Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need financial clearance?
Yes, absolutely! You will need to be financially cleared before you can begin classes each semester that you plan to attend. Just as each student is responsible for picking their classes, each student is also responsible for financially clearing themselves. But don’t worry; Student Financial Services is here to help you understand the process.
What is financial clearance?
Financial Clearance can mean different things for different students. For some students, it may mean calculating their expenses for the semester, making a payment, and/or arrangements for monthly payments. For some students, it may mean making sure that they have a completed financial aid package (all paperwork in, loans requested-entrance counseling-promissory notes signed) in place to cover their semester’s expenses. Other students (mostly MDiv) are sponsored and clearance means making sure that their sponsorship is documented in our office and reflected in Registration Central.
How will I know if I’m cleared?
Log on to Registration Central and see if you have a check in the Financial Plan box. That check confirms your classes, activates your ID card for the bookstore, dining services, ITS and, if you’re a dorm student, allows you to move in!
What's Registration Central?
It’s an online website where students complete their registration steps each semester. Students are asked to log on and check off two registration boxes. There is one step concerning academics, i.e. statement/grade addresses, registration holds, and course reservation. There is another step concerning student insurance and how students plan to finance their semester.
How much do I need to pay?
This is calculated in the Financial Plan at Registration Central. Students are asked to answer a series of questions that will allow them to figure out how much their semester will cost. The final page will list the student’s estimated expenses as well as estimated financial aid. There will be a line that says Amount Due Now. This is what you need to pay to get cleared.
What could keep me from getting clearance?
If a student does not have a completed financial aid package, there will be messages in red type listed on their Financial Plan’s last page. The messages will let the student know what needs to be done to satisfy their financial aid requirements. Registration Central will not allow the student to financially clear until these requirements are completed. This is why we encourage students to complete their financial aid package before they attempt to financially clear. It’s simply not possible to try to complete both steps at the same time.
If a student has a previous unpaid balance, Registration Central will require that the old balance be paid before continuing with the Financial Clearance.
Some students may have other financial aid matters that will need to be resolved. Some of these issues can result in Registration Holds. If you have a Registration Hold, you can contact our office and we will help you to resolve your hold.
Financial Aid FAQs
What's the difference between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan?
With a subsidized loan, the government defers the interest for as long as you are enrolled at least half time. There is no payment required until six months after graduating or dropping below half time. An unsubsidized loan accrues interest immediately. You will receive a statement from the Federal government stating the interest charged. You will have the option of making payments on the interest or deferring.
I don't think I'm eligible for any financial aid. Should I bother filling out the FAFSA?
Yes. Even though you may not qualify for free aid, you may be eligible for loans or institutional aid based on academic performance. By filing a FAFSA, you will be sure to be considered for every kind of aid you may be eligible for.
When should I file my FAFSA?
The earliest you can file for the next school year is January. We recommend filing as soon as you and/or your parents file their income taxes. The priority processing date is March 15. However, much aid is based on a first come, first serve basis. The later you apply, the less you will receive. The FAFSA is on www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Is there anything else I need to do?
Yes. In addition to the FAFSA, you will need to submit some additional documents. When you file your FAFSA, you will have the option to use the IRS data retrieval tool to upload your tax information directly to FAFSA. If you did not or could not use the data retrieval tool, we will need an IRS Tax Return Transcript. You can order one at www.irs.gov. Processing time is app. 5-10 days. Also, we will need you to submit the Andrews University Financial Information Sheet. Once we have all these documents, we will be able to package a financial aid award for you.
Other than Federal loans and aid, are there other ways to finance my education?
Yes. There are alternative lenders with some fairly competitive rates. If you need help, just contact our office and ask to speak to your financial advisor.
How will I know how much the year will cost?
Once you receive an accurate and complete financial aid award notification, you can fill use the Tuition Calculator on our SFS page. All you need to do is select your estimated expenses for the year as well as your aid. The difference between these two figures will determine if there will be any out of pocket expense.
I am receiving more financial aid than my semester costs, can I get a refund? If yes, when?
Yes. Each semester, after the Add/Drop date (usually a week after classes start), tuition, fees, and other charges will post to your account. After these post, we will begin processing and posting financial aid. Once your aid is posted and a credit is showing, you may request a refund off of your student account. Any amount over $300.00 will be issued in the form of a refund check and can be mailed or picked up in our office. Refund checks take about 3-5 business days to process. You can see if your check is ready by monitoring your account in finVue. Typically, the day after the refund check posts to your account, your check is printed and brought down to our office. If you choose to pick up your check, please bring photo ID with you.
Will I receive a statement of my account?
Yes, you will receive a statement of account each month mailed to a local and home address (if you wish). This statement will show the daily transactions on your account for the month. This information is important to monitor charges and credits. If there are any errors, please contact our office. However, please remain with the payment plan you chose at the beginning of the year. Students can also access their account online at finVue (click on VAULT at the bottom of this page) 24-7 without waiting for a monthly statement.
How can I purchase books and supplies?
As an Andrews student, you have the convenience of charging each semester textbooks, school supplies, and class related items to your student account. Your card is activated at the Financial Plan step at Registration Central. Here, you can set your own Bookstore/ITS spending limit. If you wish, you can purchase books and supplies with your own funds. If this is your wish, you can zero out the Bookstore/ITS limit and your ID card will never be activated. The first three weeks of each term will be exclusively for the charging of textbooks and supplies. After this, if there is any credit left on your bookstore account, you will be able to purchase non-essentials with your ID card. However, once the limit has been reached, no increases will be given. If you need supplies throughout the semester for projects, you should budget accordingly so you don't max your card out with incidentals like socks or baseball caps. If you wish, you can order online!
How can I eat in the cafeteria?
If you are in the dorm and on a meal plan, your ID card will be activated each semester so that you may purchase food in the cafeteria. If the meal plan you picked at registration runs out, you can go to the Food Service office for an increase. If you are off campus or over 22, you have the option to open a declining balance account at the Terrace Cafe. Most off campus students will pay for and renew these in cash at the cafeteria. However, if you live in the dorm or have credit on your account, you may request to charge the cafe account at our office. Once approved, we will e-mail the Food Service office to increase your account. Once you open an account it stays open until you request food service to close it. Any money not used is refunded when you close the account with the Dining Services office.
Does Andrews cash checks?
No, the University is not able to function as a bank and can not cash checks of any sort. Students will need to get bank accounts to cash checks. If students wish to open an account, there are several banks in the area including: Fifth Third, Chemical Bank, and United Federal Credit Union.
Can I pay in Canadian dollars?
Yes. You can pay on your account in Canadian Dollars as long as they are in a check form. Upon request of our bank we are no longer allowed to accept foreign bills or coin. Please be aware, that while we accept payments in Canadian Dollars, cashiers are required by our bank to exchange any foreign currency into US funds. In other words, the US amount will be posted to your account. Any checks drawn on a foreign bank will be manually receipted, sent to our bank for exchange and then posted to the student account. Therefore, there will be a slight delay in posting.
How can I make payments?
There are several ways to make payments. Click the Payment Options link on the left for more details.
Glossary of Terms
Let's face it. Some of these departments have a language all their own. FAFSA, ISIR, FAT, SAR, sounds like Latin to most people. But, they do mean something and it's important to get a handle on all these terms. It's easier to get what you need when you can talk the talk. So, when in Rome...
- FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid-initial form used to determine eligibility for Federal aid.
- SAR: Student Aid Report-form a student receives after filing the FAFSA. This determines expected family contribution.
- AGI: Adjusted Gross Income
- EFC: Expected Family Contribution
- FSEOG: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- ISIR: Institutional Student Information Record
- NSLDS: National Student Loan Data System