STUDENT FINANCIAL SERVICES

FINANCIAL AID FAQ

WHAT IS FINANCIAL AID?

Financial aid is a combination of loans and grants disbursed to a student by the Department of Education. The amount of financial aid you receive is based on federal methodology that takes your income, number of dependents, academic progress, and cost of living into consideration.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?

You apply for financial aid by filling out the FAFSA form, found at www.fafsa.ed.gov or by clicking here. Each question on the FAFSA form will have instructions on how to answer it correctly. You will need your most recent tax information and Stratford’s school code in order to complete the form.

Stratford’s school code is: 017053

A Stratford student accounts officer cannot legally complete the form for you. You may refer to them for clarification if you need assistance answering any questions. You can also contact 1-800-4FED-AID or 1-800-433-3243.

How often do I apply for Financial Aid?

You apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA form which is available January 1st of every year. You will complete the FAFSA once a year.

WHEN IS THE FAFSA DUE?

The FAFSA is due by the end of the award year, June 30th. The award year is July 1st to June 30th.

DO I HAVE TO PAY FINANCIAL AID BACK?

Financial Aid consists of two parts; loans and grants. Loans you do have to payback beginning six months after you graduate or withdraw from school. Grants are awarded to you based on federal methodology and you do not have to pay them back. In some cases, grants stipulate that students must attend a state school. In this case, Stratford will not able to accept the grant.

WHAT IS SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS?

Satisfactory Academic Progress, for purposes of determining continuing FSA, is determined by applying the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) requirements, progression towards completion requirements, maximum completion time restrictions, probation provisions, dismissal procedures, and appeals procedures.

A student who fails to meet SAP will be given a warning. The student will continue to receive federal student aid for one additional quarter. After the warning has been issued, if the student fails to meet SAP requirements, the student will be dismissed. Students who are academically dismissed are no longer active students of the University and are ineligible for federal student aid.
For further questions about satisfactory academic progress, refer to page 26 of the course catalog.

DO I HAVE TO KEEP A CERTAIN GPA TO KEEP MY FINANCIAL AID?

Yes. Undergraduates must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduate students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

HOW MANY CLASSES DO I HAVE TO TAKE TO RECEIVE FINANCIAL AID?

Federal regulations require undergraduate students to be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) to receive financial aid.

Graduate students can qualify for financial aid if they are enrolled in one class.

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY FINANCIAL AID IF I DROP OR FAIL A CLASS?

In accordance with federal regulations, anytime your enrollment status changes your financial aid is subject to change as well.

Before making any changes to your enrollment status or program, consult with a student accounts officer at your campus.

WHAT ARE RESIDUAL FUNDS?

Residual funds are the excess of loans and grants you may receive as part of your Financial Aid Awards. Your financial aid award may create a credit balance after your tuition and fees have been paid. In this case you will have the option to either return the funds to the lender or have them returned to you.

Should you opt to receive the funds they will be disbursed to Stratford University then provided to you in the form of a check or direct deposit. You will be provided instructions in your first term regarding the process to elect direct deposit.

Please keep in mind that depending on if the residual funds are made up of loans, the excess amount will need to be paid back. The Department of Education stipulates that the residual funds be used for educational purposes only.

Stratford University encourages all students to carefully evaluate the need for such funds. If loans create the credit balance, it is advised to return the residual funds to the lender in order to reduce overall student loan debt.

These funds are typically refunded to students in the form of direct deposit or a check beginning week 8 of the quarter. The allocation time frame is based on when we receive the funds from the Department of Education. You can view when the funds are posted to your account through the student portal.

You will receive a disbursement notification letter from Stratford when these funds are received. You will be notified when funds are processed for direct deposit or a check is mailed to you, depending on which option you choose. It is imperative that you keep your address and contact information up-to-date with the Registrar’s office.

TUITION PAYMENTS FAQ

HOW DO I PAY TUITION?

Tuition can be paid over the phone, in person, or online through your self-service student portal. Any method of payment is accepted.

HOW MUCH IS TUITION?

Tuition is based on how many classes you take, Please see the tuition and fees section for more details

WHAT ARE LAB FEES?

Certain classes require lab fees for the use of equipment, kits, or food costs. This fee is due with tuition. For information on what classes require lab fees refer to the University catalogue.

CAN I ATTEND CLASS BEFORE PAYING TUITION?

No student is permitted to attend class without paying tuition first, unless you have designated and been approved of a payment plan through a student accounts officer.

HOW DO I ENROLL IN A PAYMENT PLAN?

If you are unable to pay tuition in full at registration please meet with a student accounts officer as soon as possible. Based on certain requirements, they may be able to enroll you in a payment plan.

HOW DO I GET A TRANSCRIPT IF I TRANSFER?

Officially transcripts cost $10 and can only be obtained if you have a zero balance with the University. The transcript request forms can be found here.

DOES TUITION INCLUDE TEXTBOOKS?

Yes, Stratford provides textbooks to students with no additional cost.

DO I HAVE TO PAY TUITION IF I DROP A CLASS OR STOP ATTENDING CLASS?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your situation, you may still be responsible for tuition. It is highly recommended that you contact a student accounts officer before you make any changes to your enrollment status.

If you drop a class during the add drop period, you will be refunded 100%. If you register for a class and do not attend there is a 10% no show fee.

Virginia Students

• A student who enters, but withdraws during the first 1/4 (25%) of the course is entitled to receive a refund of 50% of the tuition and laboratory fees.

• A student who enters, but withdraws after completing 1/4 (25%), but less than 1/2 (50%) of the course is entitled to receive a refund of 25% of the tuition and laboratory fees.

• A student who withdraws after completing 1/2 (50%) or more of the course is not entitled to a refund.

Maryland Students

• The University obligates students to tuition and fees by the academic quarter. Within seven calendar days of signing the Enrollment Agreement, if the student decides not to enroll or withdraws, regardless of whether it is before or after the first day of instruction, the University refunds 100% of all tuition and fees charged, except for the non-refundable application fee.

• If a student withdraws after the seven day cancellation period and the first day of instruction, refunds are based on all tuition; fees; and charges for materials, supplies, or book. If the student withdraws after the Add/Drop Period, the University follows the Code of Maryland Regulations as stated below:

Proportion Taught by Withdrawal Date Tuition Refund
Less than 10% 90% refund
10% up to, but not including 20% 80% refund
20% up to, but not including 30% 60% refund
30% up to, but not including 40% 40% refund
40% up to 50% 20% refund
More than 50% No refund

For additional information pertaining to the add/drop policies of the University refer to the course catalogues for Virginia or Maryland students.

LOANS FAQ

DO I HAVE TO PAY LOANS BACK?

Yes, loans are money borrowed from a federal lender or a private lender and they must be paid back.

WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR LOANS?

Loans are automatically applied for when you file your FAFSA and complete the master promissory note (MPN). These are federal loans that are either subsidized or unsubsidized. If you wish to take out a private loan then you would have to contact a bank or private loan company.

New loan borrowers will have a 30 day hold on financial aid before funds are posted to the student’s account.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUBSIDIZED & UNSUBSIDIZED LOANS?

Subsidized loans are available for undergraduate students based on federal methodology. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you attend school at least half time.

Unsubsidized loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. You are responsible for paying the interest at all times.

CAN I GET LOANS FOR NON-EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES?

No, you cannot borrow federal loans over the cost of attendance for any purposes other than educational.

HOW DO I DEFER THE LOANS AT MY PREVIOUS SCHOOL WHILE I’M ATTENDING STRATFORD?

Fill out an in-school deferment form and submit to a student accounts officer.

In-school deferment forms can be obtained through your lender or the student accounts office.

Where do I go to see how much I have borrowed on my student loans?

Visit www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need the pin number you used to complete the FAFSA. If you do not know your pin number go to www.pin.ed.gov.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN MY STUDENT LOANS GO INTO REPAYMENT?

We’ve teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions.

Solutions is a service of the non-profit organization ECMC and is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans. Their resources are available to you free of charge.

To contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor, email, web chat, or call them at 1-877-331-3262.

SCHOLARSHIPS FAQ

DO I HAVE TO PAY SCHOLARSHIPS BACK?

No, you do not have to pay scholarships back.

DOES STRATFORD UNIVERSITY OFFER ANY SCHOLARSHIPS?

Stratford offers two types of scholarships listed below. For information on how to apply please contact the admissions office.
Stratford University Academic Scholarship Program

The Stratford University Academic Scholarship Program is designed for current students and graduates who are entering a bachelor or master degree program meeting the following criteria:

• Current Stratford University student in their final quarter with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
• Stratford University graduate with an associate degree who finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
• Stratford University graduates with a bachelor degree who finished with an overall GPA of 3.5 or

Undergraduate students who meet these criteria are awarded a maximum of $1,500 which is disbursed in equal portions of $250 per quarter, for six quarters. Graduate students meeting these criteria are awarded a maximum of $1,050, which is disbursed in six equal portions of $175 per quarter. To remain eligible for this scholarship, students must take at least two courses during the quarter, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and maintain good-standing status.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The High School Senior Scholarship Program is designed for eligible high school seniors who enroll at Stratford University during the summer and fall quarters following their high school graduation. The scholarship offers the student $1,500. In order to qualify, students must:

• Complete and submit a scholarship application with the Application for Admission before June 15 of the calendar year the student intends to enter Stratford University. The high school admissions officers can provide students with the application.
• Provide evidence of having a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
• Submit an essay demonstrating the desire to achieve success in entering the student’s selected program
• Provide evidence of being a well-rounded individual who has participated in school activities, community service, etc.

Selected students will receive $750 at the beginning of their third and sixth quarters of enrollment. Scholarship winners are chosen by the High School Scholarship Committee and will be notified by mail or email.

WILL RECEIVING A SCHOLARSHIP AFFECT MY FINANCIAL AID?

There is a chance that a scholarship could limit the amount of financial aid you receive. Your financial aid will be reduced if the combined total of the award exceeds the cost of attendance.

1098-T TAX FORM FAQ

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE 1098T & HOW DO I USE IT WHEN FILING MY TAXES?

We are required by IRS to send the 1098-T form to students who were enrolled and had payments and/or financial aid credited to their tuition account during 2019. This form is used to assist the IRS and students in determining if students are qualified for education-related tax benefits.

CAN I PICK-UP MY 1098-T FORM ON CAMPUS?

No. Stratford University uses a service to print and mail these forms. The service will send them directly to the mailing address we have on record for the student. If you haven’t received a form, complete the request form here: https://stratfordedu.formstack.com/forms/stratford_university1098t_request

WHAT DO THE AMOUNTS LOCATED ON THE FORM REPRESENT?

Box 1(NEW!) represents the total amount of payments and financial aid (grants, scholarships and loans) posted to the student’s account during the 2019 calendar (tax) year, up to the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses for those semesters. (Box 1 is being reported on the 1098-T form starting with 2018 due to the change to the institutional reporting requirements under federal law.)

Box 2 is blank due to the change to the institutional reporting requirements under federal law beginning with the 2018 calendar (tax) year.

Box 3 NOT checked as Stratford University had switched our reporting method in 2018 from Box 2 to Box 1, as required by federal law.

Box 4 represents adjustments made for a prior year.

Box 5 represents the total amount of grants and scholarships credited during the 2019 calendar (tax) year. Note: BOX 5 does not include any loans.

Box 6 represents adjustments to scholarships or grants credited during previous years.

Box 7 is checked if any payments and/or financial aid included in Box 1 relates to an academic period that begins January through March 2020 (i.e.2020 Term 1 semester).

Box 8 is checked if the student was at least half-time during any academic period that began in 2019 (Term 1 2019 through Term 5 2019). Half-time for undergraduates is at least 9 credits, for graduate students half-time is at least 4.5 credits.

Box 9 is checked if the student was a graduate student enrolled in a program or programs leading to a graduate-level degree, graduate-level certificate, or other recognized graduate-level educational credential.

Box 10 does not apply to Stratford University students.

WHAT IF I DIDN'T GET A 1098-T? WHAT IF THE INFORMATION ON MY 1098-T IS INCORRECT?

If you enrolled in courses during the 2019 calendar year and had payments and/or financial aid credited to your account in 201, but did not receive a form, please contact us using the 1098 inquiry form.

WHY DID I NOT RECEIVE A 1098-T FORM EVEN THOUGH I WAS EN IN MAROLLED IN 2019?

If you were enrolled for either the terms in 2019, but had no payments or financial aid credited to your account in 2019, you will not receive a 2019 1098-T as you had no reportable transactions.

DO I HAVE TO SEND A COPY OF THE 1098-T FORM TO THE IRS?

If you did not receive your 1098-T because you moved, please complete our 1098-T inquiry form by visiting https://stratfordedu.formstack.com/forms/stratford_university1098t_request

I DID NOT PROVIDE MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND MY 1098-T WAS ISSUED WITHOUT MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

If your social security number did not appear on your 1098-T please complete our 1098-T inquiry form by visiting https://stratfordedu.formstack.com/forms/stratford_university1098t_request

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM ECSI, WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ECSI & STRATFORD?

To simplify reporting and to promote the best customer service for students and their families, the University contracted with ECSI to provide 1098-T tuition statements. In addition to mailing forms, ECSI offers students the opportunity to receive their 1098-T statements electronically via the ECSI portal. The students must first consent to receive the statement electronically by completing the form at ECSI Electronic Consent Form https://heartland.ecsi.net/index.main.html#/access/eConsent

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are required to enter your Student ID # not SSN/ITIN # (i.e. P000-00-0000) on ECSI’s electronic statement consent application. Please be sure to include the “P” at the beginning of the student ID number. If you are unsure of your student ID #, please contact your campus directly.

After completing the consent form, ECSI will send an email with access instructions. You will need the school code and PIN # to access your statement. The school code is TL. The PIN# will be provided in the email. If you have not received an email from ECSI, please contact their customer service line at (866)428-1098 or refer to their website at http://www.ecsi.net/taxinfo.html

CAN I RECEIVE MY 1098-T FORM ELECTRONICALLY RATHER THAN HAVE IT MAILED?

Yes. Students may consent to receive their forms electronically through ECSI at ECSI Electronic Consent Form or request it to be mailed by contacting ECSI at (866) 428-1098

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM HEARTLAND ECSI. WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STRATFORD UNIVERSITY AND ECSI?

To simplify reporting and to promote the best customer service for students and their families, the University contracted with ECSI to provide 1098-T tuition statements. In addition to mailing forms, ECSI offers students the opportunity to receive their 1098-T statements electronically via the ECSI portal. The students must first consent to receive the statement electronically by completing the form at ECSI Electronic Consent Form

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are required to enter your Student ID # not SSN/ITIN # (i.e. P000-00-0000) on ECSI’s electronic statement consent application. Please be sure to include the “P” at the beginning of the student ID number. If you are unsure of your student ID #, please contact your campus directly. https://heartland.ecsi.net/index.main.html#/access/eConsent

After completing the consent form, ECSI will send an email with access instructions. You will need the school code and PIN # to access your statement. The school code is TL. The PIN# will be provided in the email. If you have not received an email from ECSI, please contact their customer service line at (866)428-1098 or refer to their website at http://www.ecsi.net/taxinfo.html