December News 2015
Student Financial Services Newsletter
Table of Contents
Spring Payment and Possible Tax Ramifications
Is Spring Aid Ready to Disburse?
Possible Additional Funds for Spring!
Online Payment & Holiday Hours
What If I Can't Pay on Time?
Join Our Mailing List
Brief Alerts


ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBERS - Please make sure your phone number, mailing, billing and home addresses are current in MYGFU.  Also, be sure to always enter apartment #'s and such on the same line as your street address or on the line above it. The USPS will return your mail if you put it below the street line. 


EXPECTING A REFUND CHECK? To be sure prior semester balances due and recent address changes don't cause refund checks for spring to be delayed, be sure to pay all prior semester charges, regardless of how small and if you have moved, be sure you update your address BEFORE January 4th.


TAX SEASON will soon be here. It will again be time to file your FAFSA and 1098T's will be prepared in late January. If you want to receive your 1098T electronically, you can choose this option in MyGFU. If you have not given GFU your SSN (ITIN, Individual Tax Identification Number), you need to return IRS FORM W-9S to Student Accounts ASAP! It's the law!

DID YOU KNOW... that if your anticipated aid changes, when you refresh the pdf of your bill, new aid that has authorized will be reflected? Unfortunately changes to tuition and fees are not refreshed until the next bill but they can still be viewed in mygfu, just not in the bill pdf. 


Merry Christmas!
As you celebrate the holidays, the Student Account and Financial Aid Offices sincerely wish you a blessed time with family and friends! 

In addition, we want to share with you a few brief Student Account and Financial Aid updates specifically for Spring semester.

Spring Payment and Possible Tax Ramifications

For registered students, charges for Spring have been processed and bills were mailed last week. If you made changes to your registration after bills were printed, please login to MYGFU to view charges or to access a downloadable PDF of your bill. A second bill will be mailed just prior to the holiday break.


ALERT: Please do not rush to pay your bill before considering how your payment date may impact your ability to claim Tax Benefits for Education. To maximize benefits for 2016, you may want to wait and pay between January1 and your due date. For Traditional Undergraduates, payment for tuition is due January 4. For Grad and ADP students, payment is due prior to each session start. (See due dates in MyGFU.) 


The exceptions are monthly payment plans which have a December payment due. For you, please make your December payments by the 15th. Your remaining payments in 2016 should qualify you for benefits in 2016.


Are You Ready? Payment for Spring Includes Aid Disbursement

Timely payment for Spring includes financial aid disbursement to the student account. Our first disbursement is scheduled for January 4, which is also the payment due date for the majority of charges. Please take note of the following: 

3 reasons your financial aid disbursement could be delayed:

  1. ALL STUDENTS: Your enrollment confirmation "form" must be completed. It is available now in MyGFU  (see "University Forms" in MyGFU student center).
  2. You must be fully registered. Wait-listed courses do not count toward aid eligibility. Traditional Undergraduate students receiving George Fox financial aid must be registered for 12 credits. For disbursement, Grad and ADP students must be registered at least 1/2 time and must have a class that begins within 10 days of disbursement.
  3. You may have financial aid documents to complete (see "To Do" list in your MyGFU student center and revisit frequently until aid has disbursed).

Once aid has disbursed, if it overpays the account, excess funds checks are mailed about a week after the credit balance is created. Since we know that many are waiting to be able to pay January rent, we will expedite this process as quickly as possible. Avoid refund check delays make sure that all prior semester charges are paid in full.  (We are sorry that refund checks are not available in person.) 


Possible Additional Funds for Students Advancing Levels 

Looking for a way to bridge the gap between your financial aid and your balance due? Students who will advance from freshman to sophomore, or sophomore to junior, between Fall and Spring semesters may be eligible to receive an increase to their Federal Stafford loan. If this will be your case, and you are interested in the increase, contact your Financial Aid Counselor immediately following the posting of your Fall grades. The average increase is $1000 but can be more.

Other options? You will find options, including how to pay monthly, at this link:  Bridging-the-Gap  


Online Payment and Holiday Office Hours

HELP! The window for your Spring payment while maximizing tax benefits is very small. GFU will have holiday closures on December 31 and January 1.Since the 2nd and 3rd of January fall on the weekend, and, the payment due date for most is January 4, Student Accounts will only have one day, the 4th, to process all payments before holds are applied on the 5th. We are amazing and efficient, but doing that would require time standing still. That is why we need your help! Please help us process the large volume of payments that need to come in that week, and at the same time expedite your payment, by paying online via MYGFU. Your payment will post directly from your checking account to your student account without delay! See "How to Pay Online" for instructions on how to set up guest permissions to our payment portal and for browser tips for success. 

Note: To avoid paying online service fees that are assessed for debit/credit card use, pay online using your checking account routing and account numbers found on the bottom of your checks and deposit slips.

What If I Can't Pay On Time?

Sometimes unexpected circumstances arise and paying for the next term might not be as easy as paying for the last. If that is your situation, or if you are concerned that you are heading that way, Student Accounts needs to hear from you in December. Why December? If you have read this entire newsletter, you know that there won't be much time for creative problem solving in January before the term begins on the 11th. In Student Accounts, we are committed to trying to find a way through a temporary setback but, if you don't tell us about it soon, we may not have the time needed to thoroughly explore all possible options before financial holds and other impacts are felt. When payment is delayed, clearance to attend is required because we don't want you to be saddled with debt to the university that you cannot afford. The best way for us to promote sound financial decision making is for us to talk before debt is incurred. Give us a chance to help when it helps the most!

All of us in Student Accounts and Financial Aid wish you well. We are here to help and hope you will let us know if we can assist you.

To our December Graduates we say, "Good Job and Congratulations!" We are praying for peace and clarity during your transition.


Your George Fox University Student Financial Services Teams 

Financial Aid and Student Accounts