Financing Your College Education: A Guide for Students & Parents

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1 Financing Your College Education: A Guide for Students & Parents Academic Year The Office of College Aid 1115 East 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois Telephone: Fax:

2 Financing Your College Education: A Guide for Students & Parents Academic Year Introduction This booklet from the Committee on College Aid provides details about the various options available to you and your parents to help meet the cost of a University of Chicago education. We hope that it will answer many of your questions as you and your family work out the details of your personal financial plan. After reading this booklet, feel free to write or telephone us if you need additional information or have any questions (Office of College Aid, The University of Chicago, 1115 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637, ). Estimated Budget for The Committee on College Aid uses the following budget to determine expenses for returning students. As you and your family work out a personal financial plan, this estimated budget can provide you with some basic guidelines on expenses. Resident Off-Campus Commuter Tuition $45,324 $45,324 $45,324 Student Life Fee 1,062 1,062 1,062 Room/Board 13,653 11,313 0 Living Allowance (commuters) 0 0 4,778 Books/Personal Expenses 3,821 3,821 3,821 Total $63,860 $61,520 $54,985 * NOTE: (1) If you are required to purchase the University s health insurance, you will have to pay $3,021 more than the total above for that coverage. (2) If you reside more than 150 miles from Chicago, we have added a travel allowance (not shown in the figures above) to your estimated budget. Your Financial Aid Decision If you filed the CSS PROFILE form, along with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Committee on College Aid considered your eligibility for need-based University grant funds and the decision is enclosed. Your parents may believe that the expected parental contribution does not accurately reflect their financial circumstances. If this is the case, your parents may request, in writing, another review of their situation. The Committee on College Aid will need new financial information, or clarification and elaboration of information already provided, before a review can take place. Your parents should submit a detailed list of gross monthly income and expenses for 2012 and 2013, as well as any other information that they believe helps to explain why they are unable to meet the expected costs. For more information, see Awarding Aid at the University of Chicago: Common Questions on pages Other questions about the Committee s aid decision should be directed to the Office of College Aid at FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 1

3 Personal Resources As you and your family develop your financial plan, you should consider the personal resources you have available to contribute to the overall cost of your education. These include your savings, income from summer employment and other earnings, and scholarships not based on financial need. In addition, you can help meet the cost through campus employment and/or student loans. You may also be able to take into account other types of assistance, such as educational trust funds and gifts from grandparents. Outside Scholarships Students must notify the Committee on College Aid of all outside awards they receive. Notification of outside scholarship awards must be submitted in writing. Please send a signed letter to the Committee that includes your full name, the name of the agency granting the award, and the award amount. If applicable, a copy of the letter notifying you of the award must also be sent to the Committee. Materials can be mailed to the Office of College Aid (1115 E. 58th St.), faxed to , or ed to It is also your responsibility to instruct the agency granting your award to mail your scholarship check to the address above. If applicable, the Committee will notify you via when your check is available for your signature. Term-Time Employment You may need to earn a portion of your education expenses through term-time employment. You can earn between $2,200 to $4,500 by working 12 to 15 hours per week throughout the academic year. Most students use their earnings from term-time jobs to pay for books, personal expenses, and a portion of the room, board, and tuition costs. Even if you are involved in extracurricular activities, our experience is that you can fit at least ten hours per week into your schedule. A number of employment options are available: part-time jobs, both on- and off-campus, with regular hours when school is in session (the majority of the jobs fall into this category); part-time jobs, on- and off-campus, with regular hours even during University holidays; temporary positions, on- and off-campus, which meet short-term and specialized needs of employers (these positions appeal to students with flexible schedules). We do not assign you to a position. You will need to identify openings, apply for positions, and interview with employers. For information about employment opportunities, we urge you to visit the student employment website at studentemployment.uchicago.edu. Note that you will need your CNet ID and password to access the site. Student employees generally receive biweekly paychecks directly from their employers. Your earnings will not appear as a credit on any bill you receive from the Office of the Bursar. However, you may want to use a portion of these earnings to pay your bill. Federal Direct Stafford Loans Most students borrow to meet a portion of their costs at the University of Chicago. The University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program, commonly referred to as the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. The lender of the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program is the U.S. Treasury rather than a bank or other financial institution. This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. There are two types of Federal Direct Stafford Loans that provide you with attractive student borrowing options. The subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a need-based, fixed-interest loan. The unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is not based on financial need and is available to students who are not eligible for the subsidized loan or who are eligible only for a partial subsidized loan. Eligibility for a subsidized loan must be determined before a student can be permitted to borrow from the unsubsidized program. If you have already submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a signed copy of your parents 2012 federal income tax return, your eligibility for the subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan has already been determined and is indicated on your award letter. See the 2 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

4 chart on page 5 for details about these federal loan programs. Both loan programs allow you to defer repayment until after you graduate or drop below half-time status. The federal government pays the interest on your subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan while you are enrolled. You are responsible for paying the interest on your unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan while you are enrolled, although you have the option to defer interest payments and add the interest to the principal of the loan at repayment. Your maximum eligibility for a subsidized loan will be based on your academic level ($3,500, first year; $4,500, second year; $5,500, third and fourth years). These base amounts may be subsidized or unsubsidized, or a combination of the two loan programs. In addition, all students are eligible to borrow an additional $2,000 through the unsubsidized loan program. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note and the new online University of Chicago Financial Aid Application The first year you borrow a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you will be required to complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). You must also indicate the amount(s) and the program(s) from which you want to borrow. You may indicate your intent to borrow on the new online University of Chicago Financial Aid Application (UChicago Application) or by completing the University of Chicago Federal Direct Stafford Loan Instruction and Amount Request Form (Stafford Loan Request Form). If you want to borrow and you did not indicate your intent to borrow on the new online UChicago Application, you may still do so by completing and submitting the Stafford Loan Request Form. The Stafford Loan Request Form can be accessed online at collegeaid.uchicago.edu/pdfs/1314_stafford_loan_amount_and_request_form.pdf and is also available in paper form in the Office of College Aid. Use this form to indicate whether you wish to borrow either from the subsidized or the unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan program (or both) and the amount of each loan you wish to borrow. The completed form must be submitted to the Office of College Aid. Each following year, typically you will indicate your borrowing preference online through the new UChicago Application. In addition, if you have never borrowed a Federal Direct Stafford Loan you must complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling. If you borrowed previously you are not required to complete entrance counseling again. For more instructions on meeting this requirement, see How are the funds disbursed? on page 4. What is the MPN? The MPN is similar to a line of credit in that students may borrow up to the annual and aggregate limits allowed under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan programs without having to sign a promissory note for each new loan. (Please refer to the chart on page 5 for the annual and aggregate loan limits.) By signing the MPN, which does not contain a dollar amount, the borrower agrees to repay any amounts borrowed against that note. The MPN is valid for up to 10 years from the date it is signed, provided that the first loan disbursement is made within 12 months of the signature date. However, if within 10 years of signing the original note you borrow Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds after enrolling at another institution, the new institution may require you to sign a new MPN. How do I complete the MPN? To apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you must complete a Federal Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at the Department of Education website studentloans.gov. To complete an MPN online, you will be required to use your Department of Education issued Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is the same one used to complete the FAFSA and is used as your electronic signature when completing the MPN online. To request a duplicate or replacement PIN, go to the official PIN site pin.ed.gov. FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 3

5 How do I ensure that I receive the loan? If you applied for financial aid and you are eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan (whether it is subsidized, unsubsidized, or a combination of both), and if you did not already indicate your intent to borrow on the new online UChicago application, you should complete the University of Chicago Federal Direct Stafford Loan Instruction and Amount Request Form and forward it to the Office of College Aid. You should also go to the Department of Education s website studentloans.gov to complete the MPN online. Your MPN will be processed by the Department of Education and the Office of College Aid will be notified when it is completed. For details and to access the required documents, including the University of Chicago Federal Direct Stafford Loan Instruction and Amount Request Form, visit the Office of College Aid website collegeaid.uchicago. edu/apply/stafford.shtml. We suggest you visit often for the most up-to-date information in federal loan funding. How are the funds disbursed? After your Federal Direct Stafford Loan application is approved by the Department of Education, your loan proceeds will be sent to the University electronically for disbursement to your student account. Entrance counseling is required for all first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowers. Before you can receive your loan funds, you must fulfill this requirement by going to studentloans.gov and click on the Entrance Counseling link to complete the Federal Direct Stafford Loan entrance counseling. If you borrowed previously, you are not required to complete entrance counseling again. Federal regulations require loan proceeds be disbursed in multiple installments. Because the University of Chicago is on a quarter system, your loan proceeds will be disbursed in three installments at the beginning of each quarter. You should plan your bill payments and other financial needs in accordance with this disbursement schedule. IMPORTANT NOTE: Federal regulations require that you be a registered student for the quarter for which funds are disbursed and that your loan funds must be applied to your tuition account within three days after receipt by the University. Failure to comply will result in your funds being returned. If you are still interested in participating in the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program even though your funds were returned, you must submit another loan request. The University of Chicago Emergency Loan Program Students who encounter personal emergencies during the school year may borrow up to $500 from the University on a short-term basis. Should an occasion arise when you need such a loan, see a financial aid counselor in the Office of College Aid (Room 309, Walker Museum) or call Alternative Loan Programs for Parents and Students Alternative loans such as the Federal Direct PLUS and private loans are long-term financing options that allow families to meet all or a portion of their educational expenses. These resources are not included in the aid award but are available to you and your parents and they are described in this section. Federal Direct PLUS for Parents The University of Chicago participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct PLUS program and the lender is the U.S. Treasury rather than a bank or other financial institution. This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. 4 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

6 Federal Direct Stafford Loans for Students Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan Combined Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans Limits for Dependent Undergraduates Annual Limits: First-year students: $3,500 per year Second-year students: $4,500 per year Third- and fourth-year students: $5,500 per year Aggregate Limit: $23,000 Annual Limit: First-year students: $2,000 Second-year students: $2,000 Third- and fourth-year students: $2,000 Annual Limits*: First-year students: $5,500 Second-year students: $6,500 Third- and fourth-year students: $7,500 Aggregate limit*: $31,000 Limits for Independent Undergraduates Annual Limits: First-year students: $3,500 Second-year students: $4,500 Third- and fourth-year students: $5,500 Aggregate limit: $23,000 Annual Limits: First-year students: $6,000 Second-year students: $6,000 Third- and fourth-year students: $7,000 Annual Limits*: First-year students: $9,500 Second-year students: $10,500 Third- and fourth-year students: $12,500 Aggregate Limit*: $57,500 Fees Origination fee: 1.051% Origination fee: 1.051% Interest Fixed 6.8% No interest accumulates during in-school period. In-school, grace period, and repayment rate: fixed at 6.8%. In-school interest may be paid monthly or capitalized. Repayment Begins 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. Minimum $50 per month, with up to 10 years to repay. Begins 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time. Minimum $50 per month, with up to 10 years to repay. ** * These limits apply to a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. A student who is not eligible for the annual limit in subsidized funds may be eligible to borrow the difference between the combined subsidized and unsubsidized limit solely in unsubsidized funds.* Who is eligible to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS? The borrower can be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent). To participate in this loan program, parents must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Note that a parent will be asked to provide proof of citizenship to confirm eligibility. We require that a valid FAFSA is on file prior to our processing a Federal Direct PLUS. Is it possible for my parents to borrow one Federal Direct PLUS jointly? Parents may not borrow the PLUS jointly. The parent who wishes to borrow must follow the application instructions provided in the question and answer below. How does my parent apply for this loan? To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS, your parent must complete the FAFSA (if they have not done so already), a PLUS MPN, and a PLUS application (also referred to as Request a Direct PLUS Loan ). The completion of the PLUS application allows your parent to authorize the Department of Education to complete a credit check and to indicate the amount she or he wishes to borrow. To complete the PLUS application and FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 5

7 the PLUS MPN online, your parent will be required to use his or her Department of Education issued Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is the same one used to complete the FAFSA and is used as your parent s electronic signature when completing the PLUS MPN and application online at studentloans.gov. To request a duplicate or replacement PIN, go to the official PIN site pin.ed.gov. For details and application instructions, visit the Office of College Aid website collegeaid.uchicago.edu/apply/ stafford.shtml. We suggest that you visit often for the most up-to-date information in federal loan funding. What is the Federal Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (PLUS MPN)? The PLUS MPN is similar to a line of credit, but in most cases your parent does not have to sign a promissory note for each new loan. By signing the PLUS MPN, which does not contain a dollar amount, he or she agrees to repay any amounts borrowed against that note. The PLUS MPN is valid for up to 10 years from the date it is signed, provided that the first loan disbursement is made within 12 months of the signature date. Will my parent have to complete the PLUS MPN every year that these funds are borrowed? In most cases, your parent has to complete the PLUS MPN only once the first year these funds are borrowed for you. In the first and every subsequent year, however, your parent will have to complete a new PLUS application online at studentloans.gov. However, if your parent s request for a PLUS is denied and your parent decides to obtain an endorser, your parent will have to complete a new MPN for all subsequent PLUS applications that are denied and that require an endorser. Note that the Department of Education will perform a credit check for the person endorsing the PLUS. Is it possible for my parent to know whether he or she is approved to borrow a Federal Direct PLUS before completing the PLUS MPN? Approval for the Federal Direct PLUS is based on a parent s credit report. Your parent may learn whether he or she will be approved for this loan by completing a PLUS application authorizing the Department of Education to run a credit check before completing the PLUS MPN. The PLUS application is completed online at studentloans.gov and is referred to as Request a Direct PLUS Loan. Note: The credit approval is valid for 90 days. How much are my parents eligible to borrow from the Federal Direct PLUS program? The Federal Direct PLUS program for parents allows a parent to borrow up to the full cost of attendance, less any other financial aid, including other educational borrowing. This resource allows the cost of education to be spread over a number of years. Many parents choose to borrow just a portion of the cost to supplement contributions from other family resources, such as income and savings. How much should my parent borrow in Federal Direct PLUS funds? The Office of College Aid does not determine the amount your parent should borrow, but in some cases the office must limit the amount a parent may borrow. The amount is limited only when the total amount of aid, including the Federal Direct PLUS, exceeds the estimated cost of attendance. Your parent may decide to borrow only to meet the costs billed by the Office of the Bursar, or may decide to borrow the maximum allowed, including costs not billed by the Office of the Bursar, such as those for books and personal expenses, for example. Is it possible for my parent to wait until I graduate to begin repaying the Federal Direct PLUS? Yes. Your parent can learn more about deferring repayment of interest and principal while you are enrolled by calling the Direct Loan Servicing Center at and by visiting their website Student Aid on the Web at studentaid.ed.gov. NOTE: Even if repayment of the principal must be deferred until after you graduate, the 6 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

8 Committee on College Aid strongly urges that your parent pay the interest on the loan (either quarterly or annually) while you are enrolled as this can potentially result in significant savings. What options are there if my parent is denied the Federal Direct PLUS? If a parent is denied a Federal Direct PLUS due to credit reasons, the parent may appeal the denial, or reapply with a creditworthy endorser, or the student may borrow additional funds from the unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. To appeal a PLUS denial, the parent must contact the Student Loan Support Service Center at To reapply with an endorser, the endorser must procure a PIN at pin.ed.gov. The endorser must then sign into studentloans.gov with the PIN, click on Endorse Direct PLUS Loan, and complete the endorser addendum using the loan reference number provided by the borrower. Note: The amounts on the endorser addendum and on the PLUS application must match. If the amounts do not match, the loan will be approved for the amount indicated by the endorser. To borrow additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds, the student must submit a University of Chicago Federal Direct Stafford Loan Instruction and Amount Request Form. In this circumstance, the student may borrow up to the independent student loan limits indicated on the chart on page 5 of this brochure. What are the terms of a Federal Direct PLUS? The interest rate for the Federal Direct PLUS is fixed at 7.9%. There is a 4.204% origination fee. This fee is deducted proportionally from each disbursement. How are Federal Direct PLUS funds disbursed? After your parent s Federal Direct PLUS application is approved by the Department of Education, his or her loan proceeds will be sent to the University electronically for disbursement to your student account. Federal regulations require loan proceeds to be disbursed in multiple installments. Because the University of Chicago is on a quarter system, your parent s loan proceeds will be disbursed in three installments at the beginning of each quarter. What happens if my parent submits a Federal Direct PLUS application but then decides not to borrow the funds? Your parent may cancel the loan up to 120 days after disbursement. Written notification of the decision to cancel the loan should be submitted to the Office of College Aid. Private Alternative Loan Programs Private alternative loans require the student to be the primary borrower and to provide a qualified cosigner. Alternative loan programs are non-federal education loans and should be used only as a last resort after all federal loan options have been exhausted. These loans are offered by private lenders to assist with education and living expenses not covered by other financial aid. We encourage families to conduct careful research before selecting a lender. The interest rate on the private loan will be variable or floating. Each lender uses its own pricing model based on either the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) or the prime rate (as published in the Wall Street Journal) and on the strength of the credit score and history of the student and/or the cosigner. Depending on the lender that you choose and market conditions, the interest rate may change every month or every quarter. Interest accrues from the date of disbursement. While you are enrolled you may choose to pay interest and principal, only the interest, or you may choose to defer payment of both interest and principal until after graduation. The interest that is not paid while in school will be capitalized at the time of repayment. FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 7

9 As with any loan, we urge families to research and compare the terms and benefits of several lenders before making a selection. The Office of College Aid will process the loan with your chosen lender. Regulatory changes require that private lenders provide you with three Notice of Disclosure forms throughout the application process. The first Notice of Disclosure will be sent when you initiate an application with the lender and it will indicate a range of the potential interest rate and fees pending a credit check. The second disclosure will be sent to you after a credit check has been performed for you and your cosigner and it will indicate your actual interest rate and fees based on your requested amount. The third Notice of Disclosure will be sent after the lender receives confirmation from the school that you are enrolled or intend to enroll and will reflect the interest rate and fees based on the amount for which you are eligible. In addition, you must complete and submit the Self-Certification form the lender will provide to you and it requires you to provide your estimated cost of attendance and the total amount of aid for which you are eligible, including federal loans. It is important that you complete and submit this form using the information provided on the enclosed financial aid award letter. NOTE: The Office of College Aid strongly recommends that parents borrow Federal Direct PLUS funds instead of applying for a private loan. Because of the fixed interest rate of the Federal Direct PLUS program, typically the amount of accumulated interest will be much less. How can I reduce the cost of borrowing an alternative loan? The Committee on College Aid strongly urges you to pay the interest while enrolled, which will result in significant savings. Payment Plans Ten- and Eight-Month Payment Plans The University offers two payment options that enable parents to pay tuition and other charges in installments. These plans give parents the opportunity to spread the payment of tuition, room and board, and fees over a ten- or eight-month period. They also give parents the flexibility to select the amount they wish to budget over the ten- or eight-month period. Your parents may determine the amount to be budgeted by subtracting expected credits (outside scholarships and grants and loans) from the charges for tuition, room and board, and fees. One-third of the budgeted amount will be credited to your bill each quarter provided the payment plan account is current. Enrollment forms for the Ten-Month Payment Plan have been mailed by the Office of the Bursar. Parents wishing to participate in this program were asked to pay a $90 administrative fee. The installments under this plan began on July 10, 2013, and will end on April 10, The Eight-Month Payment Plan allows parents who are unable to meet the early deadline on the Ten-Month Payment Plan to spread their costs over the course of the academic year. Enrollment forms were mailed in July. Those who wish to participate in this plan are asked to pay a $120 administrative fee. The first payment under the Eight-Month Payment Plan is due September 10, 2013, and the final payment is due April 10, For more information about these plans, visit uchicago.afford.com or call Tuition Pre-Payment Plan Parents who wish to avoid subsequent increases in tuition may elect to pay tuition for all remaining years of fulltime registration (three or four courses per quarter, excluding Summer Quarters) at the rate of $45,324 per year. This plan has a $100 administrative fee and is available to all parents regardless of the amount of financial aid awarded to their students. However, those who participate must pay the entire sum due, plus the administrative 8 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

10 fee, without regard to actual or anticipated financial aid credits. A family may apply for financial aid every year the student is enrolled. However, Illinois students whose parents participate in the Tuition Pre-Payment Plan will not receive Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds for which they may be eligible. The Tuition Pre-Payment Plan agreement will be sent to you upon request from the Office of College Aid. Billing You will receive two bills for each academic quarter: a first bill six to eight weeks before the beginning of the quarter and another bill during the second week of the term. For billing dates for the academic year, visit bursar.uchicago.edu/students.html. First Bill Second Bill This bill will show: Estimated charges for tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board Credits for deposits paid and other advance payments Estimated credits for scholarships and student and parent loans that have been processed Pending credits for eight and ten month payments (one-third of each) This bill will show: Unpaid balance from the first bill Late payment fees Student and/or parent loan funds that have been received Outside agency funds that have been received Changes to the charges (e.g., addition of University of Chicago Health Insurance fee) Frequently Asked Questions Is it possible to receive my bill electronically? The University of Chicago, in partnership with Sallie Mae Solutions, offers students the option to receive and pay tuition bills electronically. E-Bill allows you to view your bill 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from anywhere in the world and to make payments over a secure website (U.S. bank accounts only). There is no additional charge for E-Bill and it just takes a few steps to sign up. Once you enroll in the service, the Office of the Bursar will notify you via each time a new billing statement is issued. This eliminates delays from standard mail delivery. Your statement will appear on the E-Bill system in the same format as the paper bill. Statement and payment information are kept online for the duration of your academic attendance. How do I enroll in E-Bill? To enroll in E-Bill, visit bosebill.salliemae.com/netpay/templates/317/frameset317.html. You may authorize other payers (e.g., your parents), but the student must be the first to enroll. Where can I learn more about E-Bill? For more information about E-Bill, visit the website of the Office of the Bursar at bursar.uchicago.edu/students.html. FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 9

11 If my bills are mailed, where will they be sent? Bills will be mailed to the billing address you specify in the University s portal for students at my.uchicago.edu. If you do not provide a billing address and do not enroll in E-Bill, your bill will be sent to your permanent address. Also, if you have a credit or a zero balance on your tuition account, a bill will not be mailed to you. Is it possible to send my bill to more than one person? Yes, this is possible through the E-Bill option. After the student enrolls in E-Bill, a second payer may be added to the account. Each designated payer will be able to view the bill and make payments to the student account. Where do I go to pay my bill in person? You may make payments for tuition, fees, and room and board in person at the Maroon Financial Credit Union. The credit union is located at 5525 S. Ellis Ave., Suite C, and on the southeast corner of the 55th and Ellis Parking Garage. Is it possible to use a credit card to pay my bill? No. The University of Chicago does not accept credit card payment for tuition, room, board, or fees. Why does my bill show a charge for the University of Chicago Health Insurance? All students are required to have medical insurance. If you are covered under your family s health plan you should complete the waiver section of the Student Insurance links at my.uchicago.edu. For additional information on health insurance waivers, please visit the Student Health Affairs website at studentinsurance.uchicago.edu. Awarding Aid at the University of Chicago Common Questions How did you determine the amount of my parents contribution? We base our decision on a nationally accepted need-analysis formula used by a large number of institutions such as ours. We look at your parents income from all sources, make allowances for essential expenses (e.g., federal and state income taxes, medical expenses), and provide a living allowance. We also look at your parents assets (e.g., cash in the bank; home, real estate, business, or farm equity; stocks and bonds), and set aside a portion for emergencies and anticipated postsecondary school costs for you and your siblings. A percentage of the income and assets left after the allowances are subtracted is expected to be available for college costs. If there is only one child (you) in college for the coming year, the total parental contribution should be available for your costs; if one or more of your siblings will also be enrolled in an undergraduate program, we look at their costs relative to the costs of the University of Chicago and expect a portion of the total to be available for you. What if my parents refuse to pay for my education? The University expects your parents to provide financial support, according to their ability to do so, throughout your undergraduate years. NOTE: Should parents voluntarily discontinue their support, University grant funds cannot be made available to replace the contribution we expect them to make. What if I am financially independent of my parents? Although you may be considered an independent (self-supporting) student by federal and state program guidelines, the Committee on College Aid uses a more restrictive definition of independence for purposes of awarding University 10 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

12 of Chicago grant assistance. To be considered independent, you must be at least 24 years of age by December 31 of the award year (December 31, 2013, for the academic year). In addition, you must provide proof that you have been self-supporting for the past three years and the current calendar year, that you will be self-supporting in the calendar year following your enrollment in the College, and that neither of your parents claimed you as a federal income tax exemption in the last three years. NOTE: If you are considered a dependent student when you first apply for financial assistance, you will be considered a dependent throughout your undergraduate years. My parents are divorced. Who will be responsible for paying for my education? If your natural parents are separated or divorced, we require the parent with whom you reside (the custodial parent) and his/her spouse (if that parent has remarried) to complete the CSS PROFILE form and the FAFSA. The other parent must complete the Noncustodial PROFILE (NCP). We waive the requirement that the noncustodial parent complete the NCP form only under extraordinary circumstances. NOTE: If the Committee requires financial information from both parents to determine your eligibility for financial aid, information from both will be required each year that you apply for aid. If your custodial parent currently is single but remarries during your period of enrollment in the College, your new stepparent will be required to provide financial information on both the CSS PROFILE and FAFSA forms. Your noncustodial parent will continue to be required to complete the NCP form. Appendix Eligibility Requirements To be eligible to receive Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS funds, a student (1) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (2) must demonstrate financial need (except for the unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS programs); (3) must be a degree-seeking student; (4) must have a valid Social Security number; (5) must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree; and (6) must certify on the FAFSA that he or she will use federal student aid only for education purposes, is not in default on a student loan, and does not owe a refund on a federal grant. In addition, male students over the age of 18 must be registered with Selective Service. (Note that the parent who borrows the Federal Direct PLUS on behalf of the student must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.) Drug Regulation The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 suspends federal aid eligibility for students convicted under federal or state law of sale or possession of drugs while they are enrolled in a postsecondary institution and are receiving federal aid. Therefore, if you are convicted of drug possession while you are enrolled and are receiving federal aid, you will be ineligible for assistance for one year after the date of a first conviction, two years after a second conviction, and indefinitely after a third conviction. If you are convicted of selling drugs while you are enrolled and are receiving federal aid, you will be ineligible for assistance for two years after the date of a first conviction and indefinitely after a second conviction. However, eligibility may be regained earlier by successful completion of an acceptable drug rehabilitation program. Database Reviews The following are among federal agency databases reviewed by the Department of Education to confirm some of the information on your FAFSA form: FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 11

13 Social Security Administration for confirmation of Social Security numbers and U.S. citizenship status; Selective Service System for confirmation of Selective Service registration status, if applicable; and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for confirmation of eligible noncitizenship status, if applicable. If data you provided on your FAFSA do not match the data at these agencies, the Committee on College Aid will ask you for additional documents to verify that the information on the FAFSA is, indeed, correct. Examples of documents that you will be asked to provide are a copy of your passport to confirm that you are a U.S. citizen and a copy of the Selective Service acknowledgement card to confirm that you are registered with Selective Service. Determination of Eligibility Your eligibility for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan is based on a federally mandated system of need analysis. As you review your financial aid decision, keep in mind that your eligibility for this loan is based on the requirement of the law. Verification If you receive any federal or state funds, including the Federal Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans, your financial aid application may be selected for verification by the Department of Education. This means that in order to comply with federal and state regulations, the Committee on College Aid must verify the accuracy of the information on your FAFSA application. Among the possible items that the Committee must review are proof of high school completion, a statement of education purpose, proof of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child support paid, and any untaxed income, as well as adjusted gross income, federal income taxes paid, household size, and number of family members attending college at least half time. Because the number of applications selected for verification is large and the procedures are complex, it is crucial that you submit the required documents as soon as possible. If you are selected for verification you will be required to submit official IRS tax return data. Official IRS tax return data may be submitted by selecting the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when filing your FAFSA or you may request from the IRS an official Tax Return Transcript. Additional information and instructions for the two different options are as follows: DRT: You may submit official IRS tax return data by selecting the DRT when filing your FAFSA. If you already filed your FAFSA and used the DRT, you have already submitted the required official tax information. If you filed the FAFSA without choosing the DRT, you may still choose to use it by updating your FAFSA. Note that certain conditions may prevent participation in the DRT and include, but are not limited to, the following: When spouses file separate returns. When the applicant (or parent) had a change in marital status after the end of the relevant tax year. When an amended tax return is filed. When a federal income tax return is not required to be filed. When a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return is filed. Tax Return Transcript: If you do not meet the criteria or choose not to use the DRT, you must contact the IRS and request your Tax Return Transcript. You may request your Tax Return Transcript in one of the following ways: Online Request: available on the IRS website, irs.gov Telephone Request: available from the IRS by calling Paper Request Form: download and submit IRS Form 4506T-EZ Note: It is important that the Tax Return Transcripts be sent to you directly as the IRS cannot send this data to a third party. Submit a copy to the Office of College Aid and keep a copy for your records. If your application is selected for verification the Committee will send you a customized verification worksheet based on specific data elements identified by the Department of Education and on which you can provide the information not found on the DRT or the 2012 Tax Return Transcript. Your eligibility for federal financial aid can change as a result of verification. 12 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

14 Note: Until you have submitted all the information requested and the verification process has been completed, the Office of College Aid will not certify your Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS applications or release any federal/state grants. Financial Aid and Academic Progress In order to continue to qualify for Federal Direct Stafford Loan and Federal Direct PLUS funds, you must (1) complete a minimum of 70% of the courses in which you enroll; (2) maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 1.75; and (3) have completed 7 courses at the end of your first year, 14 courses after two years, and 21 courses after three years. In addition (because federal regulations require that the student s academic progress be consistent with the standard the school requires for graduation), you must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher in your major at the end of your second year of enrollment in the College. You will be asked to provide evidence that you attended classes in which you received a grade other than A, B, C, D, or P. If you are unable to provide the required evidence of attendance in those classes, a portion of your Title IV aid will be cancelled and you will be responsible for the subsequent outstanding balance on your account with the Office of the Bursar. Withdrawals A student who receives federal Title IV funds is subject to the federal rules governing the return of funds in the event that he or she withdraws. To determine the amount of Title IV funds a student may keep to pay charges, the Office of College Aid will consider the number of days the student was enrolled during the relevant quarter and the date on which the student first indicated his or her intent to withdraw. The following paragraphs explain how the University will determine the amount of Title IV aid a student has earned. A student earns Title IV funds in proportion to the length of time he or she is enrolled for the first 60% of the quarter. Title IV funds are defined as Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Direct PLUS, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. The length of time a student is enrolled is determined by subtracting the number of days the student attended the University from the total number of days in the quarter. The last day of attendance is the date the student begins the University s withdrawal process. If the student fails to use the official withdrawal process, the Office of College Aid will use the last date the student participated in an academically-related activity (e.g., lab, exam, assignment submission) that can be confirmed by a faculty or staff member. If the student leaves without notifying the Dean of Students in the College of his or her withdrawal and if it is impossible to establish a date that the student last participated in an academicallyrelated activity the midpoint of the quarter will be considered the official last date of attendance for the purpose of returning unearned Title IV funds. The student whose Title IV funds are returned will be responsible for any subsequent outstanding balance on his or her account with the Office of the Bursar. Federal law specifies the order in which the funds are allocated. Title IV funds will be the first resource applied to tuition, fees, and room and board charges. These charges are the ones assessed before the student s withdrawal date. They do not reflect the adjustment in charges that may have resulted from The University s Tuition Refund Schedule, which follows. THE UNIVERSITY S TUITION REFUND SCHEDULE: A student is charged no tuition or fees if he or she withdraws by the end of the first week of the quarter, and is charged 35% of tuition and fees if he or she withdraws in the second or third weeks of the quarter. There is no reduction in tuition or fee charges after the third week. Note that room and board charges will be adjusted based on the number of days that a student resided in a dormitory. Aid adjustments may also require you to repay a lump sum of student loan funds when eligibility is reduced. For example, a Federal Direct Stafford Loan that is approved for the academic year may be disbursed in two payments to cover three quarters of attendance. If, however, you withdraw at the end of the Winter Quarter, you are not eligible for the Spring Quarter portion of the loan. That amount will be refunded to the lender either by the Office of the Bursar or by you. NOTE: You must report all enrollment changes to the Office of College Aid immediately. FINANCING YOUR COLLEGE EDUCATION 13

15 Summary Even though you are not eligible for need-based grant assistance from the University of Chicago, please feel free to consult the staff of the Office of College Aid regarding the alternative financing options in this booklet. Financing options are varied and sometimes confusing. As you and your family choose among the programs available, you may have questions or concerns. The Office of College Aid staff can assist you in sorting through these issues. Please call on us if you need help. NOTE: This booklet is based on information received before July 1, 2013, and is subject to change without notice. 14 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CDO131504

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