Start the Semester Financially Sound

Advice from NDSU staff on student loans and key financial dates

NDSU Onestop functions as the hub for students to submit important documents and pay tuition each semester.

With the semester starting up, it’s easy to ignore the NDSU email notifications that seem to be lighting up phone screens everywhere on campus. After all, we get so many of them, from emergency alert testing emails to reminders to order class materials on time. The email notifications (at times) seem as if they’re never-ending.

It may not come as a surprise that email is one of the official means of communication NDSU utilizes to notify students of anything that they may need to know. This means that there’s a lot of important information that’s being sent out to students, even if it doesn’t always apply to everyone. There are a few things that all students should be aware of. Emails regarding key financial dates and student account information are just some examples. Keeping a close eye on these will help you have a less stress-inducing start to the semester.

If you’re a student at NDSU, chances are you’ve visited NDSU One Stop, located in the Memorial Union. One Stop functions as the hub for students to make tuition payments, submit important forms and have questions answered. In short, it lives up to its name. A ‘One-Stop’ for everything that a student needs to get done.

Linda Murphy, the NDSU One Stop Assistant manager, explained that students should be aware of Jan. 23 (for Spring 2020, specifically). Jan. 23 is the last day for students to be able to add or drop classes for a hundred percent refund. Not only is this date the cut off for a hundred percent refund but is also the date used by the University to “determine eligibility for grants, scholarships and a variety of other types of aid.”

One piece of advice that Linda would pass onto students is for “students and families to begin the academic year with a financial plan and to make arrangements for loans and other financial aid early.”

Dorreen Kemmer, Director of Customer Account Services at NDSU echoes that thought with an example of the common mistake students tend to make of “not having a plan in place to address their balance owed to the University.”

“For example, if a student enrolls in classes and knows that their tuition and student fees are $4,810 for the semester, but their financial aid is only $3,000 they need to develop a plan to address the deficit. They may elect to pay this portion out of pocket, sign up for the monthly payment plan or they may seek out a private loan. Ideally, this plan would be created well in advance of the start of the semester or, at least, within the first couple weeks of the semester.”

Having a conversation with family members about finances can mitigate nightmarish situations like the example above. If you do in fact find yourself in a situation like this one where financial aid isn’t going to cover the entire debt owed to the University, a monthly payment plan can be set up with NDSU. The deadline to sign up for the monthly payment plan is Jan. 29.

Another thing students tend to miss is the “difference between dropping a single class and withdrawing to zero credits,” says Dorreen. Dropping a class means you’re no longer seeking to be enrolled in that specific course but are still enrolled in other courses. Withdrawing to zero credits means withdrawing completely from NDSU for that term and can mean the requirement of the return of financial aid.

Other important financial aid information that students should be aware of for the spring semester is that tuition payments are due Jan. 29 and past-due balance hold will be applied to accounts if tuition is not paid by Feb. 12 and on March 15th (if, still not paid) late fees will be applied. Also, financial aid funds will be applied to student accounts on Jan. 28.

If you have any questions regarding your student account, don’t be afraid to stop at NDSU One Stop, they’ll most likely have the answer that you’re looking for.

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