Taking Care of Business
Hello. Everyone. How's. It going out there. Well, thanks for coming out today thanks, for starting the first session with the fun part how to pay for everything. Well. We, have representatives. Today from financial aid like myself our. Business. Office about student accounts and also campus stores I'll let them introduce themselves. As. They come up but, I think we're gonna give just kind of a quick overview, of. Some, information. That would be good for you to know and. Then want to make sure that we've plenty of time for your own questions, as well. So, I'll just jump into some of the financial aid information some. Of this information might be review, for a lot of you specifically. Like our first slide here about proxy, access we actually sent something out very recently about setting up proxy, basically. What proxy is is it allows different. Offices, on campus including. The financial aid office to, be able to answer questions from. You parents when, you call up after the school years begun so. Your students are legally, adults, once they start. College. Here so their information is their own so, we can't share it with anyone unless they specifically, give us authorization. To do so so. If you're gonna have questions throughout the year which likely, you will it's, a very good idea to have them set you up with proxy. Access so. You can go to that website right there st. Thomas that edu slash proxy, and, it'll give you information on how to do so also, your students, as part of orientation before, they got here we're. Required to watch some videos a lot, of that is. What. We're gonna touch. On briefly here today but there is a video that they can show you about how to set up proxy, so I'm guessing probably the number of you have done so already but it's definitely a good good, thing to do before the school year starts just. So you don't have to deal with any problems, in, the future trying to talk with us, bill, from the business office will talk a little bit about what's called authorized, user' that's a little bit different it's specific, to the business office but, proxy would.
Be Able to give you access. To talk to financial aid register, our different. Offices. On campus like that. One. Thing to a common question we have and feel free to ask questions about this in, the Q&A. Section. But, if you have a question right now about you. Know what's the bill gonna be from my student for the school year a really helpful tool that we have is what's called our cost estimator so that's a nice long URL. Right there but if you actually go to the website and just search. Cost Estimator it'll, take you right there but. This tool lets you put in the students, registration. For. The school year put, in their financial aid whether it costs other costs you think they might have such. As room and board meal plan things like that it gives you a lot of options to add there and then I'll give you a very accurate estimate. Of what, your out-of-pocket, costs, are going to be for. The school year there, are some things that can throw that that off a little bit such as if your student last-minute decides, to add a J term without telling you that can change things that. Happens sometimes or. You, know if your students gonna have what we call an equal enrollment, so maybe take four, classes one semester but then only three and another semester. Since, we do charge on a per credit basis that'll change things a bit or, they're gonna be studying abroad there, are some options. Even as early as freshman, year for students to study abroad so, if these, are things that your, student might be running into that's, a good reason to reach out to their financial aid counselor, who, can provide you and a little, bit more, individualized. Of an estimate than the cost estimators, I can but of course we're here we're happy to do that anyhow. But we definitely encourage you to use the Cost Estimator because, then you can do it in your own free time you don't have to try to catch us during our business hours. And. This is a very general thing but if any of you have not filed the FAFSA yet and but are interested in seeing if you can qualify for need-based aid it's. Not too late to do so also. All students, at the very least as freshmen students are eligible for federal loans specifically. $5,500. Of federal loans. Everyone. I think will get. Going here so we can make sure we have time, for your questions, my, name is neelima Guth I'm one. Of the assistant directors of the financial, aid office, I'm. Here today, to talk about financial. Aid and then we also have representatives from, both student. Accounts in the business office as, well as our campus stores to which we'll be, here to answer questions we're. All gonna start the session with just giving, kind of an overview of. Some good information for you to know and to hopefully. Inspire. Some questions, from all of you so we might as well just jump right in with that. So a big thing with financial aid is, our. Ability. To talk to you as parents after the school, year begins, so. The federal government sees, your. Student as a legal, adult once they begin school here so. They the. Only ones that we can the only people we can share their information with, is. Themselves. Unless they give us authorization. To do so so. We do that through our proxy system so you might have received some information about this also your students, were. Required. To watch a video regarding. Proxy. And some of the other things that we're going to talk about today so you might have already handled this but if you haven't already it's a good idea to go out to st. Thomas that edu slash proxy, and. That's where your student can give you access to, information. Regarding, financial aid and, information. From the Registrar's Office. Their student account things along those lines so, that, gives you view access of their information through our Murphy online system, but it also allows you to call up the financial aid office and other offices and ask questions and then we can actually give you answers otherwise, we'll say I'm sorry your student has to add you as proxy, so, so. Definitely encourage you to take care of that before the school year begins because. That'll just make life easier for everybody, going forward. Another, common question is, what is the bill going to be so bill. Bill from the business office we'll talk about this in a little bit but statements. Will go out next, month but in the meantime if you're starting to try to plan things like an additional loan or. 529. Plans payments. Things like that we, do have a Cost Estimator on, our website so, this is different than that net price calculator, that you might have used when your student was first looking for college this actually lets you put. In, how. Many credits, that they're gonna be taking which is typically 16 credits per semester, what, they're financially, it is what their housing, and meal plan options are and it'll give you a very accurate estimate.
Of What that remaining. Balance, is gonna be so, if you're curious of that now this is a tool that you can go out and use that's a nice long URL, right there. Another, quick way to get there is just to use, a little search function, on our website and just put in Cost Estimator it, should take you right there. So, it's a really good tool there, are some situations where, it might not be 100% accurate like if your student decides to do a J term of, course last minute or if they study abroad that's, gonna be, some there are gonna be some changes there so I encourage you to reach out to their financial aid counselor, such, as myself or some of my colleagues and we can help you, figure. Out that information, but cost estimate is a great tool for right now for planning, purposes. Another. Thing too most, of you have done this but if you have not already, there's, still time to file the FAFSA all. Students at minimum are eligible for federal loans freshmen, students, specifically. Are eligible for, $5,500. Total in federal, loans in their first year that's the maximum, that. A. First-year. Student can, borrow in their name only there are some other loan options I'm going to talk about those briefly as well but, the very least if you want that option you want to make sure you've filed the fafsa because we can't offer those to your student without. Doing so like, I said most students have, done this already but. If again if you are, still interested you can definitely do that interest. Rate on those federal loans for, this next year is 5.0. 5%. So. I mentioned there are some other loan options, as well for covering, that remaining balance one of them is the federal Parent PLUS loan there's, a lot of good info up there there's also good. Information on a website I'm going to show you in the next slide. But, the the big difference in the Parent PLUS loan is it's also offered by the federal government but it's in your name as the parent it, does not transfer over to the students at any point so this is a loan that allows you to borrow funds to, help pay for your student's college education, the interest rates a little bit higher and, it has a. Little over 4% fee, and whenever you borrow but, it can be a really good option for a lot of families, and.
It's, Something that the FAFSA is required so if you haven't filed the FAFSA you will need to do that before you can apply for the Parent. PLUS loan that's. Done through the federal government's website but we've got information linking, to that on our website. The. Other option that families will choose as far as an additional loan would be a private education, loan private. Education, loans are through a private lender companies, like Sallie Mae Wells Fargo, Minnesota. Offers the Minnesota self loan for. Students, attending a Minnesota college, so even out-of-state, students, can use that too so, we actually have a list of the lenders that are students most predominantly, borrow through at, that website there. St., Thomas that edu slash other loans that's, also where you can find more information in, the link to the PLUS loan application. Too so, there's a lot of good information there but, private, education, loans those would be in your students name first but they will need a cosigner, to be approved and. Then. The interest rates will vary based off of the lender and then also typically, the credit history of the, cosigner, but. It's also these can be very good options for covering, those remaining balances, there's. No rule, that says you need to borrow a loan to cover remaining, balances there's no rule that says you can only, pay, out of pocket you can do a combination of, additional, loans paying out of pocket or, a payment plan which, bill we'll talk a little bit more about how to make payments, out, of pocket or payment plan and a little bit of. Private education loans are, available as well as the Parent PLUS loan for covering those remaining, balances, last. Thing I'll talk about before, handing it over to Bill Peterson is. Student. Employment so. One big thing to know is that all students are able to work on campus at Saint Thomas. There. Are some jobs that are specifically. Set aside for students, that received, state. Or federal work-study on, their financial aid award but probably 75, 80 % of the jobs on campus are open for anybody the, majority of jobs pay nine sixty five per hour which is a minimum wage in st. Paul but there are a handful, that will pay higher, than that students, typically can work 10 to 12 hours per week and. Then. It's. Up to them how they want those funds, given. To them so they can either have it paid directly to their own bank account to you direct deposit or they can have a page of their student account and, if, you have questions about anything I just went over feel free we'll have some time at the end to ask questions, I'm, still feel free to ask some specifics. On that but, I will hand that this over to Bill who will talk about the. Student, accounts and billing. Good afternoon, thanks. For stopping by and, listening to the funnest. Information. You're gonna get the rest your rest. Of your week anyway. Quickly, I'm gonna go over the billing, basically. The first thing we want to talk about is how we communicate the bill it's. Done electronically. Right. Now it's set up just to go to the UST email address, so it's right around the 23rd, of August or 23rd. Of each month and a bill notification, is sent, so. It is important, as, a. Parent, we understand, you may be taking a high responsibility, and help finance, this if, that is the case you want to make sure that you have, your son or daughter set you as an authorized user on the billing site now, I know we talked about a proxy.
Which Is more university-wide. Which. It gives you you only access, to, lots. Of different information like could be academics, registrar, information. Financial. Aid etc, now, just. For billing information billing. Purposes to, get the full access to the billing site to, be able to make payments etc you, want to have them set you as an authorized user, it's. Really quick and simple for them to do that they're gonna log in through Murphy online which. Is basically one of their main portals, they're gonna log in to register for classes anyway. They're, gonna go in there one of the main options is a bill --pay system, you get a screen that looks very very much like this and up towards the top of the screen you'll see authorized, user they're, gonna click there add an email address boom, it's all done as a, parent, you're gonna get, an email right after that just saying you're now as an authorized, user and it's going to give you login instructions, on how, to log in through your authorized, user user portal so. Like. I said it's really simple but. I would just make sure that they do that if you want to make sure you. See the information each month as well. Basically. Students are going to be automatically, enrolled into, a semester-long payment, plan as you, can see for fall semester it's September, through December 19th. And spring. It's February, through May. Now. Do. You have to follow this payment plan not necessarily, what, I mean by that is if, you want to pay upfront by the first due date if. You wanted to utilize the loans or if you have a five I'm plan you wanted to utilize by. All means that's fine if you pay by the first due date it's probably the most cost effective if. You decide to pay through the semester there's, a finance charge assessed monthly of 1.1 percent and, basically this is just a cost for extending the credits that we're allowing you to pay that over for a month timeframe so, you, just want to keep that in mind but by all means we do see a lot of family utilize that so this isn't an option, for.
You Basically. We just take the total overall balance, after financial aid and it's divided by four and that's how that, minimum payment is. Added. Up there. Now, in August. Georgianna month you're gonna get that e-bill notification, once you're set as an authorized user right. Anyway. You'll. Be able to log in under. My account and then once. You're in there under my account there's, an option, for East a vent you'll, click there and you'll get a statement just like this it's gonna have all tuition. Fees room and board build-out, and, important a couple important things to note there right below that you're gonna see current payments so if you have any UST, award merit, scholarship, that's, gonna be already applied to the account by, that first due date or already by that first billing cycle now. What you're not going to see though is on the bottom you're gonna see pending, financial aid this, is any federal loan, parent. Loan or private, loan for that matter those are not going to be disbursed yet until right before the due date reason. For that is basically students have the first two weeks of class to add/drop all they want so, we want to make sure they're locked into their class schedule before we disperse that second. Of all, usually. The interest, it, starts, the. Interest clock starts on these loans once, they're dispersed so we usually wait until obviously, right before the due date for. That purpose. Now. If you just. Lastly if you do not see that pending, financial aid don't be alarmed, give. The business office call or financial, aid we can look into that it, could just mean there as a, final, requirement, that your son or daughter hasn't completed yet that isn't showing that could, be an example of doing, the entrance loan counseling and master promissory, notes over there federal loans that. Can sometimes be an example there so. If they haven't done that yet you wouldn't see as pending financial aid. Another, thing I want to really highlight is just setting, up an Erie fund profile this is anytime we all money back to you. An. Example for that is obviously if you have, loans in place already for the for, the semester or. If you already paid, up the semester balance and the student dropped a class shortly, after that and which, we owe money back to you you, wanna sit want them to set you up and/or set up an Erie fund profile this is the quickest. Way we get the money back to you we. Only do checks once a week on Wednesdays by. The tender going out a mail it's usually Friday morning. Whereas, Erie funds we generally do this, three. Days a week it's, quick. Only the students can set this up through their Mercer E online, fertile. Portal parents, don't have that access through the authorizing. Authorized. User portal so but. We understand, though if you want the money going back to you just. Work with your with. Your students on that which account, you'd like set up for that now. In some cases if, a Parent PLUS loan does generate, a refund. Then, in that case a paper, check is cut to the borrower for that check I think. Compco is past due that could mean the payment was missed by the nineteenth I just want to let, you guys know that it puts a hold on their registration, and. Puts a hold on viewing and accessing, their transcript, so if that's a case just. Give me a call or financially, we can look into what the issue is or, if it's just a matter of missing, a payment you can easily just make a payment online the. System updates overnight, so, the hold is off by the next morning if that's the case. Some. Of this might have been brought up earlier today, but, st. Thomas offers a private. Tuition insurance plan now, this is just for medical withdrawals. Only, in. This, case it's, it's administered. By a WG, Dwyer, in.
Which. It coverage is 70% reimbursement. Of all tuition, and fees now. There's an option for tuition, fees room and board as well they. Are different prices the prices are on the, business office website if you want more information, on that like. I said though this is just for medical withdrawal only, and, just, given the cost of tuition nowadays, this is a bad option, to think about you, don't have to do it it's optional you could do it one semester and decide against it the next. But. Just never knowing what can happen especially, if, you're three, months into the semester and something happens, or you come down with mono and you're not able to complete the semester you, could you. Know absorb, you could get. 70%. Reimbursement. Of the tuition back on that so it's, a nice thing to consider. And. Lastly their student ID card I. Just want to know if this serves as several functions for students basically. Gives them access to the library athletic. Facility, has their meal plan with Flex dollars on it but. It also has an express Epson on it and I'm you. May have seen this down at the fair earlier, it's. The same ID card, this. Is expressed. Dollars basically can use for anywhere on campus for. Books buying. Sweatshirts, groceries. But. It can also be used at some off-campus places. Such as Davone ease to pull a just to name a couple. Now. The, meal plans with the Flex dollars is per, semester and, that. You. Know ends, at per semester with, Express dollars that rolls over. Now. With Express was a good option for buying, books if. You. The. Two ways you can do it to preload the funds you, can preload it you get a five percent bonus for every fifty dollars you put on there so, if, students buy books and it's five hundred dollars for the semester and you preload. The five hundred dollars onto the ID, card they'll get five hundred twenty-five dollars basically towards. For. Funds to work with on that, otherwise. Another option is to bill it to the student account if that's the case you do not get the bonus it, would just show up on the next month's billing cycle it's, just an express card, but, that's an option it's. Just just. Something for students to utilize instead, of credit cards debit cards carrying, cash around etc. From. Here I'm gonna pass, it off to Katie just talk a little bit more about campus doors and books. Thanks. Bill good. Afternoon. My. Name is Katie Holly and I work in the campus stores we have, two stores on campus, we have in the lower level of this building the Tommy shop which has a lot of spirit wear clothing and gifts. And. Then we have our full-service bookstore, in the lower level of Murray Herrick where we sell our textbooks. And course materials, a couple. Key things I just want to mention about buying textbooks, there's. A couple ways to buy them you can come, in store and shop our shelves, definitely, I'm also, we sell our books through our website, so, if the student goes to our website, and they put in their class schedule, a little populate, with all the books that they need. We. Offer a lot of different kind of options. To help keep our pricing, competitive, we, have rental. Books students. Can highlight them, write, in them as they and we'll take it back as a rental. Return at the end of the semester provided. There's no water damage or something like that we. Also have worked really hard to try to get a lot of used books those. Go first. So, my recommendation would be early August, maybe if you're going to put your order put your order in and, then. You either can have it shipped to you or we, have a textbook reservation, program, and. We'll, fill the order we'll box it up we'll put it in a room and then when the students come back on campus they just show us their ID and they get their box, of books and they're already paid for and we do, fill. Our orders first-come, first-serve so if they wanted to get used books again, I would recommend ordering, earlier. In. The in August and the. Reservation. Room opens August 30th. If, you have not already done so we are giving away a free semester, of textbooks, so your student can, register. For that by going on to our Facebook page and, commenting. On our contest. Post the date of their, orientation. Session. Or today's date. Other. Than that if you guys have any questions about any of the topics we, can all feel them so thank you for coming and let me know if you have any questions. Okay. I. Just. Wanted to actually mention one thing I may, have talked to some of you about this earlier but. Like. I said that meant the meal plan is on their ID card now when. It comes to meal plans there's the three options now a lot of families I think utilize, the, middle one or maybe the high one. But. We usually suggest the lowest meal plan when it comes to that. Reason. For that is, with. The meal plan that sit-down only in the cafeteria, and so. You're, not able to pick up food and to go and if students have is a busy schedule or.
An 8 a.m. class and, they're not gonna have time to go to the cafeteria. You. Know we just don't. Think that's the best option, for that, so, with. Also that lower, meal plan you have the Flex dollars you have more flex dollars to work with so, you can go to any of the food facilities, on campus and, grab food to go and go, on to class there's. Also a lot of activity, activities, that happen on campus so there's free food around and so. When, there's free food. Students. Flock well I do too as well so. Anyway. It, is a good option, to. Think about the. Meal plans like I said are on a per semester basis, so if you hadn't up you know starting out high and there's you have a lot of meals left to work with then you're you're losing a lot of money on that if. You find out with the lowest meal plan you, need more meals you can always actually buy more. In blocks of 22. Think about that or you could use that express as an option as well just, for maybe the last month with a semester but I just, wanted to mention that I mean there's still time to change at if you wanted to if you don't want, to no big deal but I wanted, to bring that bring. That up with a lot of families because I know, your. Son or daughter may think you, know especially the sons they think they can eat everything. Or he out of the house so but. There. Is a lot of food with the lowest meal plan that's basically 10 meals a week so, it's about 2 2 a day you're working with there so. You. Know and with the middle plan I think it's about 12 meals a week so it's not much different but. You get a lot more flex, dollars to work with that Louis with that lowest one, food to go when. You're on the run so I just. Want to talk about that briefly, anything. Else you can think of, you. Can help you out with I. Guess. We were too good one yeah no okay anyway. Thanks for stopping out this afternoon obviously, if you have questions, feel. Free to call us anytime.