ACTION ITEM: To Do Now. Money Plan: Now - Jan 22nd
December 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM
Now that final exams are winding down, we wanted to remind you about the timing of financial aid refunds for spring semester, because it may be later than you had expected.
If you are relying on your Spring financial aid refund to cover your expenses in January - you need to read this email carefully and take some action now.
The Bursar's Office will begin processing refund requests on Tue, Jan 22.
For those of you needing funds before that time, please read the information below that was previously distributed. For most students, this means working with the ACCESS Card Office to attain a credit to pay for books or other campus expenses, and working with Credit Counseling to submit a request for an Emergency Loan if funds are needed to pay for rent.
Staff will be available in the Law Financial Aid Office throughout next week if you have any questions before the winter break.
Susan Erwin, Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services
Bryan Hinkle, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management
I don’t understand the email that we got from the Bursars Office. Why can’t we get our refunds? Why do we have to wait? How do we pay rent?
Backstory: A number of years ago the university changed their policies regarding refunds, holding all refunds until after the add/drop period was over. This policy brought SCU in line with most other schools. (Prior to the implementation of this rule many students were over-awarded refunds, withdrew, ran away, never returned the money, and then SCU had go after them in collections and had to repay the feds on the student’s behalf. Waiting until after add/drop ensures that refunds are awarded accurately and cuts down tremendously on collections actions.) In an effort to be helpful, our Bursars Office has made exceptions to this rule for law students for the last few years. They recognized that you all were self-supporting, full-time students who needed the funds right away.
Fact One: You all come back on the 14th of January.
Fact Two: The rest of the university comes back on the 7th.
Fact Three: The PeopleSoft process that the Bursar has to run to award refunds can either be turned on for the whole university or turned off for the whole university.
If the Bursar's Office were to turn on the refund process for you during the week of the 7th, it would allow the 9,000 other people on campus to also request refunds earlier than they are allowed to. The process cannot be run manually because of the increased opportunity for errors and the fact that the 9,000 other people are all starting school and the Bursars Office will be swamped.
Solution: Recognizing that this would be a problem for some of you, the Bursar and Financial Aid Offices proposed the following solutions:
1. Let you all know what is going on as soon as possible, so that you can make a plan NOW if waiting until the second week of school to get your refund is going to be a problem.
2. Inform you of the different options for getting funds early. These options are:
a. Work with Law Financial Aid to increase your fall financial aid if you didn’t already use your entire budgeted amount. NOTE: not really the best solution, because we would like you to avoid increasing your debt load.
b. Work with the Bursar's Office in spring to apply for an Emergency Loan. In some cases, they might even be willing to waive the $50 processing fee. NOTE: for an emergency loan, you will need to show them that you need the money right away – like an overdue rent bill.
c. Work with the ACCESS Card Office to put $1,000 on your ACCESS card. NOTE: this is, in effect, a $1,000 advance on your spring aid.
Please note that this situation is not a case of anyone refusing you service or trying to take anything away from you. This is what it is and hopefully all of this information will allow you to make a plan that will get you through the first few weeks in January.
If it all seems too confusing, please talk to the helpful folks at Law Financial Aid. If it all seems too unreasonable, please come talk to one of us.