Frequently Asked Questions

Students use the blue button below.         Parents use the green button below.

                 

Who is TouchNet®, and why is Andrews University using them?
TouchNet® is a financial services institution that specializes in processing payments for colleges and universities. Andrews University has had growing concerns about credit card usage fees; as well as the risks inherent with processing credit card information in a local system. Budget and security improvements needed to be made. After carefully researching the options, TouchNet® was determined to be the best provider of these financial services.

What will this change mean?
Probably the biggest change that parents and students will notice is the 2.75% convenience fee for making a payment by credit or debit card. 

Are there any free payment options?
Yes. The electronic check payments through US checking and savings accounts is free of charge. This option is as simple as writing a check and payments will post immediately to accounts without having to wait for the mail.

How much of this convenience fee will Andrews receive?
Andrews University will not receive any part of this fee.

Why are you charging this fee?
Over the years, credit card usage has increased and with it the amount Andrews has had to pay for each transaction. These fees have now become more expensive. In 2014 alone, we were charged over $300,000.00 in credit card usage fees.

Did Andrews University consider any other options?
Yes, this was a difficult decision to make and we looked at other options before doing so. Many colleges and universities have stopped taking credit card payments altogether; but we worried that this would place too great of a burden on our students. We could continue to absorb the cost of accepting credit cards, but we were concerned that we would have to look to additional tuition increases. Finally, we decided that we could partner with TouchNet® who currently serve over 700 educational institutions.

Were there any other reasons for using TouchNet®?
As you are aware, identity theft is an ongoing concern in our modern society. The number of stories in the media regarding breaches of credit card data grows every day. Moving the payment services to a company that specializes in providing these services is considered "best practice" to protect our students' financial information.

Are there other benefits to using TouchNet® PayPath™?
Through TouchNet® PayPath™  you can make payments via a US checking or savings account. You will have the ability to schedule future and/or recurring payments. We've also expanded the number of credit cards accepted for payment. 

Can this convenience fee be avoided if I pay in person?
No. The cashier at Student Financial Services will no longer take credit or debit cards either in person or by phone.

How do I get to TouchNet® to make a payment?
Pay Now with TouchNet Click on this button and it will connect you to the PayPath™ site where you can make your payment. 

Can a student authorize other people to see their Andrews University student account information on TouchNet®?
Yes, a student can create "authorized user" accounts for parents or others to log into TouchNet®. Users can store their bank account or credit card information, making it easier to make future payments. TouchNet® PayPath™ has the highest level of security so you can be sure that while the student is the only person who can grant or revoke permissions, they do not have access to a user's bank account or credit card information.

How can an authorized user access student information and make a payment?
Pay Now with TouchNet This button will connect an authorized user to TouchNet®.  That person will receive an email with a user name and initial password (to be changed with first login). They will be able to login to the TouchNet® PayPath™site and make a payment.

If a student or parent have questions regarding how to make a payment or set up authorized users, who should they contact?
They should contact Student Financial Services at 269-471-3334 or sfs@andrews.edu.

Learn to use TouchNet.

Do I need financial clearance?

Yes, absolutely! 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 saves your classes, activates your ID card for the bookstore, dining services, 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  seven registration boxes. When all of the boxes are checked off, registration is completed.

How much do I need to pay?
To know how much to pay, you will need to set up a Payment Plan. Minimum down payment is 40% of your current semester's out-of-pocket expeneses. After logging in to your TouchNet® Student Account Center, click on the Payment Plan tab, select a payment plan and make your payment.

What could keep me from getting clearance?
If a student does not have a completed financial aid package, 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.

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?
Starting this year, the FAFSA will be available on October 1, 2016. For the first time, applicants will use prior-prior (PPY) tax information when reporting personal and family income. For the 2017-18 award year, you will use your 2015 taxes, which have already been submitted to the IRS. The priority processing date is March 1. 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, Undergraduate students will need to submit the Financial Information Sheet. Also, when filing the FAFSA, make sure to manually enter your 2015 tax return information. If necessary, a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, may be viewed and downloaded from www.irs.gov/transcript at Get Transcript Online, with the proper identity verification. Additionally, Get Transcript by Mail can be accessed online, or the taxpayer can call 1-800-908-9946, and a transcript will be mailed to the address of record within five to 10 days.   Allow 48 hours after filing your FAFSA to check finVue and see if any other documents are required. You may be selected for a process called "verification" which will require additional documentation.

What is finVue?
finVue is your financial profile at Andrews University. It's the place to find everything from your financial aid to registration and statement of account. Since this page will contain information specific to your finances, you will need to login with your Andrews University username and password. If you are just recently accepted and need to set up an account, there will be a link to ITS (Information Technology Services). Learn more about finVue.

Other than Federal loans and aid, are there other ways to finance my education?
Yes. There are private lenders with some fairly competitive rates. If you need help, just contact our office and ask to speak to your financial advisor.

Glossary of Terms

  • 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

Are subsidized and unsubsidized loans different?
Yes, with a subsidized loan, the government defers the interest for as long as the student is enrolled at least half time.  An unsubsidized loan accrues interest immediately. The student will receive a statement from the federal government stating the interest charged. The student will have the option of making payments on the interest or deferring.

What is the interest rate?
The interest rates for Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, the Grad PLUS, and the Parent PLUS loans are set as of July 1 for the coming school year.  You can see the current rates by going to www.studentaid.gov/sa/about/announcements/interest-rate.

How much can I borrow?
Your eligible student loan amount will be listed on your online award notification.  The maximum PLUS amount that can be borrowed is the student’s cost of attendance minus all other aid the student receives.

When will my loans show on my account?
Financial aid is usually disbursed the day after the drop/add period ends each semester if enrollment and financial aid requirements are met.

What happens to my loans if I do not enroll?
Previously enrolled students who do not enroll for a given semester or drop below half time enrollment should contact the Student Financial Services office to discuss their loan situation.

When do I begin repayment?
There is no payment required for the student loans until six months after graduating or dropping below half time. A parent PLUS borrower can defer repayment of Direct PLUS loans while the student for whom you obtained the loan is enrolled at least half-time, and for an additional 6 months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.

What about the Grad PLUS loan?
The Grad PLUS loan is like an unsubsidized loan in that it accrues interest. Like other student loans, you can have in-school deferment if continuously enrolled at least half-time.

What happens after I submit the PLUS application?
Once we receive the loan request form, your data will be sent to the U.S. Department of Education for a credit check.  When your loan credit is approved, first time borrowers will need to sign a Master Promissory Note.  Notes can be signed online at https://studentloans.gov.  Read the terms carefully.  Only when the signed note is received and the student is registered for at least half time or more will the loan funds be disbursed to the student’s account.

What are my options if the U.S. Department of Education informs me that my PLUS application is denied?
Your loan may still be approved with an appeal or an endorser. Follow all the steps at studentloans.gov. Pay special attention to the PLUS Loan Counseling, a newly added requirement since 2015. The student may be eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan.

Can I ever postpone my PLUS loan payments?
In some circumstances, you can postpone payment on a PLUS loan.  Contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 to request information about deferment or forbearance.  In most cases, you must provide documentation showing why you qualify.

Can my PLUS loan ever be cancelled?
Yes, in some extreme situations, a PLUS loan can be cancelled.  You must contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979.

Is there some way to combine more than one PLUS loan to make repayment easier?
Federal Direct Loans can be combined through a Federal consolidation program.  Contact 1-800-557-7392 to receive more information.

How will I know how much the year will cost?
Once you receive an accurate and complete financial aid award notification, you can 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, an E-statement of your account will be sent to your Andrews email address each month. 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. Students can also access their account online at finVue or in TouchNet® 24-7 without waiting for an E-statement notification.

What is finVue?
finVue is your financial profile at Andrews University. It's the place to find everything from your financial aid to registration and statement of account. Since this page will contain information specific to your finances, you will need to login with your Andrews University username and password. If you are just recently accepted and need to set up an account, there will be a link to ITS (Information Technology Services). Learn more about finVue.

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 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 limit and your ID card will never be activated for the bookstore.

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 Dining Services 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 Dining Services office to increase your account. Once you open an account it stays open until you request Dining Services to close it. Any money not used is refunded when you close the account with the Dining Services office at the end of the year.

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 Payment Options for more details.

What is a 1098-T?
The form known as a 1098-T is an informational return that Andrews University is required to produce by IRS regulations.  It can be used to help determine if you qualify for certain educational tax benefits.  You are not required to submit a copy of this form with your taxes.  The information provided below is for general assistance related to Form 1098-T and should not be construed as tax advice.  For more information about the tax benefits you may qualify for, please consult IRS Publication 970 (available at www.irs.gov) or contact a professional tax advisor.

When and how can a student receive their 1098-T?
In January Andrews University generates a Form 1098-T for students who had qualified tuition and other related expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year.  Forms are printed and mailed each year around the 25th of January (no later than January 31).  The forms are mailed to the student’s home (permanent) address on file at that time.  If the student does not have a valid address in the system, or if the home address is international (with the exception of Canada), the form is generated but not mailed.  Once Andrews University has processed Form 1098-T, students may access their 1098-T at the following link:  www.andrews.edu/go/my1098T.  Forms printed from the web are sufficient for use when filing taxes.

What amounts are reported on a 1098-T?
The IRS requires eligible educational institutions to either report “Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses” (Box 1) or “Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses” (Box 2).  Andrews University reports using the second method, thus your Form 1098-T will not have an amount in Box 1.  Box 2 will show all qualified amounts that were billed to the students account in the calendar year (January 1 – December 31).  Not all amounts billed to the student are qualified.  Examples of items not included are housing, meal charges, and club dues.  Additionally, some expenses which may qualify for certain tax benefits are not billed on the student’s account (e.g. book purchases), and are thus not on Form 1098-T. As well as reporting qualified tuition billed, Form 1098-T will show the total of scholarships or grants (Box 5) which were applied to the student’s account during the calendar year.  Common items which appear in Box 5 are federal and state grants (e.g. Pell Grant), Andrews University scholarships and grants (APS and Andrews Gift), outside scholarships received by the University, and any non-taxable subsidies (educational allowance) received for a student.  Andrews University applies subsidy to a student’s account based on the information we have at the time the payment is received.  If no information is received from either the employer (conference, etc) or the parent, the subsidy must be applied as non-taxable subsidy, and will be included in Box 5 of Form 1098-T.

Why is there no payment information on the 1098-T?
As mentioned above, Andrews University, in compliance with IRS regulations, reports using the Amount Billed (Box 2) method, not the Payments Received (Box 1) method.  However, when computing your educational tax benefits, you may need to know the amounts which were paid.  In addition to referring to your own payment records, it is often helpful to review the student account for the calendar year when calculating the amount you paid.  Student statements are available online via finView, or by contacting the student’s financial advisor.  In general, student or parent loan funds are considered payments made by the student/parent (as such, loans do not appear in Box 5 on Form 1098-T).  For further guidance, please consult your tax advisor and IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education.”

Reprints, corrections, and other information

  • Students can reprint their Form 1098-T for the current or prior years at the following web link: www.andrews.edu/go/my1098t.
  • The online 1098-T form includes a detailed listing of the amounts reported.  This detail is often useful if there are questions about the amounts that appear on the form that was received in the mail.  If you have questions regarding the information on Form 1098-T, please review the detail available online, as well as the student account statement for the calendar year (available through finView).  Most questions can be answered by viewing these items.
  • As the 1098-T is based on calendar year billing activity, corrections are generally not made to the form, but will be reported in either Box 4 or Box 6 of the next years Form 1098-T.  However, in the event that a corrected form is warranted, or if you have further questions about the amounts on Form 1098-T, please contact Ryan Clough in the Financial Records office at cloughr@andrews.edu or (269) 471-6329.  (As requests may be numerous during tax season, email is preferred.)  Andrews University personnel are not authorized to offer tax advice, but can only answer questions as to what amounts appear on Form 1098-T.  Any further questions should be directed to your tax professional.