Student Accounts Policy Highlights

You don’t know what you don’t know!

You may or may not feel you need this information today, but we have a compelling need to point you in the right direction. We want to protect you financially and need to help you understand that choices you make, both in our office and in other areas, affect how much you a required to pay.  We also need you to know that your GFU email is our method of communications, so it is CRITICAL that you read it. We know you are busy and we will try not to waste your time, but please be patient if we sometimes state the obvious. For example, you need to utilize myGFU and the financial screens therein. Obvious perhaps but many students do not bother and it becomes a problem. Also, please pay attention to Daily Bruins. The bottom line is that you are responsible for your level of engagement with our office. This page is our heads up!

 

Timing matters – Be ready before the term begins!

Many processes at George Fox are contingent on whether or not you have registered fully and have taken care of all of your requirements. “Requirements” is a big word. In Student Accounts, we are talking about anything that affects your school bill.

To name a few:

  • Registration affects your charges and your financial aid.
  • An incomplete or moving target affects how quickly we can set up a payment plan.
  • Incomplete financial aid requirements impact aid eligibility and disbursement. Financial Aid FAQ’s and Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Incomplete my GFU To Do Lists impacts charges, refunds, tax reporting, payment, holds, and just about everything.
  • Incomplete form submissions impact insurance, parking, housing, meal plans and account adjustments/removal of charges to name a few.

Our strong recommendation is that you be ready a full month prior to the start of each semester. After that point, if you need to make changes, be sure you know how those changes will change your financial plan for the semester. See Tuition/Fees and Financial Aid for more information. 

 

A quick look

Typically students register and then, roughly six weeks prior to when the semester starts, Student Accounts “brings on” charges. Usually the same day, the Financial Aid Office triggers the myGFU display of “Pending Aid” for that semester. Near the beginning of August, December, and April we send a paper “bill”. Traditional Undergrads get a pre-bill as well mid-July. If you are a non-traditional undergraduate (Adult Degree Program) or a graduate student and are not registered when the paper bill is generated and mailed, you will not receive a paper bill and instead will only be updated through email notices. Those notices go to your George Fox email. All students have access to financial information 24/7 via myGFU.

Financial Aid moves from “Pending” to “Disbursed” when applied to your account. The first opportunity for this to happen is ten days prior to the semester, except when “ten day prior” results in a December date, then, the first opportunity to disburse in January is used because we want financial aid payments to be reflected in the same tax calendar year in which the term starts. Curious? See 1098T Tax Form.

If your aid has not disbursed and you wonder why, find out by looking in myGFU for incomplete To Do List requirements. While you are finding out, you need to pay the amount reasonably due, which means your charges minus your pending aid. It is a good idea to email us so we understand your reasons for a short-payment. Email: studentaccounts@georgefox.edu.

 

Due date basics

Undergraduate

For accounts in good standing, payment is due one week prior to the start of the semester. Insurance is a week later so you have time complete the form to accept or waive insurance. Additional due dates may be seen in myGFU on the “Due Charges” tab of the Student Center.  Based on payment history, a student may be approved to pay monthly or conversely, may be required to pay prior to registration.

Graduate / ADP

For accounts in good standing, payment is due prior to the start of each course session. The “session” is not the same as the class meeting dates. For a list of course specific class sessions visit class.georgefox.edu. If registering after the start of the session, payment is due immediately. Based on payment history, a student may be approved to pay monthly or conversely, may be required to pay prior to registration.

Other Due Dates

Some charges have unique due dates. All due dates may be seen in myGFU on the “Due Charges” tab of the Student Center.

Monthly Payment Plans

A monthly payment plan option is available to US students who have accounts in good standing. A per semester fee applies. For more information visit the Payment Options page for your program.

The full billing terms and conditions can be found here.

 

How do you see what we are talking about in myGFU?

To access account information visit this link for detailed instructions:

  • Sign-in at mygfu.georgefox.edu
  • Under the Student Resources heading, click on Student Center
  • Select Account Inquiry under Finances
  • The four tabs will give you different information about the account
    • Summary - what is due now and what is due in the future
    • Activity - running history of all account transactions
    • Charges Due - list of due dates and corresponding amounts
    • Pending Aid - anticipated aid, if applicable

To make a payment, click on the Make a Payment button on the Account Inquiry page in myGFU. You also have the ability to create an online payment profile for someone who is making payment for you.

 

Payment

The absolute best way to pay is online through myGFU. It is quick and your payments clear the bank fast. You can choose to pay with a card or through your checking account. Paying with a card results in an additional cost to the cardholder (2.75%), so we encourage you to pay direct from your checking account. If online access is an issue for you, you may send a check to Student Accounts #6129, 414 N. Meridian, Newberg, OR 97132. Please remit early because the clearance process takes longer when the payment is by check. (Online payments clear in a week, paper checks take twice that long.)

Instructions on how to pay can be found here.

 

Refunds

At the start of the semester, some students plan to use excess financial aid to cover living expenses and books. The Student Accounts team works very hard to expedite that process. The following will help to expedite or delay the process:

Direct Deposit

  • Help: Sign up for student account refund direct deposit in myGFU. Early release of funds is only possible when you have enrolled in student refund direct deposit. (Our direct deposit is not the same as direct deposit for student wages.)
  • Delay: Paper checks result in a significant delay. It simply takes longer and address issues are possible.
  • Delay: Errors in your banking information.

Registration

  • Help: Get registered early. When your credits hours are all set that helps us know your refund amount is not likely to change.
  • Delay: Regardless of whether you sign up for Direct Deposit or not, if you make registration changes within two weeks of semester start we will delay your refund. We simply cannot order a refund if the balance is fluctuating or on the move.

Account Balances

  • Help: Pay off your prior balance, no matter how small.
  • Delay: Carry any balance forward into the next academic year and your refund will take special handling. Estimated delay is two weeks.

Academic Progress

  • Help: Work hard and keep you grades up! Satisfactory Academic Progress matters. When a student struggles, their aid is potentially unstable.
  • Delay: If you are struggling academically, your financial aid could be suspended or revoked. Academic and Financial Aid appeals take time. We cannot issue refunds when an aid retraction is likely.

Financial Aid Changes

  • Help: Make changes to your financial aid early. Early means be finished with changes before aid disburses to the account.
  • Delay: A decrease in your financial aid requires a second look. That extra care results in a delay.

Personal Payments

  • Help: If your account overpayment is from a personal payment, tell us you need it. Otherwise, we will assume the overpayment is intended for future charges.
  • Delay: In addition to telling us you need the money, your payment needs up to two weeks to clear the bank.

 For the official word on refunds, click here.

 

OUCH (Holds, penalties and other sometimes misunderstood things.)

Timely successful payments are the norm at George Fox. When a surprise happens, and a student finds they are not as prepared as they had hoped, we are here to help. The holds we set are mechanisms that helps us identify who might need a bit of help and they help the university collect debt. They also protect the student and family from getting into a situation that they simply cannot financially bear. In our role, that is the worst possible debt of all. That is why we front load our business processes.

  • We have registration holds that essentially force a conversation because life gets busy and people forget to take care of business. The lack of action is not personal nor is our hold. Things just happen and we have to find a way to intervene, to connect successfully.
  • We also have transcript holds. Transcript holds are the industry norm. Again, not personal. Schools simply do not send out official transcripts while debt is present. That means payments have to clear the bank first, which is why we encouraged online payments. They clear faster. It also means that anyone in a payment plan will have a hold until the full balance, not just until the current months payment is paid.

What can be confusing is when holds are present that do not seem to make sense. Yep. It can happen. When it does, there is likely a reason that is not plain and evident. Please contact us so we can explain. It could also be an error. Yep. Those can happen too. There are limits to what we can automate and we might have something wrong. Again, please let us know so we can look into it in your behalf. Fastest resolution is to come see us or email studentaccounts@georgefox.edu.

For waitlisted class enrollment, we generally override a 1-30 past due hold. If your hold is older than that, you will be prevented from getting into waitlisted classes.

This is the bottom line about holds. If it creates a problem for you, we regret that but need to talk with you so, let us know and we will see if we can work it out. We are good at that! That said, what we can do will be impacted by the situation and your payment history with our office. That is why we send notices like this one. We really want to help you protect your financial records.

Other financial penalties? (Amounts are subject to change.)

  • Late Payment Fees: 1% of the unpaid past due balance are assessed monthly on or near the 25th of the month.
  • Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF): $25 fines are charged when you make a payment and there isn’t money in the bank.
  • Online Transaction Fines: also $25 and are charged when there are repeat issues with the bank information you have provided. This happens when a bank routing or account number is incorrect either when making a payment or through direct deposit refunding. We will help you resolve the issue without any fine but if the problem continues to happen, we will ask you to help with the cost of this service.

 

The financial impact of changing your mind

If you want to understand what financial adjustments are possible when you drop, withdraw or otherwise change your class load, the “Removal of Institutional Charges Policy” is what you are looking for but it is only half of the financial picture. If you receive financial aid, you must also understand what will happen to your disbursed aid. The combination of the two is the net impact to your student account.

Official Removal of Institutional Charges and Removal of Financial Aid Policies

Helpful Information as you read the above policy:

Classes dropped prior to the semester starting, will have the full cost of tuition removed. In addition, the Financial Aid Office will evaluate aid eligibility and a removal of financial aid will be required. If we have advanced funds to you for books and other living expenses, you will need to return those funds back to the university. That repayment is due immediately.

 

Students Enrolled in Traditional Undergraduate Courses Fall or Spring Semesters (Summer Semester see Grad/ADP/Seminary Schedule below):

After the semester has begun and regardless of attendance, students who reduce their course load but do not withdraw completely from the semester, generally receive a full reduction of tuition related charges during the first two weeks of the semester. Due to the tuition “block” if the student remains enrolled for 12 to 18 credits there is no financial change except a $25 per course change drop fee and potentially course fees. If the student reduces their credits to fewer than 12, their tuition is reduced and eligibility for financial aid will be reviewed. Eligibility for Institutional Aid requires students be enrolled for 12 credits. A student taking fewer than 12 credits may still be eligible for some federal funding but not all. Beginning with the third week, there is no adjustment of charges. On Tuesday of the third week (“Census Day”) the Financial Aid Offices reviews students for aid eligibility and makes adjustments as required.

Students registered for more than 18 credits are charged the per credit rate for the “over-block” amount. To avoid this cost you must be at 18 or fewer credits before the “Last Day to Change Registration” (Add/Drop).

If at any time aid is reduced and charges are not impacted, a balance due would result. For that reason, if making changes, we strongly advise that you speak with your Financial Aid Counselor and Student Account Specialist, in addition to your CAP Coach and Academic Advisors.

 

When withdrawing completely from the semester, regardless of whether it is a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal, the adjustment of tuition is as follows:

1st calendar week*

100% of charges and institutional aid removed.  Federal financial aid reduction, % TBD, also required.

2nd calendar week*

90% of charges and institutional aid removed.  Federal financial aid reduction, % TBD, also required.

3rd calendar week*

75% of charges and institutional aid removed.  Federal financial aid reduction, % TBD, also required.

4th calendar week*

50% of charges and institutional aid removed.  Federal financial aid reduction, % TBD, also required.

5th calendar week*

25% of charges and institutional aid removed.  Federal financial aid reduction, % TBD, also required.

6th week or later*

0% of charges and institutional aid removed but Federal financial aid reduction is required up through 60% of the semester.

*Traditional Undergraduate Fall and Spring Semester Classes Only. All others see below.

 

Students Enrolled in Graduate, Seminary, Adult Degree Programs (ADP) and Traditional Undergraduate Summer Courses:

Graduate and ADP offer abbreviated length courses within a given semester. The Traditional Undergraduate summer courses are delivered this way as well. The result is session based due date and adjustment calculations. To put this in context, this is what makes it possible for a late starting session to be due weeks or even months later than the start of the semester.

To apply this to adjustment calculations, those too are percentage based. The basis is the session (Class Start/Class End), not meeting dates and not the calendar weeks. The only way to accurately understand or estimate this is to look up your class at class.georgefox.edu. Find your specific class number and left-click on it.  Then select the “Withdraw Tuition Adjustment Estimator” and enter the date you dropped/withdrew or the future date you might drop or withdraw. The estimated percentage of tuition reduction will display. Try a few dates if you want to find out how long you have to make your decision without impacting your adjustment. 

This chart will give you an idea of what we are talking about but class.georgefox.edu is your best resource.

0 to 6.364% of the session length, not meeting dates

100% of charges removed

6.365% to 12.727% of the session length, not meeting dates

90% of charges removed

12.728% to 19.091% of the session length, not meeting dates

75% of charges removed

19.092% to 25.455% of the session length, not meeting dates

50% of charges removed

25.456% to 31.819% of the session length, not meeting dates

25% of charges removed

31.82% of the session length or later, not meeting dates

0% removed - all tuition charges remain

 

IMPORTANT:

In addition to the above tuition adjustments, some circumstances require financial aid to review your eligibility for aid.  When an adjustment is required, it will most likely NOT NET TO ZERO with your tuition adjustment. That means we may owe you a refund or you may owe a balance back to the university.

 

Financial Aid Consumer Information

You should read the whole enchilada (click "Consumer Information" under your program),  but a few things we think you should know are …

  • If you withdraw before the 60% point in the semester has passed or if you attend in sessions, if you withdraw from all active classes, a federal aid review is required.
  • If you drop below GFU Aid eligibility levels before the census date, third Tuesday of the semester, eligibility for institutional aid is reviewed.
  • Factors unknown when aid disbursed may affect your eligibility if you have federal aid. For example, Pell Grant eligibility must be maintained after disbursement up through the 60% point in the academic period.
  • If you do not know about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), you should read about it. It can affect you both academically and for federal aid purposes.
  • Also, if you have federal aid and you don’t earn any credits in the semester, for federal aid purposes you are considered a passive withdraw and you will end up with an aid review. Without a withdraw date, faculty will need to help determine when you last participated and if that was before the 60% point, it becomes our worst case scenario. Tuition isn’t reduced because you didn’t withdraw and aid could be impacted back to the start of the semester.
  • If you are granted a tuition reduction, GFU funds are reduced by an equal percentage.
  • This happens rarely but if you are near your loan limits, you should talk with your Financial Aid Counselor and your Student Account Specialist. Timing can result in adjustments to your disbursed aid.

If you are earning a bachelor’s degree and you make changes before census date, the third Tuesday of the Academic Semester, Financial Aid is required to review your eligibility for aid.

 

Medical / Hardship Appeals

Students requesting medical or hardship financial adjustments must do so in writing to the Student Accounts Office within 30 days of Withdrawal / Leave of Absence form submission, otherwise the above Adjustment Chart will be used.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Account Specialist. We are here to help!