Q1 – The total amount of my financial aid (loans and scholarships) exceed the amount I need to pay for tuition and fees. How and when do I get these excess funds, for which I will then use to help me pay for personal living expenses, medical insurance, books, etc.
A1 – A four-step process describes how you will received your funds.
1. 1. Approximately 10 days prior to the start of the fall semester one-half of your student aid funds (loans and scholarships) are posted to your CUA student account. The remaining half is posted to your account shortly after January 1 and are applicable to your spring semester.
2. Following the posting, staff members in the Office of Enrollment Services review individual student accounts, and then “authorize” a refund, for funds not needed to meet the charges that are on your account on the day of the review. Typically, on the day of the review, your student account should include up-to-date charges for tuition, fees, and medical insurance (see separate FAQ below about medical insurance).
3. After your refund has been “authorized,” this information is transmitted to a third-party vendor (Nelnet) who is responsible to deposit the refund amount to your personal bank account if you have arranged for direct deposit (see separate FAQ below about direct deposit). If you have not arranged for direct deposit, your “refund request” is returned to CUA’s Office of Enrollment Services (ES) upon which ES then executes the appropriate steps to have a refund check prepared for you.
4. Within 5 days of the “authorization” date, direct deposit refunds typically appear in personal bank accounts. Paper checks typically are ready for pick up from ES within 7 days of the “authorization” date.
Summary: from the time funds are posted to your account (as early as 10 days prior to the start of the fall semester) until a refund is deposited to your personal bank account is approximately 15 days, on average.
Q2 – I need funds from my financial aid (loans and scholarships) to buy books. When will I receive these funds?
A2 – The preceding FAQ describes in detail the refund process whereby you will receive these funds. Typically you will receive these funds (known as your “refund”) sometime during the first week of classes. You are encouraged to be prepared to purchase your books prior to the start of class using personal savings and/or a credit card.
Q3 – I will be using the CUA student medical insurance plan and want to use my student aid funds (loans and scholarships) to pay the annual premium. May I do this?
A3 – The answer is yes. However, there are timing issues that will affect exactly how this will happen.
1. Typical sequence:
a. In early July, you complete a “Title IV Authorization” which gives permission to the school to use student aid funds to pay for charges other than tuition and fees. Permission is granted by going to the “Permissions” section of your Cardinal Station home page. This link will take you to a page with more detailed information at the bottom of which is a link to a pdf file that describes how to access the “Permissions” section.
b. CUA charges your account for medical insurance. All students are automatically charged for medical insurance in mid-July or within two weeks following admission to CUA.
c. When student aid funds arrive (see A1, step 1, above for timing) Enrollment Services reviews your account and your permissions (see A1, step 2, above) and if the charge for medical insurance is on your account, and you have completed a “Title IV Authorization” permission (see “a” above), Enrollment Services will retain the funds needed to cover your medical insurance charge.
2. Other scenarios:
a. You have not completed a “Title IV Authorization,” or
b. Your account has not been charged for medical insurance prior to the arrival of student aid funds.
c. Enrollment Services will review your account and process a refund (See Q1 and A1 above) but will not retain funds to cover current or future charges for medical insurance.
d. You will receive your refund (either by direct deposit or by check – see A1, steps 3 and 4, above).
e. You will pay your charge for medical insurance from your “refund” using CardinalPay or by delivering a check to CUA.
Q4 – I requested a PLUS Loan for Graduate Students and learned that I was denied based on credit. What should I do?
A4 – The credit review process at Direct Lending is looking for one of several significant issues (e.g., a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure, a tax lien or other judgment, or an unpaid balance to a creditor that is more than 30 days in arrears. Typically it is the latter example (past due balance) that creates the denial. This is remedied by first calling Direct Lending Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394. You will be told the reason for your denial and you will be given a "Case" (or "Ticket") Number, thus beginning an appeals process. Applicant services will guide you with respect to what additional documentation they will need to resolve the matter. In situations where the remedy may be more challenging, you will likely be given the option of attaching and "endorser" (co-signer) to your loan request.
Q5 – What is a Perkins Loan, and I why was I (or wasn't I) awarded one?
A5 – A Federal Perkins Loan is the oldest federal loan program, beginning in 1957. Each year the Department of Education provides a capital contribution to each schools "Perkins Account," for which a matching contribution is made by the school. Schools award these funds as they see fit within federal guidelines. After graduation, borrowers repay these loans to the school, thus providing funds for future borrowers.
A Perkins loan has a fixed interest rate of 5%, is interest free until repayment begin which is typically nine months after graduation. A Perkins Loan is not forgivable under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, unless the borrower consolidates it with other Federal Direct Loans. (Only Federal Direct Loans are eligibile for forgiveness.)
At CUA the Enrollment Management Team has allocated a limited amount of Perkins Loan funds to graduate students and awards a maximum $2,000 per student for approximately 50 law students each year based on financial need and completion date of the FAFSA.
Awardees of a Perkins Loan may decline the award and increase his/her Graduate PLUS Loan by a comparable amount.