Thomas Jefferson University

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Help

The front desk staff of the Financial Aid Office is able to help you with many of your processing and program questions. The four members of the front desk staff are:

Shannon Doran
Administrative Coordinator

Joseph Pizzo
Administrative Coordinator

Jacquelyne Roundtree
Administrative Coordinator

Jade Wellman
Administrative Coordinator

 

Items that the staff can help you with:

  • Map out the required application procedure, including applying for Federal Direct Loans and Private Education Loans.
  • Advise you as to the status of your application.
  • Describe general parameters governing all financial aid programs.
  • Outline the process you must complete to respond to any follow up requirements.
  • Direct you through the basic process of reducing the amount of the loans you borrowed originally or borrowing additional funds.
  • Let you know the status of your application.
  • Advise you as to whether or not funds have been received from the lender, and the date on which they were sent to the Student Accounts Office.
  • Provide you with the most up to date information on your loan status.

If you are not eligible to borrow additional funds because your resources (i.e., family resources, financial aid, private funding) meet your total budget, or there are other unique circumstances regarding your personal financial aid situation, the front desk staff will set up an appointment for you to meet with:

  • Susan McFadden, Executive Director of Financial Aid
  • Emmie Joyce, Associate Director of Financial Aid
  • Khaliah Sproul, Assistant Director of Academic Services
  • Vincent Guarnere, Student Services Coordinator
  • Kristin Rhodes, Student Services Coordinator

In referring you to the appropriate person, the front desk staff makes the assessment based on the individual who has previously worked with your file and/or the nature of the problem.


Applying for Financial Aid

Not less than six weeks before your tuition bill due date. During the peak lender processing period (May to September) processing may require a four- to six-week period. To ensure that your funds are received in a timely manner and to avoid late fees being applied to your tuition account, you must:

  • Submit all of the institutional application requirements.
  • Complete a separate Master Promissory Note (MPN) (this is the form you must sign acknowledging your responsibility to repay the debt). The MPN can be completed at http://studentloans.gov.

Please click here for the financial aid deadlines.

Please click here for information on what materials must be submitted for the College of interest. We recommend that you file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and indicate Jefferson as the university that you are interested in attending. You can complete the FAFSA online here.

Please note for prospective Sidney Kimmel Medical College students: You must include your parents' financial information on the FAFSA to be considered for all financial aid programs.

This will depend upon the semester in which you intend to return and when you last filed a financial aid application. Please click here for more information.

You must reapply every year that you intend to receive financial aid funds. The FAFSA is available every year on October 1.

Yes, to some degree. Please click here for more information on what application materials are required.

There are a number of reasons why this may happen.

  • The information you submitted to the University does not match the information you reported on your FAFSA.
  • The federal government has selected you for "Verification." This means they would like the College to confirm that all information reported on the FAFSA is true and accurate.
  • The federal government could not confirm certain information regarding your citizenship status, the information on file with the Social Security Administration, your Selective Service registration, and/or the status of previous federal loans that may be in default. In these instances, the Government is requesting that the University clear this information prior to awarding any federal funds to the student.

There are times when the information submitted on the FAFSA is correct, but may conflict with other information on record.

The first responsibility for financing education must rest with students and their family. This policy, consistent with the majority of private colleges and medical colleges nationwide, is based on the limited nature of institutional funding. Parent income and asset information is required in an attempt to distribute the limited pool of institutional funding in the most equitable manner possible. While students may meet the federal criteria for independence, Jefferson requires the inclusion of parental information to ensure that the limited funding that is available is disseminated to the students that have the least amount of potential parental support.  

Even if parents are not paying the direct cost of an education, they still represent a potential source of support. Oftentimes, this potential support includes assistance with living or transportation costs, monetary gifts, assistance with the interest payments on unsubsidized loans during the in-College period, or actual post-graduation repayment.

It is important to emphasize that this policy applies to institutional aid only. Students who meet the federal criteria for independent status may apply for Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loans, and Federal Work-Study. In addition, independent, undergraduate students, who do not have a prior Bachelor's degree, may apply for Federal Pell, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and state grant funds by submitting only their, and if applicable their spouse's, income and asset information.

Please remember that the sooner you complete all of the application requirements, the sooner we are able to advise you of your financial aid eligibility.

Eligibility notices, pertaining to institutional financial aid, will be emailed to students starting in early November for all students who meet the application deadlines.

If you complete your financial aid application after the deadline date, notification of your eligibility should be sent within three to four weeks of the date that you completed all requirements.

The requested disbursement date for the first half of your Federal Direct Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, and private education loans will be your first day of class, if not sooner.

It is important to note that registration and Satisfactory Academic Progress (i.e., grades from prior term) must be confirmed prior to Federal or alternative loan funds being disbursed to the student's tuition account.

Please click here for helpful resources that may provide you information on financial aid.


Cost of Attendance

Please click here to learn about what items are included in the annual Cost of Attendance.


Reevaluation of Financial Aid Eligibility

If you feel you have costs that exceed the standard budget, you should make an appointment with a financial aid staff member. At that time, these additional costs will be evaluated to see if these are educationally related expenses (as specified by the federal government) and if so what adjustments may be made to address the unusual financial circumstances.

Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your financial needs. Most often, the front desk staff can assist you by calculating your remaining loan eligibility and directing you how to apply for additional funds. If the front desk staff feels that you have a special circumstance, they will schedule an appointment for you to meet with a financial aid counselor.

Federal regulations allow for the inclusion of a computer in a student's budget. While Jefferson does not require students to own a computer, with proper documentation, students may request a one-time budget adjustment of not more than $1,500 to accommodate the purchase of a computer. Please note, however, that institutional funding may not be increased to accommodate this additional expense.


Tuition Billing Process

When your financial aid eligibility is awarded, it is logged onto your financial aid computer record. This record of your aid is applied to the Student Accounts Office computer system and your aid is placed on your tuition account. Institutional scholarships are viewed as a direct payment toward your outstanding tuition balance. Institutional loans are placed on your tuition account as a memo once the required information is completed through Heartland (a third-party servicer that handles all institutional loans) and will remain until the student signs the promissory note and payment is made.

When the loan application has been processed and sent to the lender the Federal Direct Stafford is placed on the tuition account as a memo, which means the aid is pending. The memo credit is taken off and replaced with an actual payment only after the Federal Direct Stafford loan disbursement is received. Federal direct Stafford Loan funds are sent by the lender to the Financial Aid Office, usually within five days of when the application was processed.

Please note: If the loan application is certified prior to the start of the term, funds will be requested for disbursement 10 days prior to the start of the term to allow sufficient time to deposit the funds to your tuition account and issue any applicable refund.

It is important to note that a few additional steps are required when the Federal Direct Loan funding is received in the Financial Aid Office. Students' records are reviewed for completion of verification and the Entrance Interview/Counseling requirement as well as confirmation of registration and Satisfactory Academic Progress. If the student's record has been finalized and all academic requirements have been met, then the funds are sent to the Student Accounts Office within three days of receipt.

Federal Direct Loan funds received by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) do not require student's signature and will be immediately deposited as a payment to the student's tuition account.

Outside, private scholarships, and loans funds (e.g., National Merit Scholarship, William Goldman Foundation, Pennsylvania Medical Society)

Funding from outside agencies is usually sent directly to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office logs these funds to your financial aid record, checks to ensure that an overaward is not created, and sends the funds to the Student Accounts Office within four days of receipt.

In most cases, these funds are sent in the form of a check and the student's signature is required. The Student Accounts Office will notify you of this requirement. Once the check is signed, the funds are deposited to your tuition account as a payment.

Please note: Memo credits for outside funds are not usually placed on student accounts.

Military and National Health Service Corp (NHSC) Scholarships

Upon receiving a full-tuition scholarship of this type, submit official notification to the Financial Aid Office. Only by doing this can your funds be paid to the Student Accounts Office.

The Financial Aid Office will record your military or NHSC scholarship on your financial aid record and transmit this information to the Student Accounts Office. Typically in October and again in January, the Student Accounts Office will send invoices to these agencies requesting funds for all students that have been recorded as a recipient. The first half of the scholarship is usually sent to the Student Accounts Office within six weeks of receipt of the invoice.

The second half of the scholarship is usually sent in January of the spring semester.

When your financial aid eligibility is calculated and awarded, it is logged onto your financial aid computer record. This record of your aid is applied to the Student Accounts Office computer system and your aid is placed on your tuition account.

However, certain types of aid require further action by the student (e.g., institutional loans require a Self-Certification Form and a promissory note to be signed) before an actual payment can be made to your account. Therefore, a memo credit appears on your tuition account letting the Student Accounts Office know that funds are pending but cannot be paid until a requirement, such as submission of a signed promissory note, has been met.

Once this requirement has been met, the memo credit will be taken off the tuition account and a payment is made to the outstanding tuition.

Federal Direct Loan funds will also reflect on your tuition account as a memo credit toward tuition until loan funds are received from your lender. At that time, the memo credit is removed and the payment is applied to your account.

Memo credits will always appear on your bill until the promissory note(s) has been signed and submitted to the Student Accounts Office or until your Federal Direct Loan funds are received from the lender. As memo credits are not payments, you will continue to receive a bill from the Student Accounts Office until promissory notes have been signed and until Federal Direct Loan proceeds have been received.

When the combination of financial aid and other payments exceeds your bill in your student account, then a refund is produced which may be used for other educationally related expenses.

The Controller's Office has established a standard schedule during which refund are issued.

If you have any questions about a refund, please contact the Student Accounts Office at (215) 503-7669 or tuition.office@jefferson.edu.


Repayment of Student Loans

Students may receive this type of notice from their lender if:

  • They were previously enrolled in a college or university, other than Thomas Jefferson University, or
  • Have changed colleges within Thomas Jefferson University
  • There has been a change in a your expected date of graduation.

If you receive this type of notice from your lender, you should:

  • Obtain the 'in-College' deferment form from that lender. (Most lenders provide this form at the same time they advise the borrower that they are scheduled to begin repayment.)
  • Take the deferment form to the Registrar's Office, which will confirm that you are enrolled at least half time (i.e., minimum of six credits in for undergraduate students and minimum of 5 credits for graduate students. Students enrolled in the Medical College are always enrolled on a full-time basis).

Deferment forms submitted to the University Office of the Registrar are forwarded to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse (NSLC) for processing. Thomas Jefferson University is a participating member of NSLC, a non-profit consortium representing Colleges, guarantors, lenders and servicers. The NSLC was established to standardize, simplify and automate student enrollment verification and deferment processing. Normal submission of deferment forms to the NSLC occurs on a weekly basis. However, during times of peak activity, such as the beginning of a new semester, forms are forwarded several times per week. In cases of extreme need, normal deferment processing will be bypassed and contact made directly with the lending agency or guarantor.

At the beginning of each semester and approximately monthly thereafter, the Registrar's Office transmits a comprehensive enrollment file to NSLC. The vast majority of lending institutions nationwide are then able to access this information online to ensure that they have the most up to date information before sending a repayment notice to their respective borrowers.

The only action you need to take when you receive any statements from your lenders, is look over the statement to verify that all of the information on the statement is correct. If the information is correct, then make sure to put the information in a safe place for future reference.

If any of the information on the statement is incorrect, then you should contact the lender and find out what you must do to ensure that they make all pertinent corrections to your account information. Then check follow-up statements you receive in the future to confirm that all biographic and financial information remains accurate.

You are not required to pay the interest on either your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Federal Graduate PLUS or your private unsubsidized alternative loans while you are in College. Furthermore, most Federal and private lenders will not capitalize your accumulated interest until you graduate or otherwise begin repayment. Therefore, for the most part, you do not run the risk of the accumulated interest being added to the principal, thereby increasing the amount of the principal on which future interest amounts will be calculated.

However, there is one option you may want to consider to keep down the amount of your total debt.

If your parents or other family members are able to pay the interest as it accumulates, then your debt at graduation will be only the amount of principal you actually borrowed. Additionally, as of January 1, 2002, the benefit of graduating with your debt stabilized at the original principal amount will be enhanced by corresponding tax privileges. Under the current federal tax laws, paid student loan interest can be deducted only if the loan is in active repayment status.

Students do not need to worry about consolidation of their loans while they are in college. In fact, except for the clause that allows students to consolidate their William D. Ford Direct Loans with Federal Direct Loans, students are not allowed to consolidate while enrolled in college on at least a half-time basis.

All students are required to complete a federally mandated Federal Exit Interview/Counseling prior to graduation. Loan consolidation is discussed at length during the Federal Exit Interview/Counseling whether online or in person. Information on consolidation includes:

  • The potential positive points of consolidation (e.g., the benefit of reducing the number of lenders that you are required to interact with, the variety of repayment options (standard, extended, graduated and income based) from which you may choose, and the benefit of lower monthly payments, due to extending the repayment period).
  • The potential negative points of consolidation (e.g., only federal loans may be consolidated, the interest rate on lower cost loans may be increased when combined with higher cost loans, and by extending the repayment period, your total payback is increased).

There are important questions students need to ask, such as:

  • What loans may be consolidated?
  • Based on my specific debt portfolio, how do the potential positive and negative aspects of consolidation apply to me?
  • If I decide to consolidate, when is the best time?
  • Can my repayment plan change after I have already begun or even completed the consolidation process?

Students are urged to access the Loan Consolidation website to obtain some preliminary information; however, more comprehensive information is provided by the Financial Aid Office, not only via the Federal Exit Interview/Counseling, but by the debt management seminars held at various times throughout the year.

Per federal regulations, a student who drops below a half-time student status and who has borrowed through any federal loan program must complete a Federal Exit Interview/Couseling prior to the cessation of enrollment.

The Federal Exit Interview/Counseling is an important process by which you are advised of your rights, responsibilities, and what will happen to your loan(s) once you are no longer enrolled.

Sidney Kimmel Medical College — Federal Exit Interview/Counseling are held in small group sessions. Small group sessions are beneficial, as students share information, ideas, and concerns through discussions. If, after attending a small group session, you have personal, financial, or repayment questions, then a member of the Financial Aid Office will be happy to meet with you to review your individual questions. 

All Other Colleges — students must complete the Federal Exit Interview/Counseling here.

Yes, the Federal Exit Interview/Counseling is one way in which you can obtain this information.

Some of this information is introduced at the Federal Entrance Interview/Counseling that is required for all first-time borrowers. In addition, the Financial Aid Office sponsors Seminar Series throughout the year that provides students with information on debt management, tax issues, mortgage basics, insurance planning, and investment strategies.