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Rookie Question

AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
So, it is my first kid going to college and I am getting really confused about the billing/financial aid disbursement process. Got a bill from college today for the full cost of the fall semester with no information about FA pending anywhere on the account. The FA page still has the original FA offer, but no information on the status or time frame for disbursement. So, right now it looks like we are expected to pay the full amount upfront? Not like there is any way in the world we can do it anyway, even if we get reimbursed later. The due date for the bill is about 3 weeks before the classes start and I already missed the part about federal loans not being disbursed until 10 days before the beginning of the semester. Now I wonder what else I missed. The original paperwork from the Financial Services did show the estimated amount due after FA, which is what I expected to see on the bill. I'll have DD call them tomorrow of course, it was too late to do it today because of the time difference. I would really appreciate any personal experiences with such situations.
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Replies to: Rookie Question

  • thumper1thumper1 73280 replies3188 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,468 Senior Member
    What other aid did your daughter receive?

    And yes, she should call to see how much she should be paying for the fall term. The bills are sent from the bursars office so she may have to speak to them. She should have her financial aid letter with her when she calls. Any chance you can be on the extension? Or this could be on speaker phone? Your daughter can say “my mom is also on this call, and has my permission to ask questions”.
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  • AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @thumper1 The bulk of the package is a need-based grant and a scholarship. Unfortunately, I am at work the whole day tomorrow and then DD is leaving for a week on Saturday, so the phone call will have to be on her.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73280 replies3188 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,468 Senior Member
    Well...tell her to have the financial aid award letter with her. She accepted her award...right?

    Assuming she accepted her financial aid...she needs to ask what she needs to pay after her aid is applied to the fall term. She should want this in writing too...so an email would be good.

    Has she checked her bursars account in her student portal? That might have the info...
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  • college_querycollege_query 4238 replies304 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,542 Senior Member
    Often a school will allow a student to add a parent (or other person) to the student account portal. Have your student check to see if that’s an option.

    When it’s closer to the start of school, the anticipated financial aid should show up. If there is a balance due, most schools allow you to set up a monthly payment plan to pay that in installments.

    My children both went to schools that met full need, where they received significant grant aid, and we did not have to pay the whole amount before aid disbursed.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22077 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,091 Senior Member
    Did she go onto her portal and accept all the FA?
    I think you are panicking unnecessarily. It takes the various offices a while to get everything posted. D#2's school was still posting, and unposting, and reposting, and changing her tuition and fees in July when the bill was due Aug 11. I was concerned and was panicking, but it all worked out. There were 9 line items of FA on her account and I swear they were all posted and removed at least once in July and Aug. I have never figured out why.

    I honestly think you are lucky to have received a physical bill at all. I had to beg for one (for an outside scholarship) and print it off myself. Never received one from either school.
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  • AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @thumper1 The only part of the award that had to be clearly declined/accepted was the federal loan and she did that. I called FA office sometime in the spring and asked if there is a separate process to accept the rest of the award and was told that it is enough just accept the offer of admission and pay the deposit. I know other schools have a separate acceptance process for FA and I checked and re-checked their FA website and did not see anything about it. DD is getting information about the work-study which is a part of the scholarship, so I assume she is on track to get at least the scholarship part. It does worry me now that there was no clear acceptance process for FA.
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  • AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @college_query I am the authorized user for payment system and it still shows just the bill for full tuition/RB, etc.
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  • AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @twoinanddone It actually was not a physical bill, just an e-bill. Does it make a difference? Her award letter says it is official as of June 20 and it lists all four types of aid: grant, scholarship, federal loan and student employment, so I assume it all good, but FA site only has information that you must actively accept just the federal loan and nothing else about other types of aid, so I am really confused about it now. I sure hope it is just the matter of FA office lagging behind.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22077 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,091 Senior Member
    All the grants were automatically accepted for my girls and they just had to accept or decline the loans and federal work study. Work study money doesn't come off the bill, but it was listed on the FA page.

    For example, for one daughter there were 5-6 billed items: tuition, room and board, 2 fees, insurance (if applicable). Then she had 10 different aid awards, including subsidized loans, and those would be applied individually to each billed item. If the award wasn't enough to pay an item, then the next award would be posted to that same item. Some of her awards could only be used for tuition, so those went on first and then they ran down the list:
    Tuition $19, 210
    Bright Futures: $2500
    FRAG $1500
    Alum grant $1000
    etc. until the $19210 was covered.

    She had 4 awards from the school, but different departments, 3 from the state, all different agencies, and 3 from the federal govt. Those all got to the billing office at different times. Then the athletic dept officer had to make sure they were applied correctly. I have all the bills printed out for each semester because I needed them for taxes. Some are 3 pages long and there were only 5 things billed. It was a ridiculous billing/application system.

    Other daughter's school posted all the billed costs, subtracted all the aid as a lump sum, and she paid or got a refund for the difference. Much easier.



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  • mommdcmommdc 11254 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,284 Senior Member
    Yes, your D should call with bill and FA award in hand.
    She should make sure she finished all requirements for her aid to post.
    Our timeline was like this:
    FA award received in April, loans accepted in May, MPN and entrance counseling done in June, room fee, meal plan, course fees and tuition posted in July after room assignment and class registration. Bill came out end of July and was due a month later.
    The aid was listed as anticipated aid and bill reflected that.
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  • AlikathAlikath 35 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Update: DD called FA office and was told that this is not the final bill and FA will be applied in the next week or so. I guess, that means we are good. Thank you everybody for your advice!
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