The Office of Financial Aid
 
University of Denver

Fall 2011 Financial Aid Newsletter

 

Message from the Director of Financial Aid

Dear Student,

If you are among the many undergraduate students who rely on some form of aid to pay for school, some of your time is going to be spent interacting with the Office of Financial Aid. We understand you came to DU to get a first-rate education, and don't expect you to be an expert in financial aid. That's why we have a team of professionals dedicated to helping you navigate the process and make the most of your financial aid awards.

We also make every effort to keep you informed of changes to and requirements for your financial aid with frequent and timely communication (like this newsletter, for instance). And, the Financial Aid website makes navigating and retrieving financial aid information easier than ever.

Be on the lookout for the messages we send your way--they likely contain important information about your financial aid status. And the next time you have a question about your financial aid, give us a call at 303.871.4020 or email us at finaid@du.edu. We welcome your feedback and want to ensure the personalized attention you receive in the classroom continues in our office.

Sincerely, 
Chris George
Director of Financial Aid

4 Things your Should Know About Private Educational Loans

If all of your grant, scholarship, and federal loan funding has been exhausted, but you still have tuition bills or personal expenses to pay for, a private educational loan might be your next best option for covering your bills. But before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you should know.

  1. You'll probably need a cosigner
    Unlike federal student loans, private educational loans are subject to credit-based approval. Most undergrads don't have a long enough credit history to be approved for a loan by themselves, so you will likely need a credit-worthy cosigner to help you secure a private loan.

    But even if you can qualify for a loan by yourself, you may still want to find a cosigner. Having a cosigner makes the loan less risky for the lender, and the interest rate is usually determined by the higher of the two credit scores. These factors can score you a lower interest rate than if you decided to go it alone.
     
  2. Interest rates are not fixed
    One fundamental distinction between federal and private loans is the interest rate. All federal student loans have fixed interest rates that cannot change of over the life of the loan.

    On the other hand, most private loans have variable interest rates. This means that, over the life of the loan, the interest rate will fluctuate. This change can occur monthly or quarterly, and different lenders have different maximum interest rates. Be sure to read your Master Promissory Note so you know how often your interest rate will be adjusted, and how high it can go.

  3. You should shop around
    Don’t just take out a loan with the first bank that hands you a flashy brochure--do some research. Numerous institutions offer private educational loans, and the only way to be sure you are choosing the best one for you is by stacking them up against each other.

    To help make the lender selection process easier, DU has partnered with the student loan comparison website
    SimpleTuition. Once there, you can analyze the interest rates, monthly payments amounts, number of payments, and the total cost of loans offered by a variety of lenders.

  4. They are not eligible for federal forgiveness programs
    The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, a federal program that provides student loan forgiveness to individuals who work for public service employers, is not available for private educational loans. So go ahead and satisfy your altruistic side by working for a non-profit. Just don’t expect it to reduce your private loan debt.

 Don't Rely on Your Refund

The fall 2011 financial aid disbursement day is September 2nd, and if the amount of aid that pays in to your student account exceeds what you owe to DU, you will receive a refund for the difference. However, refunds do not usually reach students until 5 days after disbursement. That means if you are going to need money to pay rent, buy books, or eat pizza, you should bring it with you and not rely on your financial aid refund to pay for those prior-to-school expenses.

What's the quickest way to receive your refund? Direct deposit. To sign up for direct deposit, log into webCentral, go to the "Student" tab and click on "Update Bank Account" under "My Statement."

Bottom line: Chances are you will not have your refund until the second week of September. Be sure to plan accordingly by having enough money on-hand to cover your expenses until then.

Interterm Funding

Interterm is the period between quarters during which on-campus and travel courses are offered in intensive formats that provide students with an alternative approach to learning.

These courses have some excellent advantages over traditional classes. Like the ability to condense academic work into a few weeks. And the opportunity to travel to and learn in exciting, multicultural locations.

But interterm classes do have one big drawback-- none of the state, federal, or institutional financial aid in your award package applies to the charges for those courses. However, there are resources for making interterm classes financially feasible.

First, DU’s Office of Special Community Programs offers Interterm Tuition Scholarships to help offset the costs of interterm studies. Learn more about Interterm Tuition Scholarships through the Special Community Programs website.

Second, private educational loans, can be used to pay for interterm charges. Learn more about private education loans before applying for one, and be sure to read the “4 Things to Know About Private Loans” article above.

 

In this issue:

Important Fall Dates:

September 5: Labor Day--University Closed

September 6: Financial Aid refunds become available

September 12: First day of classes

September 18: Last day to add or drop classes at 100%

October 1: 2012-2013 CSS PROFILE becomes available

November 18: Last day of fall quarter classes

November 19-22: Final exams

Accepting your financial aid package

Have you accepted your financial aid awards? Are you sure? Late fees are often assessed on accounts for students who have not completed all the necessary steps. If you haven't accepted your award package (or want to make sure you have), here's how:

  1. Log into webCentral.
  2. Go to the "Student" tab and click on "View and Accept Award Offer."
  3. Select the 2011-2012 Aid Year.
  4. Accept the terms and conditions of your financial aid funding on the "Terms and Conditions" tab.
  5. Click on the "Accept Award Offer" tab to accept, reduce or decline each award.

After you have accepted your award, go back to the "Student" tab and view the "Financial Aid Requirements" to make certain that you have completed all other steps necessary to receive your financial aid. 

GRADUATING EARLY?

If you will be graduating at the end of the fall or winter quarter, or don't plan to enroll for all three quarters, please complete an Adjustment for Partial Year Attendance form so that we can adjust your aid accordingly. 

Office of Financial Aid Contact Information

University Hall 255
2197 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208-9401

Tel: 303.871.4020
Fax: 303.871.2341

Email: finaid@du.edu
Web: www.du.edu/financialaid

Office Hours:
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mountain Time
Monday - Friday