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Northwest Missouri State University Getting to know your finances

Money does matter


Table of contents The consolidated student account Billing policy University email accounts Understanding your monthly billing statement Installment payment plan How to pay Finance charges Authorized users Financial Assistance Refund and withdrawal policies Other information

Bursar/Cashiering Office 800 University Drive Maryville, MO 64468 Phone: 660.562.1578 Fax: 660.562.1400 Email: cashier@nwmissouri.edu Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance 800 University Drive Maryville, MO 64468 Phone: 660.562.1363 Fax: 660.562.1674 Email: FinancialAid@nwmissouri.edu


What every Northwest student should know about college expenses The college experience is a tremendous time of growth, whether it’s in the classroom, as part of a student organization, on the playing field or through social opportunities. Understanding and managing your financial responsibilities are equally important, and Northwest is pleased to provide you with the resources needed to manage your finances and provide answer to your questions you didn’t even know to ask, and much more. In addition to the material found within this publication, further information may be obtained at the Northwest Bursar’s Office website at www.nwmissouri.edu/bursar or by calling 660.562.1578.

The consolidated student account Northwest combines many of your fees and charges from different areas on campus into one consolidated student account. This allows us to send you one monthly billing statement that covers all of your customary charges, including tuition, technology fees, textbook rental fees, and room and board. Your ID card (Bearcat Card) also serves as a campus charge card, allowing you to be billed through one consolidated account for items such as bookstore purchases, copy charges, dining dollars, parking permits and Wellness Services charges just to name a few.

Billing policy – email A monthly billing statement is produced with amounts due on or before the 15th of the following month. Northwest uses a balance forward system. Any unpaid charges will appear on subsequent bills as a previous balance. Just like a credit card statement, charges will not be itemized a second time. Only new charges will be itemized. The first bill of each trimester will be mailed to the student’s permanent address. All subsequent bills will be emailed to the student’s University email account. The student may enter up to two additional email addresses on CatPAWS if they wish to have duplicate email bills sent to parent(s) or some other party responsible for payment. This is accomplished by going in to CatPAWS, click “Personal Information” tab, “Update Your Email Addresses,” “2nd and/or 3rd billing email.”

University email accounts All students have a University assigned email account. Our method of communication is through University email. It is the student’s responsibility to check it often for important information. Failure to do so could result in loss of services.


Understanding your monthly billing statement The monthly billing statement includes important messages, due dates, financial assistance, the total amount due, the minimum payment amount and a detail of charges. The numbered items below correspond to numbered examples on the sample billing statement.

1. Previous balance

The account balance from the last monthly billing statement.

2. Charges/refunds

New charges billed and refunds processed during this billing cycle. This includes charges put on by various offices on campus. See directory on back to refer questions concerning charges. The account summary above shows the total of the amounts detailed below.

3. Payments/credits

New payments and credits issued during this billing cycle. These include personal payments, private scholarships, financial assistance, and any other mode of payment. The account summary above shows the total of the payments and credit detailed below.

5. Minimum due

4. Authorized financial aid

Financial aid awarded to the student that has not yet been applied. Aid will not be credited to the accounts until classes begin. Any questions about anticipated aid, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance and Scholarships at 660.562.1363.

If paying on installments, this is the minimum payment due. To calculate the minimum due on your first installment, take the total charges, subtract scholarships and financial assistance and divide by four. A finance charge will be applied to any unpaid balance.

6. Total balance

The total amount due on the student’s account for the current billing period. Anticipated financial aid has been deducted even though it has not credited to the account. The total balance must be paid in order to avoid a finance charge.

7. Finance charges

You must pay the ‘Total Balance’ on or before the due date to avoid the 1% per month (12% APR) finance charge.

8. Important messages

Important information is included in this area. It can range from important dates, to new policy changes, to preregistration or verification information. Be sure to read this each month.


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Payment expectations The minimum amount due each month must be paid to remain enrolled. The first payment is due August 15 for the fall term, January 15 for the spring term, or upon registration for students not preregistered. Failure to pay the minimum due or make special payment arrangements could result in the student’s inability to use their meal plans and the possibility of administrative withdrawal. A series of email notifications are sent prior to any of these extreme measures being imposed.

Installment payment plan Northwest’s installment plan provides an alternative to a large lump sum payment each trimester. This plan enables families and students to make four regularly scheduled monthly installment payments each fall/spring trimester at a 1% per month finance charge. The minimum payment is one-fourth (1/4) the current term’s charges after financial assistance is deducted. A 1% per month charge (12% APR) will be calculated on the remaining unpaid billed amount. Miscellaneous charges are billed monthly with each installment.

How to pay There are a number of methods available for making payments on the account. Students and authorized users have the following online options. n WebCheck – an electronic check is a free service in which you can have payment withdrawn from your checking or savings account. n Online Debit – Use your bank debit card to make payment. Not all bank cards allow PINless debit n Credit Card –MasterCard, Discover, VISA, or American Express are accepted online. A convenience fee of 2.75% applies to all credit card payments. Walk in and mailing options are also available

Fall Payment Due Dates

Spring Payment Due Dates

August 15

January 15

September 15

February 15

October 15

March 15

November 15

April 15

n Pay in person in the Cashiers Office on the first floor of the Administration Building using a personal check, cash, PIN debit, money order, cashier’s check or traveler’s check. n Pay by mail using money order, cashier’s check or personal check. (include student’s 919# on payment) Payments cannot be taken over the phone. Outside private scholarship checks should be directed to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468. Scholarship checks will be credited to the account like other financial assistance and cannot be used towards an installment payment.

Finance charges If you take advantage of the installment minimum payment option, or otherwise pay an amount less than the total amount due on your monthly billing statement, the university will assess a 1% monthly (12% APR) finance charge on the unpaid balance. The finance charge is based upon the unpaid total due from the previous monthly billing statement and will not be assessed against new charges appearing in the billing cycle. To avoid finance charges, pay the total amount due on the billing statement by the scheduled due date.


Authorized users There are two different authorizations a student must complete in order to allow parent(s) or other individuals access to the student’s information.

1. Online access to view account and pay bills n Log into CatPAWS

2. Release of information concerning grades, student account, and financial assistance.

n Account Tab

n Log into CatPAWS

n Account/Payment Center

n Student Tab

n Click ‘Authorized users tab’

n Click ‘Authorize Release of Information’

n Add an authorized user

n Follow instructions to complete

This will create an ‘Authorized User’ for the account/ payment center. Once the authorization is complete, an email will be sent to the new authorized user with login instructions. The username is the authorized users email and the password will be sent in a separate email. Login at https://secure.touchnet.com/C21165_tsa/web/ login.jsp. For your records: Email _____________________________________________ Password _________________________________________

A unique Northwest ID will be created beginning with ‘T11’ for you to log into CatPAWS to view grades. You will also have access to 1098T tax credit information from this login. DO NOT enter the account/payment center through this login, it is not connected to the student account for payment. For your records: User ID ___________________________________________ PIN _______________________________________________


Financial assistance There are four main types of financial aid, which include scholarships, grants, work programs, and loans. Scholarships and grants are considered “free money” and do not have to be repaid. Work programs, which include the Federal Work-Study Program and our own institutional work program, allow students to work on campus to help earn money for their education. Student and parent loans, unlike scholarships and grants, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest.

Applying for aid The first step in applying for financial aid is to make sure you have filed the 2013-2014 Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is the application for all Federal grants, work-study, and student loans. For federal student aid purposes, a student is considered to be a dependent student and must provide parental information if he/she cannot answer “yes” to any of the 11 dependency questions asked on the FAFSA. A student not being claimed on tax forms by parents, does not make the student an independent student for purposes of applying for federal student aid. If you have filed the FAFSA and have been selected for verification, please make sure that you have submitted all of the requested documents. Student aid cannot be disbursed until all requested documents have been submitted and processed. If family financial circumstances change after the FAFSA is filed, contact the Office of Scholarship and Financial Assistance at 800.633.1175 to see if you might be eligible to file a Special Conditions Application.

Institutional scholarships Northwest offers numerous institutional scholarships which are automatically credited to the student account. Most institutional scholarships are divided equally between the fall and spring trimesters and require full-time enrollment (at least 12 credit hours) for those terms.

Private resources/ scholarships Many students receive scholarships from private donors (Optimist Club, High School, Dollars for Scholars, etc.). By law, students are required to report these private resources to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance, so that these scholarships can be included with the financial aid package. You can report these scholarships on CatPAWS, when you accept your financial aid award offer. If you receive a private scholarship check, please forward

the scholarship check, along with your name and student ID (919#), to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at the following address: Northwest Missouri State University Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance 273 Administration Building 800 University Drive Maryville, Missouri 64468 Once the private scholarship check is received, the student account will be credited. All funds received in the fall trimester will be credited to the fall trimester unless stated otherwise by the donor or the student. If the private resources/scholarships received affect the aid that has already been accepted, the student will receive an email or a postcard indicating the change in the award package. Private resource/scholarship donors may have requirements that must be met before the funds will be released. Students and families are encouraged to look into any other forms of assistance that they might be eligible for such as Veteran’s benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation, Workforce Investment Act, etc. There are representatives in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance (800.633.1175 or finaid@ nwmissouri.edu) who can assist with these programs.

Grants Grants are free money based on calculated need. Such grants are the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Grant, the Missouri Access Grant, and the Northwest American Dream Grant. These grants are also credited directly to the students account and most are divided equally between the fall and spring trimesters.

Work study Northwest offers both the Federal Work-Study program and our own institutional work program. The Federal Work-Study Program is need-based but the institutional program is not. Students are responsible for finding their own employment and receive a monthly paycheck (via direct deposit) for hours worked. To find student employment opportunities, please visit www. nwmissouri.edu/hr/student/jobs.


Student loans

Private Loans

Federal Direct Student Loans

Private student loans are available through outside lenders and do not require students to demonstrate financial need. These loans require a credit check and in almost all cases, students will need a co-signer. Private loans can have either a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate and the rate is determined by the credit worthiness of the borrower/ co-borrower. For additional information about private loans, please visit our website at www.nwmissouri.edu/FinAid/ Alternative.htm. We urge you to use the Federal Student Loans first before considering a private loan.

There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans that are automatically guaranteed to students, Subsidized and Unsubsidized. Subsidized Loans are available to students who demonstrate financial need. A Subsidized Loan currently has a fixed interest rate of 3.4%, with no interest accruing until the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment (6 hours). Repayment starts six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time attendance. Unsubsidized Loans are not need based. An Unsubsidized Loan currently has a fixed interest rate of 6.8% and the interest begins to accrue upon disbursement to the student’s account. No payment on the loan is required until six months after the student graduates, leaves school, or drops below halftime enrollment. However, if the interest is not paid quarterly, the interest capitalizes (interest will incur interest), so we strongly encourage students to keep the interest paid, if possible. Depending on your financial need, you may receive both Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans for the same enrollment period, but the total amount of these loans may not exceed the annual loan limit. Therefore, you are eligible for the following in direct student loans for an academic year: Freshman (0-29 hours) ~ $5,500.00 (Maximum of $3,500.00 in Subsidized Loan) Sophomore (30-59 hours) ~ $6,500.00 (Maximum of $4,500.00 in Subsidized Loan) Junior (60-89 hours) ~ $7,500.00 (Maximum of $5,500.00 in Subsidized Loan) Senior (90 and above) ~ $7,500.00 (Maximum of $5,500.00 in Subsidized Loan) First-time borrowers of any Federal student loans must complete both an Entrance Counseling Session requirement and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) before the loan will be disbursed to the student account.

Perkins Loans Federal Perkins Loans are offered to students who demonstrate financial need. A Perkins Loan has a fixed interest rate of 5%. Interest does not begin accruing and repayment does not begin until nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. First-time borrowers of a Federal Perkins Loan must complete the MPN (www. ecsi.net/prom4p) before the loan will be disbursed to the student account. Repayment on the Perkins Loan will be made to Northwest.

Parent loan Parents can borrow a Parent PLUS Loan for the difference between the cost of attendance and whatever aid the student is receiving. PLUS Loans are credit based and carry a 7.9% interest rate. Parents can choose to begin payment 60 days after the full disbursement or they can request to defer payment until six months after their student leaves school. Interest does begin to accrue upon disbursement so again, we encourage keeping the interest paid if possible. If a parent is denied a PLUS loan due to a negative credit decision, the student can assume additional unsubsidized loan eligibility up to $4,000 per year as freshman and sophomores and $5,000 as a junior and above. There are two ways a parent can apply for the Parent PLUS Loan. The first option is that your parent can go to www. studentloans.gov, sign in with their PIN, and then click on “Complete PLUS Request Process”. If the parent who signed the FAFSA is not the one completing the PLUS Request, your other parent can request a PIN at www.pin. ed.gov. If you choose this method, we will contact your parent to confirm his/her decision to accept this loan. For the second option, the parent can complete the 2013-2014 Parent Plus Loan Information Form at www.nwmissouri. edu/finaid/forms.htm, then print, sign, and return the form to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Assistance at Northwest. Go to www.nwmissouri.edu/FinAid/Guide.htm for more information on sources of financial aid including annual and aggregate loan limits.

Have you? ❏ Applied for Financial Aid www.fafsa.gov (Northwest’s School Code 002496) ❏ Responded to any of our requests for verification www.nwmissouri.edu/FinAid/Forms.htm ❏ Accepted Financial Aid online www.nwmissouri.edu/finaid/pdf/AwardOffer.pdf ❏ Completed the Entrance Counseling Session and Master Promissory Note (first-time borrower) at https://studentloans.gov ❏ Completed the Parent PLUS Loan Information Form www.nwmissouri.edu/FinAid/Forms.htm


Refund and withdrawal policy Refunding dropped courses Tuition and required fees will be reduced in the case of drop or complete withdrawal from Northwest as follows: Refund/Reduction

Full Trimester Courses

Block Courses

Single Session Summer Courses

100%

1st Week

3 Days

1 Day

75%

2nd Week

2 Days

1 Day

50%

3rd Week

3 Days

1 Day

25%

4th Week

2 Days

1 Day

Other time frames prorated accordingly.

Room and board

Refund procedures

In the case of withdrawals, room charges will be reduced using the same percentage reduction as tuition above. The Board cost will be $100 weekly plus a $100 processing fee. Any unused dining dollars will be refunded.

Refunds are processed weekly. Direct deposit of student refunds is required. To set up direct deposit of student refunds, log into the account/payment center through your CatPAWS account. Click the eRefunds tab and complete the refund account setup.

Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid This requirement applies to you ONLY if: 1. You received federal student aid, and 2. You are withdrawing prior to completing 60% of the trimester The federal law requires federal aid recipients to “earn” most of the aid they receive. Students who withdraw prior to completing 60% of the trimester will be required to return some of the aid they were awarded. The university must calculate the amount of aid earned based on a calculation determined by the federal government. This means a portion of your student loans and grants will be returned and you will have an outstanding balance owed the University. If you consider withdrawing for any reason, please meet with a Financial Aid Counselor first to determine the financial impact.

Direct deposit remains active until deleted in the account/payment center in your CatPAWS account. Currently, direct deposit is available only for student refunds. Refunds resulting from Parent Plus loan proceeds are mailed to the parent who originated the loan. If direct deposit is not activated, refunds will be mailed to the student’s local address which will take up to a week longer to receive. Any charges occurring after the refund is processed is expected to be paid monthly as they are billed.


Other information Nonresident Missouri income tax credit The Marion & HJ Fischer Jr. Memorial Fee Waiver (Fischer Tax Credit) is available for nonresident students and their families who pay Missouri state income tax even though they reside outside of the state. The nonresident student must have paid Missouri state income tax or be a dependent on the state tax return of another taxpayer who lives outside of the state and pays Missouri state income tax. Business, partnership or property taxes do not qualify. Students will receive a reduction on the nonresident portion of tuition equal to the amount of tax paid. However, a student will not pay less than resident tuition. To claim this credit, a copy of the Missouri state tax return showing the student’s name as either the taxpayer or dependent and the amount of Missouri income tax paid needs to be mailed to: Cashiering Office, 800 University Drive, Maryville, Missouri 64468. Or faxed to 660.562.1400. No separate application is required.

Tax benefits for education The American Opportunity Tax and the Lifetime Learning credit are two tax credits available to qualified tax payers. Additionally you may be eligible for tax deductions for tuition and fees. The university will produce a form 1098-T for each tax year during which you are enrolled in classes. This will include amounts billed for qualified educational fees and amounts of scholarships and grants you received. This information is available on the student’s CatPAWS. For details about the possible credits, and to find out if you are eligible to take advantage of any of the options, refer to IRS Publication 970 “Tax Benefits for Education.” If you need assistance determining your eligibility, or have questions about preparing your tax return, please contact a qualified tax professional. The university is unable to provide tax or legal advice.

Taxation of aid received A portion of your financial aid may be taxable. It is your responsibility to determine the portion of financial aid, if any, that is taxable and to properly report it on your income tax return. Per IRS guidelines, the university does not provide income reporting on the taxability of your financial aid.

Estimating your budget Few students pay for college using just one funding source. You will likely use some combination of savings, family contributions, scholarships, grants, loans and work study. It is important that you understand how much it will cost to attend college. Once you know this, you can match this information with available funding sources to know exactly where the funds will come from. Use the cost calculator on our website at www.nwmissouri. edu/Bursar/costworksheets.htm to help determine your costs.


Have questions about your bill? Call these numbers for assistance figuring out specific charges:

Bursar/Cashiering Office: Billing and refund questions...................................................... 660.562.1578 Late payments........................................................................... 660.562.1583

Other offices: Advisement – class schedule changes...................................... 660.562.1695 Bookstore – charges.................................................................. 660.562.1246 Campus Dining – meal charges................................................. 660.562.1430 Computer Help Desk................................................................. 660.562.1634 Financial Assistance.................................................................. 660.562.1363 Registrar.................................................................................... 660.562.1151 Residential Life – room charges................................................ 660.562.1214 University Police – parking charges........................................... 660.562.1254 Wellness Services – charges..................................................... 660.562.1348

Questions about holds? Admissions................................................................................ 660.562.1148 Assessment............................................................................... 660.562.1452 Cashiering.................................................................................. 660.562.1578 Meningitis.................................................................................. 660.562.1348 MMR......................................................................................... 660.562.1348

General information: Student Services Center............................................................ 660.562.1212


Money does matter 2013  

Northwest Missouri State University, Money does matter brochure 2013

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