your personal bank account.  Because of several Higher One ATMs located on campus, students whose personal bank accounts are with a bank without Louisville area branches should consider a direct deposit to a free Higher One checking account. To learn more about the UofL OneCard and the selection process, visit the Bursar's Office website or Higher One.

New Students

Shortly following your fall 2011 registration process, you should receive your UofL OneCard in the mail. You can view the status of this mailing online at: https://uoflonecard.higheroneaccount.com/cardoffice/card/search/InitSearch.do. If you misplaced this mailing or you previously received the mailing and discarded it, you may call the Bursar’s Office at 502-852-6505. Confirm your address information is correct in ULink before requesting this mailing. The Higher One card sent in this mailing is required for you to select how you want to receive future refunds from UofL. To learn more about the UofL OneCard and the selection process, visit the Bursar's Office website or Higher One.

Residual Funds

Our first fall 2011 disbursement of available undergraduate and graduate financial aid funds to the Bursar's Office is scheduled for August 17th.  The first disbursement for Law students is scheduled for August 8th.  Dental and Medical students should check with their respective departments for information regarding fall 2011 disbursement. The Bursar's Office applies disbursed financial aid funds to fall accounts (bills). Please note there are thousands of account transactions, and it will take time to post all the transactions to students' accounts. The first electronic file of residual funds from the August 17th disbursement is scheduled to be sent to Higher One by August 18th. During the period from 8/22 through 9/2, the Bursar's Office will send residual funds to Higher One every day. After the registration period is over, residual funds are scheduled to be sent by the Bursar's Office to Higher One at least twice a week.

Please note disbursement of financial aid funds, application of those funds to student accounts, and transmission of residual funds to Higher One may occur several times for students as funds become available prior to and during the semester. Students can monitor their account on ULink (listed under Tuition, Fees, Payment Options on the Student Services tab) for disbursed funds and indication that residual funds have been transmitted to Higher One.

The earliest date residual funds would be received by undergraduate and graduate students who have set their refund preference to a Higher One checking account is August 19th. The earliest date residual funds would be received by students who have set their refund preference to be an ACH transfer to a personal bank account is August 23rd. Students will receive an email notification from Higher One once their residual funds have been received and processed according to their selected delivery preference. Generally, funds are available the day after disbursement for students that selected a Higher One checking account. Residual funds are generally available in 2 - 3 business days after disbursement for students who selected to receive their residual funds via their personal bank account (ACH transfer).


Fall 2011 Financial Aid Advance

The Financial Aid Advance will be offered again this fall 2011 via ULink in coordination with the Bursar’s Office. To qualify, you must have anticipated aid (aid that has not disbursed) that exceeds your bill. Students who have been sent residual funds of $500 dollars or more may not receive an advance. The maximum advance amount is $450, and there is a $5 processing fee. Undergraduates and graduates may begin applying and printing the advance request form from ULink on August 19th.

Please note the Bursar's Office has the final approval on each advance, and the print-out is valid until 5:00 PM the next business day.

Law students, who begin classes on August 15th, may receive a Financial Aid Advance beginning on August 12th.


Financial Aid & Bursar Account Balances In A Prior Aid Year

Due to federal regulations, past aid balances owed to the university cannot be paid with current aid year federal or state financial aid funds. For example, fall 2011 federal and state financial aid cannot be used to pay an existing summer 2011 or spring 2011 bill. Please review your account (listed under Tuition, Fees, Payment Options on the Student Services tab) on ULink to be sure your balance is $0 before the end of each term.

If you have an unpaid account balance, you may pay your account balance by credit card or e-check via ULink > Student Services tab > Tuition-Fees-Payment Options > Make a Payment. You can also pay your account balance by mailing a check to the Bursar's Office. Please make sure your student ID number is on the front of the check. Please mail to: Bursar's Office, University of Louisville, Louisville KY 40292.


Fall 2011 Part-Time Aid Adjustment

If you have finalized your fall 2011 enrollment and you are attending less than full-time, you may submit a fall 2011 Part-Time Aid Adjustment Form. Half-time is 6 credit hours for undergraduate students and 4.5 hours for graduate students (during the fall and spring semesters). By submitting this form, you are requesting we proceed with making any necessary adjustments to your financial aid according to your current enrollment. If you only have loans and are attending at least half-time, do not submit this form. The fall 2011 Part-Time Aid Adjustment Form is available online at: http://louisville.edu/financialaid/our-services/part-time-aid-adjustment.

If you attend less than full-time and do not submit this form, the adjustment and disbursement of your aid (based on your enrollment) will not be processed until early September. The Federal Pell Grant cannot be adjusted for classes added after the fall 2011 census date of August 26th. If you drop classes during the 100% tuition refund period, your aid will be adjusted, and you may owe funds back to the university. If you withdraw from all your classes, your state and federal aid may be reduced or canceled, and you may owe  funds back to the university.  Waitlisted classes and classes taken for Audit do not count in your total enrolled hours for financial aid purposes.  Please do not complete the Part-Time Aid Adjustment Form if you are waitlisted for a class or plan to make adjustments to your schedule.

We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy and the Return of Title IV Funds Policy to maintain your federal and state aid eligibility.

Our current office timeline to complete paperwork is up to 14 business days. Please note by completing this part-time adjustment form and the loan requirements for your first loan will help ensure your aid disburses in a timely manner.


Additional Financial Resources

If you need additional information on financial aid resources and have not already consulted our office, please e-mail us (finaid@louisville.edu) or call 502-852-5511. Some additional sources are listed below:

Bursar’s Office Payment Plans
Federal Parent PLUS
Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan
Alternative Loan
Outside Scholarships


2011-2012 Federal Direct Stafford Loan Information

2011-2012 Direct Stafford Loan Benefits and Fees

Subsidized Stafford Loans that disburse on or after July 1, 2011 for undergraduate students will be set at a fixed interest rate of 3.4%.  For graduate and professional degree students, the interest rate will be fixed at 6.8%.  For all borrowers of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans that disburse on or after July 1, 2011 the interest rate is fixed at 6.8%.

For the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, interest begins to accrue on the date of disbursement. For both Stafford loans, a 1.0% origination fee is charged at disbursement. The government pays 0.5% of the origination fee at disbursement, commonly called the loan rebate benefit.  This benefit is retained by the borrower if the first 12 monthly payments are made on time. This ultimately results in only 0.5% in fees being deducted from the loan proceeds at the time of disbursement. Please note if you fail to make 12 on-time monthly payments, the up-front rebate is added to the borrower's principal loan balance.

First-Time Stafford Loan Borrower at UofL

For student loans to disburse in a timely manner, it is critical students complete all required steps. For loans, this includes loan acceptance, master promissory notes, and entrance interviews. More information on student loans, including processing steps, is available online. Below we will focus on the Stafford Loan.

If you are a first-time Stafford Loan borrower at UofL, you must accept your loan offer on ULink, complete an entrance interview, and have an active Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education.

The entrance interview is available online at https://studentloans.gov.

Students must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for their loan.  You may complete your MPN online at https://studentloans.gov. If you previously borrowed a Direct Loan and your MPN has not expired, you will not need a new MPN. Before going to the MPN websiten be sure to have:

1. Your social security number.
2. Your driver’s license number.
3. Your permanent address and telephone number.
4. Information for two references, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers.


Parent PLUS Borrowers (for undergraduates only)

If your parent is borrowing a Parent PLUS at UofL, the parent borrower must complete a Parent PLUS Request Form, located on the Student Financial Aid Website.  They must also complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education.

If your parent is a first time Direct PLUS Borrower, they must complete a Master Promissory Note at https://studentloans.gov. Your parent may electronically sign the MPN using their Department of Education PIN. This is the same PIN they may have used to sign your FAFSA electronically. If misplaced, your parent may request a duplicate PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.

More information on the Parent PLUS is available on the Student Financial Aid Website.

As part of the application process, a credit check must be completed. If a parent does not pass the credit check, they will receive an endorser packet in the mail from the Department of Education.  They may still be able to receive a PLUS loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse their loan.


Graduate/Professional PLUS Borrowers

If you are a first-time Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS borrower at UofL, you must complete an entrance interview for this loan program and have an active Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education.

To complete the entrance interview for the Graduate/Professional PLUS, visit https://studentloans.gov and click on "Go" in the Entrance Counseling box. Then select "Combination - Stafford & PLUS Loans" as the type of counseling to complete.

To complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN), visit https://studentloans.gov.  More information on the Graduate/Professional PLUS is available online.

As part of the application process, a credit check must be completed. If you do not pass the credit check, you may receive an endorser form. You still might be able to receive a Graduate PLUS loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse your loan.


Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)

At this time, estimated KEES awards have been placed on all student accounts that are eligible to receive this award, with the exception of home-schooled students and GED recipients. Home-schooled students and GED recipients need to contact our office to have their eligibility reviewed. There is no application required to have a KEES award applied to your account. However, if you do not see an award on your account and you believe you are eligible, please contact our office at 502-852-5511 so we may research your inquiry.

Fall KEES funds will be received from KHEAA in late-September and will be applied to student accounts as quickly as possible. If you are registered less than full-time, your KEES award will be adjusted accordingly.  You do not need to accept your KEES award.  The funds are automatically accepted on your behalf by the Student Financial Aid Office at the time of disbursement.  For more information, such as how your award is calculated or what are the requirements to maintain this award, please review KHEAA's KEES webpage.


Federal Grants Update

ACG/SMART
The Department of Education will NO LONGER fund the ACG and SMART Grant programs.  Students who received ACG/SMART in the past will NOT be awarded these funds.  It is very important for students to realize this aid resource is not an option for the 2011-2012 academic year.

PELL
Due to legislative changes at the federal level, students will no longer be eligible to receive a 2nd Pell Grant during the course of one academic year.  Once students use 100% of their eligibility for the academic year, no additional grant funds will be awarded.  This will impact students who attend the university during summer and have received their full Pell award during the fall and spring semesters.

This may also impact students who received a 2011-2012 Pell Grant at another institution for summer 2011.

If you have any questions about either of these two updates, please feel free to contact our office at 502-852-5511 or finaid@louisville.edu.


Reporting Outside Aid

If you are expecting to receive financial aid that is not currently listed on your ULink account, please report estimates of this aid online (http://louisville.edu/financialaid/our-services/report-other-aid-resources).


Scholarship Checks

If you have received a scholarship check, please send it to our office with your name, student ID, name of the award source and copies of any letters from the organization. If a check is made payable to you or both you and the university, be sure to sign the back of the check before submitting it to our office. Additional information for organizations on how to coordinate with our office regarding scholarship checks is available online.


The UofL ULink Website

You can view your current bill and financial aid on your ULink account. You will also see your financial aid disbursements and residual funds once your financial aid is disbursed.

1. Log onto ULink at www.ulink.louisville.edu.
2. Enter your User ID and password.  If you are a first-time user, please visit http://louisville.edu/admissions/activate to get started.  Keep your user id and password in a safe place.
3. Click on the "Student Services" tab.

From here, you can view your fall 2011 bill by selecting Account under the menu category Tuition, Fees, Payment Options.

OR

You can Accept/Decline Financial Aid under the menu category Financial Aid.
Select the 2012 Aid Year. Enter the appropriate action to accept, reduce, or decline your financial aid. Most grants and scholarships do not require action on your part.
Several Financial Aid ULink Tutorials are available online.


Financial Festival

Financial Festival
Thursday, September 8, 2011
11:30 - 1:30
Red Barn - FREE FOOD from Moe's Southwest Grill!

Representatives will be on hand to talk with you about contracts, scholarships, financial aid, health insurance, banking, savings, and much more!


Questions About Your Financial Aid

If you have questions about your financial aid or need additional financial assistance, please e-mail us or contact our Call Center at 502-852-5511. Our Call Center is operated by the Financial Aid Counseling Team. Walk-in counseling is also available and no appointment is required.

Regular Call Center and Office Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00 to 5:00

Special Fall Registration Hours August 15 – August 26
Office: Monday - Friday 8:00 to 5:30
Call Center: Monday - Friday 8:00 to 5:00

During these two weeks we receive an extremely high number of calls. Please be patient as you may be on hold for a few minutes.

Fall 2011 Office Hours Beginning August 30
Beginning August 30 (and continuing while fall and spring classes are in session), we will offer extended office hours until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Service Learning America Reads Job Opportunity

If you have been awarded Federal Work-Study, consider a job that positively impacts the Louisville Community:  The America Reads Tutor Program

America Reads Tutors work off-campus in either a Jefferson County Public School or a local non-profit after-school program.  These positions pay $8.00 to start, with possible raises up to $8.50.  Students in this program earn their money faster, working less hours, giving them more time to devote to their own studies.

Those who work at schools may tutor reading, math, computer literacy, or English as a Second Language.  They may also assist teachers in the classroom and help with special literacy events.

Those who work in after-school programs assist with homework help, English as a Second Language tutoring, or help plan and facilitate creative or recreational activities.

Students are required to attend all training sessions and on-going meetings once per month.  Students will be paid for this time.  In addition, they must attend orientation and any special training their site might require (this time will also be compensated).  You don't have to have experience tutoring--you will receive on-going training.

This is a great opportunity and a rewarding experience for students thinking about majoring in education or preparing for an occupation working with children or youth helping them to be successful learners.

To apply for this program or if you have questions contact Kim Shaver, kkjohn01@louisville.edu, and visit the America Reads website at:  http://louisville.edu/leadership/leadership-service-programs/america-reads/america_reads


Upcoming Important Dates – Fall 2011

August 8th
First scheduled disbursement for Law

August 11th
Last day of summer Federal Work Study

August 12th
First day of fall Federal Work Study

August 15th - August 26th
Extended hours for walk-in counseling (8:00 – 5:30)

August 17th
First scheduled disbursement of financial aid funds to students customer accounts for undergraduates and graduates for fall 2011

August 18th
First scheduled electronic file of undergraduate and graduate student residual funds to be sent to Higher One by the Bursar's Office

August 22nd
Classes begin

August 26th
Last Day to add/drop with 100% tuition credit

August 26th
Continuing Registration students with anticipated aid for the semester may defer their due date to the end of the first week of classes

August 30th
Start extended walk-in office hours (open until 5:30) on Tuesday & Wednesday’s

September 5th
Labor Day (Office Closed)

September 8th
Financial Festival (11:30 – 1:30) @ the Red Barn

September 12th
Last day to withdraw with 50% tuition credit

September 14th
Last day to apply for a degree

September 19th
Last Day to withdraw with 25% tuition credit

Late September
Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) disbursement

October 10-11th
Mid-Term Break (Office Open)

October 13th
Last day to withdraw

November 4th
Deadline to file a SAP appeal for the fall 2011 semester

November 23rd-27th
Thanksgiving Break

December 5th
Last day of classes

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