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WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Financial Aid terms defined

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THE EARLY FAFSA

University of Rochester | Fall 2016

Prior-prior year PG 5

Meet Our Staff:

SAM VEEDER Associate Dean and Director of Financial Aid

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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FINANCIAL AID STAFF DIRECTOR

Samantha Veeder

University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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A Letter from the Director A few words on the start of the Fall semester

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Frequently Asked Questions Refund checks, promissory notes and more

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Financial Aid Glossary Entrance Counseling, Master Promissory Notes, and Parent PLUS Loans

SENIOR ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS

Amanda B. Carter, Shalena Clary, Mary Ellen Nugent SENIOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Hali Skaggs ASSISTANT DIRECTORS

Meghan Coyne, Shawn Denman, Emily Hessney SENIOR COUNSELORS

Patrick Hennessey, Tayler Kreutter, Christina Schmidt, Stephen Willhauck COUNSELORS

Meredith Doubleday, Matt Fountaine, Ashley Rocca, Gala Tubera, Carrie Welch

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National Student Aid Update Prior-prior year income

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Do It Yourself Outside scholarships

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Meet Samantha Veeder Associate Dean of College Enrollment, Director of Financial Aid

GUEST RELATIONS COORDINATOR

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Spotlight On The Fellowships Office

CONTACTING THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

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Meet a Student Worker Temi Kapula

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Fiancial Literacy A summary of Spring events

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Up Next What’s on the horizon for Financial Aid

OFFICE MANAGER

Joyce Thomas Patti LaRosa

PHONE

(585) 275-3226 or toll-free (800) 881-8234 FAX

(585) 756-7664 MAILING ADDRESS

The Financial Aid Office Wallis Hall PO Box 270261 Rochester, NY 14627-0261 EMAIL

finaid@rochester.edu

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016


A LETTER FROM THE

DIRECTOR Samantha Veeder

Associate Dean Of College Enrollment, Director of Financial Aid samantha.veeder@rochester.edu

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elcome to the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. We are excited for students to return for the start of classes this fall and are eager to welcome the class of 2020 to campus!

Our approach to financial aid is highly individualized. We collect and thoroughly review as much information as possible and we put together aid packages that offer a combination of merit- and need-based scholarships and grants and reasonable expectations for student loans and work-study that speak directly to the needs of each family. Plus, we determine need on an annual basis. So, if your financial situation changes from one year to the next, most commonly when a sibling’s college enrollment changes or when there are significant annual changes in family income, we can respond with an appropriate aid package. For those families whose financial situation remains constant throughout the four years, you can expect the financial aid package to remain consistent as well. Our office is open daily from Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, with the exception of Wednesdays, when we open at 10 am. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about financial aid. Throughout the fall semester, please also feel free to contact the following offices regarding specific questions on billing, housing, or meal plans: • The Bursar’s Office – (585) 275-3931 • Residential Life – (585) 275-3166 • Dining Services – (585) 275-6265 This edition of the Financial Aid Office’s Parent Newsletter provides insights on the new Early FAFSA form for 2017-18, updates on our financial literacy program, information on the Fellowships Office, answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, and more! We hope it is useful. We congratulate and welcome our freshmen, transfer students, and their families to the University of Rochester, and are happy to welcome back all of our returning undergraduates! Meliora!

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FINANCIAL AID GLOSSARY

by Carrie Welch, Financial Aid Counselor

by Stephen Willhauck, Senior Financial Aid Counselor

Q: How do I get my refund check? A: Refund checks are issued after all aid had disbursed and only if your total aid exceeds your total charges. Please verify that all of your aid has disbursed before requesting a refund. You can see which aid has disbursed by logging into FAOnline and viewing the “Disbursements” tab. You can request a refund by contacting the Bursar’s Office at (585) 275-3931 or via email at bursar@admin. rochester.edu.

ENTRANCE COUNSELING

Refunds are now available via direct deposit! Visit the Bursar’s site to learn more. Q: I am trying to sign my Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) but it isn’t letting be complete it online, what should I do? A: Students who have no prior credit to the student loans will most likely not be able to complete the Perkins Loan MPN online. You will need to print out the form, sign it and mail it to us as soon as possible. We do need to receive the actual paper promissory note with your original signature; we cannot accept photocopies. Q: There have been updates made to my package, but I don’t see any change to my bill; What should I do? A: The UR e-Pay system does not update in real time. UR e-Pay only updates once per month when the Bursar’s Office generates new bills. If a change is made during this time, please log in to FAOnline and view the change. Once you view the change in FAOnline, you’ll need to wait one business day for the information to feed from the financial aid system to the Bursar’s system; then you can call or email the Bursar’s Office and request a revised amount due.

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

A mandatory information session which takes place before you receive your first federal student loan. The session will explain your responsibilities and rights as a student borrower.

MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE A binding legal document that you must sign when you get a federal student loan. The MPN can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). It lists the terms and conditions under which you agree to repay the loan and explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It’s important to read and save your MPN because you’ll need to refer to it later when you begin repaying your loan or at other times when you need information about provisions of the loan, such as deferments or forbearances.

PARENT PLUS LOAN A federal loan issued in the parent’s name. The U.S. Department of Education is your lender. You must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.


NATIONAL STUDENT AID UPDATE

EARLY FAFSA TIPS: 1

Use the IRS data retrieval tool to help make sure your information is accurate. This may prevent the Financial Aid Office from reaching out to you for

by Christina Schmidt, Senior Financial Aid Counselor

additional information later on.

In September of last year, President Obama signed an executive order to allow the use of prior-prior year income tax data to be used on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) for awarding financial aid in the 2017-2018 school year. The hope is that the information collected will increase the form’s accuracy and give families a more precise idea of their anticipated financial aid and college costs. This article is intended to show how this Early FAFSA policy will be implemented to benefit University of Rochester students. The Early FAFSA will affect all undergraduate students applying for financial aid starting in the 2017-2018 academic year and beyond. The chart below shows which income tax returns will be required to apply for aid during a given academic year.

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Complete your marital status information as it pertains to the day you complete the applications. If it is different from when you filed your 2015 taxes, you will not be eligible to use the IRS data retrieval process.

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If you already completed the FAFSA for the 2016-2017 academic year using 2015 taxes, your income information will NOT carry forward into the next year. Have your 2015 tax returns handy when completing the applications.

Why are these changes a good thing? First, there is no need to estimate your tax information. In years past, you were most likely scrambling to file your tax returns so as to be able to complete the financial aid applications on time. Using already completed tax returns will help to ensure you get the most accurate financial aid package up front. Secondly, having access to the FAFSA three months earlier aligns with the CSS Profile availability and gives you more time to complete the forms.

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You cannot use 2016 tax information for the 2017-2018 year application.

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Your assets need to be reported as it pertains to the day the FAFSA is filled out.

Some University of Rochester students will also be required to complete the CSS PROFILE. As in previous year, the application is still available starting October 1st, now mirroring the new Early FAFSA date. The CSS PROFILE will also utilize the same tax return information required for the FAFSA and the same priority filing deadlines.

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Learn more at the Federal Student Aid website.

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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DO IT YOURSELF: OUTSIDE SCHOLARSHIPS by Gala Tubera, Financial Aid Counselor The strength of students at the University of Rochester often makes them excellent candidates for outside scholarships, even after their freshman year. Students can apply for outside scholarships at any time. To take advantage of our multiple outside scholarship resources, visit our website.

The outside scholarship page is split into four sections. The first, “Policy”, highlights the University of Rochester’s procedures for processing an outside scholarship for a student. For more information on how a student’s scholarship will affect their current aid package, please reach out to their Financial Aid Counselor.

The second tab lists a series of University partners that can assist in deepening the student’s search for scholarships beyond the University. Fastweb in particular also has resources for understanding all the components of a financial aid package and general financial literacy information.

The next two tabs are scholarships available to students divided by application deadlines. When scholarships notify us that they are accepting applications, the information is updated here for students to peruse. General information such as eligibility requirements and application components are listed on these tabs and organized by due date. Simply clicking on the scholarship name will take you directly to their website to apply.

When the student receives an outside scholarship, simply email their financial aid counselor to let them know the name of the scholarship and the amount the student was awarded per semester. The student will receive a confirmation email once the award has been added. Once the student’s counselor is notified, the amount of the outside scholarships received will reduce the work-study and loan awards before reducing any need-based grants. The combination of outside awards and Rochester-packaged awards may not exceed a student’s institutional need or cost of attendance. 6

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016


Meet Our Staff:

SAM VEEDER Associate Dean and Director of Financial Aid by Emily Hessney, Assistant Director

The Financial Aid Office is comprised of 19 staff members who are happy to assist you. I sat down with Sam Veeder, our new Director of Financial Aid, to learn more about her, why she came to the University of Rochester, and what her vision for the future of financial aid at Rochester entails. How long have you been at the University? Is there anything specific that drew you to the University of Rochester? I started at the University on February 1, 2016. I was drawn to the University of Rochester because I wanted to work at an institution where I could maintain relationships with students and parents, but also provide leadership to an office and be involved with strategic initiatives. I always enjoy engaging in both customer service and leadership, and that’s not possible at some larger schools where the director is not accessible to students and parents. Rochester was a great fit for me as well because of the open academic curriculum, the student body, and the focus on learning. How long have you worked in financial aid? What was your career path like before you came here? I’ve worked in financial aid for over 24 years.

I started as a federal work study student at Ithaca College when I was an undergrad. Right out of undergrad, I started working at Keuka College in a small two-person office. I had the opportunity to become a director at a very young age and had to learn how to do everything very quickly! It was great, though, because I got to see the bigger picture and I was able to learn all aspects of awarding financial aid–federal, state, and institutional programs and regulations. All 24 of my years in financial aid have been at private institutions in Upstate New York and as an enrollment management consultant for a consulting firm working with colleges and universities all over the country including large public, small private, NCAA Division I, etc. What attracted you to financial aid? Financial aid suits me well for several reasons. It’s a career that allows me the opportunity FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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to focus on the details, which is one of my strengths, while at the same time executing a vision for the big picture. I’m also constantly challenged by changes and federal and state regulations, and I enjoy a challenge. In addition to all of that, it also has a customer service aspect that helps to get me away from the details and actually make a difference in students’ lives. What’s your favorite part of your current role? I love being able to make changes to improve service to students. It’s very motivating to see things change quickly—I find it particularly energizes me to keep seeking new ways to improve. It’s very Meliora! Ever better. What’s the most challenging part of being a financial aid director? Regulatory compliance, for sure. Since 2008, the volume of changes and regulations to comply with has increased considerably. It’s an enormous amount to manage and I am always

What is your vision for financial aid at the University of Rochester? My vision is for us to continue to provide outstanding customer service. We want to communicate clearly and transparently with all students and parents. Additionally, I want us to be successful in our investment in making Rochester affordable for students. I also want to create a work environment where our staff members all enjoy supporting each other in pursuit of achieving these goals. What are you most excited about in the future of the financial aid office? One of the things I’m most excited about is taking a wonderful financial literacy program to new heights! We are one of the few schools that offers any kind of financial literacy education, and I’m excited about finding new ways to expand our offerings and reach more students. What are your hobbies? I enjoy working out (especially Zumba), spending time with family, and reading by the pool in the summertime. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors!

“ My vision is for us to continue to

provide outstanding customer service. We want to communicate clearly and transparently with all students and parents. Additionally, I want us to be successful in our investment in making Rochester affordable for students.” focused on maintaining customer service despite the volume of change placed upon us for processing.

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

Do you have any advice for parents and students for navigating financial aid successfully? Always be sure to file the forms on time. If you’re confused, reach out for help so that you can meet the deadlines. Be sure to talk to your financial aid counselor if anything is changing with your financial situation. Use your resources! Our office is one of those resources; we’re here to help.


SPOTLIGHT ON: THE FELLOWSHIPS OFFICE By Meredith Doubleday, International Financial Aid Counselor The Financial Aid Office works with a variety of offices on campus. I sat down with Belinda Redden to learn more about the Fellowships Office at the University of Rochester. Belinda’s tenure with the University began in 2000 when she worked in the College Center for Advising Services, wherein she did a wide range of student advising. She is now the Director of the Fellowships Office and works with students to identify appropriate recipients for merit-based scholarships and fellowships and to support those students during the application process. What services does the Fellowships Office offer undergraduates? The Fellowship Office’s primary objective is to connect high performing students with competitive opportunities that are funded by sources outside of the University. Examples of these scholarships include funding for language study outside of the United States during the summer months, postgraduate opportunities to spend a year abroad pursuing graduate-level study, peace-related service projects, and many more. There are many fellowships that support international study such as the Fulbright Program, Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. We also help students with fellowships and awards that fund domestic activity such as the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Truman Scholarship. What do you want parents to know about the Office? Start early! Freshman year is not too early to get oriented to the office and to understand the range of opportunities, as well as a sense of the timeline for various competitions. Many of these fellowships also have specific eligibility criteria in addition to achieving high grades. There are also an increasing number of opportunities that are available to students who are not US citizens. For example, the Rhodes Scholarship is now available to students from China and to students who are permanent

residents with at least five years of continuous legal permanent residency in the US. Humanities in Action is open to international students of any nationality as well as the Schwarzman Scholars program in China. Privately funded fellowships and scholarships are broadening eligibility criteria as well. What do you enjoy most about working in the Fellowships Office? I enjoy the one-to-one relationships with students. Some students come into our office with a strong sense of what their long-term goals are, and we are able to zero in right away on specific fellowships. On the other hand, there are many highly motivated, high performing students who haven’t settled on a particular direction, and we are able to have a conversation about possible paths and potential scholarships that support their general goals. Students can visit the Fellowships Office in 4-209B Dewey Hall during Office Hours or by calling (585)276-5869 to make an appointment. FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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MEET A STUDENT WORKER:

Temi Kapula FINANCIAL AID STUDENT WORKER by Patrick Hennessey, Senior Financial Aid Counselor

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f you call or visit the Financial Aid office, chances are you will speak with one of our student workers. They are friendly and polite, and they continually learn about the financial aid process, so that they can be helpful to you. But there is so much more to each one of these students! As we get to know them in our office, we realize how fortunate we are to have such great people on our team. As part of our ongoing series, “Meet a Student Worker,” here is our interview with Temi Kapula. PH: Tell me about yourself. TK: Well, my names are Ntemena Mwandwa Kapula. I come from a very small mining town called Chingola in Zambia. I’m a Math major with an intent to move toward a pre-med track. With the flexibility of Rochester’s degree requirements, anything could happen with that degree! I’m also involved with a handful of on-campus groups including the UR Christian Fellowship/Worship Team, the Pan-African Choir where as many as 7 languages are represented and sung, and the Archery Club. PH: What is the most rewarding part of being a University of Rochester student? TK: For me, it’s definitely creating relationships throughout the campus and the community. Whatever the nature of those relationships is, it’s great to get to know people on a bunch of different levels, who are coming from diverse backgrounds and situations. It’s a big network to dip into!

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

PH: What’s the most challenging aspect of being a student here? TK: Juggling five classes, two jobs, and all my extracurricular activities. I keep myself very busy on campus, and while I enjoy that it’s also a lot to manage all at once. I also send money home to my mother in Zambia to help with her expenses and have been saving up to buy her a house when I begin my career. Even though that can be a lot to manage, I have a long-term goal to work toward and keep me motivated, while also making sure I keep my priorities in the short-term so I can succeed at the University. PH: What drew you the University of Rochester? TK: Dean Jon Burdick! He was the first person to introduce me to Rochester. I hadn’t even heard of the school when I first met him through the African Leadership Academy. I applied to multiple schools in the United Kingdom; the University of Rochester became the only US school that I was interested in. Meeting with Dean Burdick was supposed to be a 15-minute interview, and it turned into a 45-minute conversation! I got a glimpse of what Meliora means through him, and here I am!


FINANCIAL LITERACY by Emily Hessney, Assistant Director During the spring semester, we held more financial literacy events than ever before! We are excited to be collaborating with other departments and student organizations on campus. In March, we held the spring session of “Affording Education Abroad,” a joint event with the Hajim School of Engineering and the Center for Education Abroad. We discussed how to afford a semester in another country while enjoying delicious pizza! We encourage all students to meet with Financial Aid before studying abroad to learn more about budgeting and other money-saving tricks. We held two events in April this year and really enjoyed participating in both! The first was called “Intro to Postgrad Finances” and was held in Riverview. We

UP NEXT by Amanda B. Carter, Senior Associate Director Returning Student Award Information for 2016-2017 Students who will be returning for the 2016-2017 academic year and have provided all elements of their financial aid application by May 2, 2016 should have received an email regarding their aid for next year before the first bill for the new academic year. All information regarding the status of a student’s aid application is emailed to their University of Rochester email address, so students should keep an eye on their email over the summer months. Once your student has shared that award information with you, please contact our office with any questions. Financial Aid Disbursement All required documents must be received by the Financial Aid Office in order for a student’s financial aid to disburse on time for the fall semester. Students receive monthly

partnered up with one of the Community Advisors to put on this program where we talked nitty gritty details of loan repayment plans, budgeting, money management apps, and more! We also had tasty Insomnia Cookies. Last but certainly not least, we collaborated with the Memorial Art Gallery (did you know it’s actually a part of the University and is free to students?!) to host an event called “Financial Flair and the Ebony Fashion Fair.” Students learned all about successful entrepreneur Eunice Johnson and how she managed her finances to be able to start a publishing and fashion empire! Students got to enjoy food from Brown Hound Downtown as well. For a recap of the event, check out this blog. We are looking forward to putting on more financial literacy events in the fall semester! If you are interested in learning more about what we do or co-sponsoring an event, please reach out via email to Emily Hessney at emily.hessney@rochester.edu.

emails notifying them of any outstanding documents that are preventing their financial aid from disbursing on time. These emails began in May 2016 and have continued over the summer months every two weeks until their application is complete. Missing documents can be submitted directly to the Financial Aid Office via email, fax, regular mail, or in person. Disbursement of financial aid, if all required application requirements have been met, will occur no earlier than a week before the start of the fall term. Reapplying for Financial Aid Even though it feels like we’ve only just wrapped up the last application process, our office is already starting to plan out the reapplication process for the 2017-2018 academic year. The FAFSA and CSS PROFILE will both be available on October 1, 2016 this year, allowing students to complete their federal application a full three months earlier! More information will be sent to students during the coming months regarding their options as well as their application deadlines for the new award year.

FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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FINANCIAL AID NEWS | University of Rochester | Fall 2016

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