Fall 2014 Financial Aid Disbursements

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The moment you’ve been anticipating is finally here! Today, Tuesday August 19th, our office will be disbursing pending financial aid for full-time undergraduate students (12+ credits) and all Stafford loans for graduate students enrolled in 6+ credits.

After we disburse your financial aid, Student Business Services will apply it to your bill. If you are a full-time undergraduate student or a graduate student enrolled in 6 or more credits, your billing account should be update by the end of business today, 4:30pm.

Don’t see your financial aid applied by the end of the day???

Make sure:

  • You have a completed FAFSA on file with UMBC
  • All requested documents have been received and reviewed
  • You are registered for 12+ credits (waitlisted and audited classes do not count toward financial aid)
  • You’ve completed your Stafford Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling if you intend to borrow Stafford loans
  • You’ve completed your Perkins Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling if you intend to accept an offered Perkins loan
  • Please contact your assigned financial aid counselor if you have any concerns regarding your financial aid disbursement by visiting our website http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/contact.html

 

Fall 2014 financial aid disbursements will begin after the add/drop period ends for undergraduate students who are enrolled in less than 12 credits. Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be eligible for a student loan.

 

Expecting a refund?

Students who have financial aid in excess of their bill should receive a refund. Student Business Services typically posts refunds approximately 2 days after financial aid has been applied. If you are expecting a refund you should monitor your account inquiry to ensure that it gets posted by the end of this week. You can use the following timeline to estimate when you will actually receive your refund; the time line is based on the date your refund gets posted to your billing account:

  • E-refund card: 5-7 business days
  • Direct deposit to a personal account: 7-10 business days
  • Check refund by mail: 10-15 business days
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Book Loans

Hey Guys! It’s that time of year again… Book Loan time. 

 

For the 2104-15 aid year, book loans will be quite different. We have converted the process to an online process. Students will actually complete the e-form to be considered for a book loan. The site where the e-form is located is- http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/book_loans.htm

We start processing book loans on August 11, 2014 and continue through September 11, 2014. We will process these requests between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm. When your request has been processed you will receive an email in your myUMBC email letting you know if you have been approved and what the amount it or if you have been denied.

It will take the book store 3 hours to process the information we send them, so make sure that once you receive the email you will have to wait an additional 3 hours before going to the book store to pick up your books.

Please note that we will start disbursing Fall aid on August 19 and that any charges you accrue at the book store will not be posted to your account before the aid disburses. Please keep an eye on your account and use your refund to pay for the book charges once they are posted to your account.

If you have any questions make sure to contact your Financial Aid Counselor.

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Get To Know Your Counselor!

TC

Taylor Chapman

Position:

Financial Aid Counselor

Where are you from?

Columbia, MD

What drew you to want to work at UMBC?

I worked at UMBC as a student and appreciated UMBC’s commitment to innovation and student services. I decided to return to UMBC as a full-time employee so I could contribute to those efforts.

 How did you get into Higher Education?

I worked at UMBC as a student in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation as well as the Office of the President. I enjoyed helping students reach their academic goals and ultimately decided to pursue a career in Higher Education.

What is a fun/interesting fact about you?

I am double jointed in my elbows.

What hobbies/activities do you enjoy?

Some of my hobbies include: running, reading, and cooking Italian food.

Musical tastes?

I enjoy Rap and R&B, particularly from the late 90s to early 2000s.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is A Few Good Men but The Dark Knight is a close second.

What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is Spaghetti.

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Is an Alternative Loan the Next Step?

So you’ve received your Financial Aid award package, but you still have additional costs. Deciding whether to apply and take an Alternative Loan is a huge decision. But if that is your only choice, there are some things you should know before applying.

1. Do research- find out who offers alternative loans. Check out reviews from other who have taken loans with these lenders. Talk to your Financial Aid Counselor to see if they have any advice.

2. Ask Questions- What is the average interest rate students get? Does the lender offer Forbearance options? Forbearance is when the lender allows the borrower a certain time period where, when the student is required to make payments, doesn’t make those payments. This is usually granted if the student has a financial hardship. What are the lenders Deferment options? Will I be required to make payments on the loan while I am in school full-time? How long does the application process take?

3. You will need a credit worthy cosigner- 99% of Alternative loans will required someone to co-sign the loan with you since most students don’t have credit or have very little credit built. This person doesn’t need to be a parent. It can be anyone that understands what co-signing a loan means; if you default on repayment, they will be responsible to make the payment and it could affect their credit.

4. Is additional information needed in the application process- some lenders require additional documents from both the student and the co-signer. You’ll want to know up front if that is something you’ll need to provide them with.

5. Choose the best lender for you- each lender offers different things, so make sure you are choosing the right lender for you.

Once you have applied and been approved for the loan, the lender will send the university information so that they can certify and post to your student account. The over all process take 4-6 weeks. Once the loan has been posted to your account, allow up to two weeks for those funds to reach the university.

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How FERPA Can Affect College Students And Their Parents

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This federal law was designed to protect the privacy of educational records and to establish rights of students to inspect and review their educational records.

ferpa

Essentially, this means student academic information including: grades or academic standing (GPA, transcript/warning), registration and classes or financial aid status will not be provided to anyone other than the student. Once a student turns 18, or attends school beyond secondary school, the rights of access to the student’s records transfer to the student. Parents are not able to access their student’s account without a release on file, therefore, we highly recommend students who would like to grant their parent or guardian access, complete the UMBC Authorization to Disclose Information form on-line.
Although many college parents may not agree entirely with this FERPA regulation, we ask that you remember that it is in place for security, as well as a way to increase the independence and responsibility of the student. Communication is key between parents and students to ensure their college experience is a positive one.

Reference: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/parents.html

http://www.collegeparents.org/members/resources/articles/what-ferpa-means-you-and-your-college-student

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Student Employee Spotlight

Shay

Name: Rashanique (Shay) Reese

Major: Environmental Science

Interesting Fact about yourself: I used to play football.

Are you involved on-campus: Outside of work, No.

What do you like about working at the Financial Aid Office: I like being able to advise people about financing college.

What advice would you offer to students about financial aid/the office: I would advise students to not be afraid to contact our office. To many students go months without contacting our office and that may hinder them. It is better to be informed.

 

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New! Student Aid History on StudentAid.gov

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Interested in reviewing how much you received in federal grants and loans? The Department of Education now offers a new feature on their website called My Student Aid to allow you to do exactly that! When logged into My Student Aid, you will be able to find information on your loans (excluding private loans), your loan servicer, and your federal Pell Grant eligibility. You may also download a summary of that information for your reference. To log into My Student Aid, please visit: www.studentaid.ed.gov and click on the Log In button in the upper right hand corner. As always if you have any questions regarding financial aid, feel free to contact our office.

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