Student Financial Services wants to keep students abreast of important topics and current events that could affect their financial situation. Please check back for updates.
Admitted Student Webinar! "I Have My Financial Aid Letter - Now What?"
Join us on April 6th at 5:30 pm PST to help guide you through the process of applying for graduate loans, discovering available work study opportunities, and more. Our outstanding Student Financial Services staff will answer your questions and share valuable information about the law school financial aid process. RSVP here for this important webinar!
Prospective Students for 2017-18
To start the process for financial aid, you will need to complete the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-line at www.fafsa.gov on or after October 1, 2016 (however, you will not receive an award letter until after admitted and no earlier than mid-March after tuition is set). Our school code is 003790.
You will need to obtain a FSA ID. See https://fsaid.ed.gov.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the process or programs. Please e-mail us or call 206.398.4250.
Student Debt Relief Scams!
See http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/student-loan-defaults-increase-so-do-scams-n650466 for good information about avoiding debt relief and forgiveness scams that are on the rise.
If you need assistance – for FREE – review the Department of Education’s federal student loan site at https://studentloans.gov or https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans for repayment information, https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven for income-driven repayment options and https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation for actual possible forgiveness options.
Another good resource is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/repay-student-debt/. Alums may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.398.4250.
On-Campus Employment for Entering Students
Entering law students interested in working on-campus at the law school may attend the Employment Information Session the first week of fall term. You may review employment opportunities here: Law Campus Employment. For on-campus University student employment, please see the SU Redhawk Network.
Origination Fees Set to Increase Due to Sequestration
Federal Direct Stafford origination fees will increase again on October 1, 2017 due to sequestration. This applies only to loans with a first disbursement on or after October 1. The current loan fees are 1.069% (increased from 1.068%) for Direct Stafford Loans and 4.276% (increased from 4.272%) for Direct PLUS Loans.
Interest Rates for 2017-2018 Student Loans.
If you attend summer term with a start date prior to July 1, 2017, the interest rate for Graduate/Professional Stafford Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2016 is 5.31% and the interest rate for Grad PLUS loans is 6.31%. The rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The rate will change each year for new loans every July 1 based on the 10 Year T-bill (based on the last auction prior to June 1) + 3.6 for the Stafford or + 4.6 for the Grad PLUS.
Fake Student Loan Site Steals Identities
"Fake accounts for student lending giant Sallie Mae are popping up all over Instagram in an attempt to steal student identities, according to Scambook, a website dedicated to detecting bogus sites and warning consumers about using them," CBS MoneyWatch reports. "The fake Sallie sites have a timely and attractive pitch: Due to the government shutdown, indebted graduates can apply for a loan "forgiveness" program that would wipe away their debt. However, students who attempt to be among the first 150,000 to take the bogus sites up on the offer are asked to provide private information, such as birth dates and Social Security Numbers, allowing the sites to steal their identities, according to Scambook. The real Sallie Mae has no Instagram presence and has been posting repeated messages this week on its real Facebook account warning consumers that it is not on Instagram, and it does not ask for personal information via social media. Anyone who bought into the fake site's claims and plugged in personal information should quickly put a fraud alert on their credit file by either calling the three major credit bureaus: Experian (888-397-3742); Equifax (800-525-6285) and/or TransUnion (800-680-7289) or by visiting their websites or annualcreditreport.com. The fraud alert will stop creditors from granting new credit on your file for 90 days." (from NASFAA NASFAA's "Financial Aid in the News")
A nationwide check scam is being reported on campuses nationwide and a student on a WA campus was duped. This particular scam involves the listing of a local job opportunity. After applying for the job, a student receives an e-mail from the "employer," who claims to be out of the country but will send the student a monetary advance for work, such as job-related errands, until the employer returns.
A few days later, the student receives a package containing a check. Instructions are given for the student to cash the check, keep a specific amount for the work they are to perform, and return the remainder of the money to an address outside the United States. The check will subsequently bounce. So students not only do not earn any money, they're out what they returned, plus bank service fees.
Typically, legitimate employers do not pay in advance or require the return of money from a check written to an employee. Any off-campus employment that requires an exchange of money before the job is finalized is likely a scam. Students believing they have been victimized, or are the target of a scam, should contact SU Public Safety at 206.398.5990.
Financial Aid Fraud Alert!
The financial aid community has received notice from Kay Jacks, General Manager for FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services that someone is impersonating a U.S. Department of Education official and is offering students grants for a processing fee.
Her message is as follows: There is someone claiming to be a representative of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) calling students, offering grants, and asking for bank account numbers so a processing fee can be charged. Specifically, the caller tells the student he understands the student has federal student loans and offers to replace the loans with an $8,000 grant. The caller explains that a processing fee must be charged and obtains the student's checking account information.
There is no ED program to replace loans with grants and that there is no processing fee to obtain Title IV grants from ED. Furthermore, as you are no doubt aware, one should never provide their bank account or credit card information over the phone unless they initiate the call and trust the company they are calling.
This is a scam. A student who is a victim of this or a similar scam should take the following steps:
- Immediately contact his or her bank, explain the situation, and request that the bank monitor or close the compromised account.
- Report the fraud to ED's Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-MIS-USED (1-(800) 647.8733) or email@example.com. Special agents in the Office of Inspector General investigate fraud involving federal education dollars.
- Report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has an online complaint form at www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams and a hotline at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-(877) 382.4357; teletype for the hearing impaired: 1-(866) 653.4261). The FTC will investigate if the fraud is deemed widespread; therefore, it is important that every student contacted by the person or people in question lodge a complaint so the FTC has an accurate idea of how many incidents have occurred.
- Notify the police about the incident. Impersonating a federal officer is a crime, as is identity theft.
When filing a complaint, the student should provide detailed information about the incident, including what was said, the name of the person who called, and from what number the call originated (if the student was able to obtain it via Caller ID). Additionally, if unauthorized debits have already appeared against the student's bank account, the student should mention this fact in his or her complaint. Records of such debits could be useful in locating the wrongdoer.
For answers to any questions you have about financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.