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Helpful tips for paying your bill and leaving Mall Cottage with a smile

Everybody knows people who didn’t have their green cards in time to move onto campus, or waited weeks later than they expected to receive their loan refund checks. This can lead to headaches and late class registration, as well as angry phone calls home.

However, the situation has been gradually getting better than it used to be, even though some problems still occur, according to five-year Student Accounts worker Bonita Beltrante.

“Last move-in day was the smoothest I’ve seen,” she said.

But many issues can be prevented simply by students understanding the requirements in the first place.

“We need some help from students and parents communicating and knowing what to do,” Beltrante said.

That said, here are some of her tips for avoiding trouble with your bill.

Paying Your Bill

Lots of student troubles come from mistakes calculating the money they owe. When tallying up the total to pay, all of the amounts in the “aid awarded” column of your session bill must be subtracted from the “charges” column – with the significant exception of the Federal Work Study award.

Also, if you have health insurance with your family and intend to decline the university health plan, the insurance waiver form must be filled out and sent in. Otherwise, you will appear to still owe the money for the school plan, causing a barrier for financial clearance.

Another mistake students can make is not making enough of the payments on their plans before the beginning of a school year. On a 10 month payment plan, which begins in June, three months’ payments must be sent before move-in. On a four month plan beginning in July, two must be paid before moving day.

If you are not on a payment plan, your payment for the semester’s bill should be sent at least two weeks before move-in to avoid issues.

Loans

When you receive your session bill, if you have requested loans and they fail to show up it means there is some paperwork you have yet to fill out. Most often, this is either the Master Promissory Note or the entrance counseling, both of which can be finished online.

If you are scheduled to receive a loan refund and don’t want to just wait for it to be sent to your home, you can pick it up at the student accounts office. They arrive between the second week of September and the end of October each fall in random groups once a week.

The best way to get your check is to come in on Tuesdays to find whether it came in that week; if it did, there is a form to fill out that will keep the check from being forwarded to your home. If you fill out the form, you can pick up the check at the office the next afternoon.

Communication

On a final note, there’s little more important to avoiding problems than good communication between you and your parents. Problems occur when students think their parents plan to pay but the parents are unaware of the exact requirements, for instance. Also, if you plan to live on campus, you will receive your housing information in your mailbox. Your parents need to know what’s going on as well, but they won’t know a thing unless you inform them.

More generally, if you do have an issue at some point that needs to be worked out, the best way to resolve it is to go into the office rather than calling.

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