Student Financial Services wants to keep students abreast of important topics and current events that could affect their financial situation. Please check back for updates.
Upcoming Financial Aid Webinar for Admitted 2016-17 Students
Attention admitted students to the 2016-17 class year, there is an upcoming webinar: I Have My Award Letter, Now What? Learn from the experts at SU Law Student Financial Services, who will assist you in understanding your aid package and answer your questions about financing your legal education.
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Time: 5:30 - 6:30. If you have not already registered you may do so here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3337545928617814532
There is a new federal student loan repayment plan called REPAYE!
- Payments are limited to 10% of a borrower’s discretionary income as with PAYE.
- There is no date associated with when you borrowed the loans like there is with PAYE.
- The loan is forgiven after 25 years of repayment for loans received for graduate study (loans are forgiven after 20 years of repayment under PAYE or under REPAYE for undergraduate loans). As with PAYE or IBR, unfortunately any forgiven loan debt is considered taxable income (that is not the case if you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness - see https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service).
- REPAYE calculates discretionary income for married borrowers according to joint adjusted gross income regardless of whether each spouse files separately or not. In other income driven programs such as PAYE or IBR, if you file separately, your spouse’s income is not included.
- Although there is no income requirement to qualify, borrowers in REPAYE who do not face partial financial hardship may have higher total loan costs because of capitalized interest.
- Remaining interest fees that are not covered by a borrower’s income-driven monthly payment (during negative amortization) is reduced by half in REPAYE.
- There is no cap on the monthly payment.
Prospective Students for 2016-17
To start the process for financial aid, you will need to complete the 2016-17 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line at www.fafsa.gov on or after January 1, 2016, but as soon as possible thereafter. Our school code is 003790.
You will need to obtain a FSA ID. See https://fsaid.ed.gov.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the process or programs. Please e-mail us or call 206.398.4250.
State Work Study (2Ls & 3Ls)
If you received a State Work Study (SWS) award for this year 2015-16 and are running low on funding, or if you were not awarded SWS but are interested in the program (you must be a WA resident - having moved here for at least one year prior to attending school for a purpose other than attending school), have remaining need and eligibility within your cost of attendance, you may be eligible for a SWS increase or new award depending on eligibility. You may petition for an increase or a new award by emailing email@example.com or completing and dropping off a Revision Request form available at our office or http://www.law.seattleu.edu/documents/financialaid/revisionrequest.pdf.
On-Campus Employment for Entering Students
Entering law students interested in working on-campus at the law school who missed the Job Fair may reviewemployment opportunities here: Law Campus Employment. For on-campus University student employment, please see the SU Redhawk Network.
Be on the alert for companies that want to offer you debt relief, student loan forgiveness, or servicing information for a fee. Check out the Direct Loan Servicing site instead at https://studentloans.gov or contact the Student Financial Services office for free information!
Origination Fees Set to Increase Due to Sequestration
Federal Direct Stafford origination fees increase again on October 1, 2015 due to sequestration. This applies only to loans with a first disbursement on or after October 1. The new loan fees are 1.068% (decreased from 1.073%) for Direct Stafford Loans and 4.272% (decreased from 4.292%) for Direct PLUS Loans.
Interest Rates for 2015-2016 Student Loans.
The interest rate for Graduate/Professional Stafford Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2015 is 6.84% and the interest rate for Grad PLUS loans is 7.84%. The rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The rate will change each year for new loans every July 1 based on the 10 Year T-bill (based on the last auction prior to June 1) + 3.6 for the Stafford or + 4.6 for the Grad PLUS.
Direct Deposit Available
Direct deposit of credit balance refunds is available to students. To sign up, please complete this form and turn it in (with a voided check attached) to the Business Office in Sullivan Hall, room 209.
For a student's refund to be available on the first Thursday of the semester, their financial aid needs to be finalized (all paperwork completed, submitted and processed) in a timely manner. Remember to complete the online ABA Term Certification (available on SU Online under the Academic Profile on the Students Menu). Students also need to allow two weeks for their direct deposit to be set up with their banks.
Please contact the Business Office at 206.398.4050 with any questions.
Fake Student Loan Site Steals Identities
"Fake accounts for student lending giant Sallie Mae are popping up all over Instagram in an attempt to steal student identities, according to Scambook, a website dedicated to detecting bogus sites and warning consumers about using them," CBS MoneyWatch reports. "The fake Sallie sites have a timely and attractive pitch: Due to the government shutdown, indebted graduates can apply for a loan "forgiveness" program that would wipe away their debt. However, students who attempt to be among the first 150,000 to take the bogus sites up on the offer are asked to provide private information, such as birth dates and Social Security Numbers, allowing the sites to steal their identities, according to Scambook. The real Sallie Mae has no Instagram presence and has been posting repeated messages this week on its real Facebook account warning consumers that it is not on Instagram, and it does not ask for personal information via social media. Anyone who bought into the fake site's claims and plugged in personal information should quickly put a fraud alert on their credit file by either calling the three major credit bureaus: Experian (888-397-3742); Equifax (800-525-6285) and/or TransUnion (800-680-7289) or by visiting their websites or annualcreditreport.com. The fraud alert will stop creditors from granting new credit on your file for 90 days." (from NASFAA NASFAA's "Financial Aid in the News")
A nationwide check scam is being reported on campuses nationwide and a student on a WA campus was duped. This particular scam involves the listing of a local job opportunity. After applying for the job, a student receives an e-mail from the "employer," who claims to be out of the country but will send the student a monetary advance for work, such as job-related errands, until the employer returns.
A few days later, the student receives a package containing a check. Instructions are given for the student to cash the check, keep a specific amount for the work they are to perform, and return the remainder of the money to an address outside the United States. The check will subsequently bounce. So students not only do not earn any money, they're out what they returned, plus bank service fees.
Typically, legitimate employers do not pay in advance or require the return of money from a check written to an employee. Any off-campus employment that requires an exchange of money before the job is finalized is likely a scam. Students believing they have been victimized, or are the target of a scam, should contact SU Public Safety at 206.398.5990.
Apply for Income Based Repayment and Make Updates Online
There is a new application tool online at www.studentloans.gov for IBR. You may apply and update necessary tax information online, making the process faster to confirm eligibility and payment amounts.
Federal Public Interest Loan Forgiveness documents are now available!
Alumni working in this area should note it's important to keep track of your on-time and eligible payments (in the right repayment plan) and eligible employment for 120 payments. The forms may be found at http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PSF.jsp or http://myfedloan.org.
For information on financial literacy see the videos Money Management and Identity Theft videos below as well as Money Matter$ at http://www.law.seattleu.edu/x6786.xml.
Financial Aid Fraud Alert!
The financial aid community has received notice from Kay Jacks, General Manager for FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services that someone is impersonating a U.S. Department of Education official and is offering students grants for a processing fee.
Her message is as follows: There is someone claiming to be a representative of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) calling students, offering grants, and asking for bank account numbers so a processing fee can be charged. Specifically, the caller tells the student he understands the student has federal student loans and offers to replace the loans with an $8,000 grant. The caller explains that a processing fee must be charged and obtains the student's checking account information.
There is no ED program to replace loans with grants and that there is no processing fee to obtain Title IV grants from ED. Furthermore, as you are no doubt aware, one should never provide their bank account or credit card information over the phone unless they initiate the call and trust the company they are calling.
This is a scam. A student who is a victim of this or a similar scam should take the following steps:
- Immediately contact his or her bank, explain the situation, and request that the bank monitor or close the compromised account.
- Report the fraud to ED's Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-MIS-USED (1-(800) 647.8733) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Special agents in the Office of Inspector General investigate fraud involving federal education dollars.
- Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has an online complaint form at www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams and a hotline at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-(877) 382.4357; teletype for the hearing impaired: 1-(866) 653.4261). The FTC will investigate if the fraud is deemed widespread; therefore, it is important that every student contacted by the person or people in question lodge a complaint so the FTC has an accurate idea of how many incidents have occurred.
- Notify the police about the incident. Impersonating a federal officer is a crime, as is identity theft.
When filing a complaint, the student should provide detailed information about the incident, including what was said, the name of the person who called, and from what number the call originated (if the student was able to obtain it via Caller ID). Additionally, if unauthorized debits have already appeared against the student's bank account, the student should mention this fact in his or her complaint. Records of such debits could be useful in locating the wrongdoer.
For answers to any questions you have about financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at email@example.com.