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Week of October 13, 2014

Fall Graduates: Complete Loan Exit Counseling Requirement

Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Downtown Campus. Since you will no longer be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, we are required to provide you with Federal Stafford and Federal Plus Loan Exit Counseling, as well as general information about your student loans. If you have a Perkins Loan you will be notified of a separate exit counseling requirement by ECSI, the IIT Perkins Loan servicer. See the below for more detailed information about the Perkins Loan Exit Counseling requirement.

Please complete the Online Student Loan Counseling Exit Interview for the Federal Stafford and Federal Plus Loan via the Federal Direct Loan website: www.studentloansgov. Click “Sign In” to begin the process using your FAFSA Personal Identification Number (PIN) to log in. Select Illinois Institute of Technology, Downtown Campus (001691-01) as your school. The website will take you through the process a section at a time with questions to answer after each section. Once the online session is complete, electronic confirmation will be sent to our office fulfilling your Federal Loan Exit Counseling requirement.

You may pick up your personal loan portfolio listing your loan records at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Downtown Campus at the Office of Financial Aid after you complete the exit counseling requirement. If you do not pick this up it may be mailed to you per your request. This is just an estimated amount and does not reflect any payments made toward your loans. To view more detailed information regarding your loans including lender and servicer names, outstanding balance, and interest accrued for your loans, please log on to the National Student Loan Database System at www.nslds.ed.gov. If the total loan aggregates listed are inconsistent with your records please contact your loan servicer(s) to review your personal loan records.

In the event that your loan payments are too high for you to comfortably handle, please contact your loan servicer(s). There are a variety of repayment plans available through your loan servicer(s) including: Pay as Your Earn, Income Based Repayment, Extended, Graduated, and Income Contingent plans, as well as Federal Direct Loan Consolidation. Deferment and forbearance options may also be available to you. Please contact your loan servicer(s) for more information.

If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Office of Financial Aid for alternative means of completing the Federal Stafford and Plus Loan Exit Counseling Requirement.

Perkins Loan Exit Counseling Note:

If you have been awarded a Perkins loan or other Institutional Loan, you will be contacted by our third party servicer ECSI to complete an exit interview. ECSI will contact you at your @kentlaw.iit.edu or @iit email address to complete the requirement. If you do not complete the exit interview within 30 days, the documents may be mailed.
If you have changed your addresses since you first accepted your loans, please update your contact information with ECSI to be sure you receive all communications. Below is the ECSI contact information:

Contact ECSI:
181 Montour Run Road
Corapolis, PA 15108
www.ecsi.net
For Customer Servcie:
1-888-549-3274 (p)
1-866-291-5384 (f)
webservice@ecsi.net

Fall Graduates: Register for Grace Period Loan Counseling Service Provided by Inceptia

The six-month grace period before you start repayment of your student loan/s begins when you graduate.  In some cases you may be expected to make payments immediately to your loan servicer/s, a requirement that usually applies only to private loans.

In order to assist you in navigating through the numerous repayment options, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Inceptia, a non profit financial education organization, that can provide you with Grace Period Loan Counseling Service.  We have made this service available to you so that you are empowered to make wise and informed decisions regarding your student loan repayment options.

If you choose to participate, you must OPT-IN and register for Inceptia’s service by January 5, 2015.  You may register at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1O9GRrzsCnv8zqoBILAdR3cdhigbKGC5R350GQ_MRYh4/viewform

Here is what you can expect from Inceptia's Grace Period Loan Counseling Service:

  • Individualized counseling during your federal student loan grace period
  • Answers to your specific student loan repayment questions based on your personal loan portfolio
  • Initial phone calls and emails from Inceptia's well-trained counselors to start the process to explore your various repayment options throughout the grace period
  • Free access to the most up-to-date federal student loan information, tools, and resources

 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has partnered with Inceptia because:

  • You have made a major investment in your law school education
  • We understand that the repayment of your loans can be a confusing process to sort out
  • We are dedicated to assisting students making financially informed and responsible decisions
  • We are committed to our students and have paid for this service, making it free of charge to you
  • We believe this service is valuable and will make your repayment process easier to manage
  • Our goal that you feel well informed and more at ease about your loans and your repayment options when you graduate·    

Due to Federal privacy regulations:

  • When you are contacted by Inceptia, you will be asked to verify two pieces of personally identifiable information to confirm your identity
  • We ask that you check your contact information on your myIIT portal account for accuracy, as this will be the contact information used by Inceptia

Your personally identifiable information will be sent to Inceptia upon graduation. Inceptia will reach out to you several times during your grace period.  We strongly urge you to take advantage of this free service.  Please be sure to OPT-IN and register by January 5, 2015.

3L Policies and Procedures: Federal Loan Enrollment Eligibility

In order to receive federal financial aid at Chicago-Kent College of Law you must meet certain enrollment criteria. Students that do not meet these criteria are not eligible for federal financial aid. The enrollment criteria are as follows:

  •  Be enrolled at least-half time in courses that count toward the 87 credits required for graduation.  Any credits taken above the 87 credits required for graduation are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • According to the Registrar’s Office, at least half time enrollment is considered to be: 6 credits for fall and spring semester and 3 credits for the summer term. For more information about registration, see the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you plan to take between 6 and 11 credits, it is best to send your fall and spring enrollment intentions to our office via email. This will prevent delays of your disbursements and refunds. Once we receive your enrollment intentions, we will customize your cost of attendance budget to reflect your projected enrollment. It is best to let us know your enrollment intentions at least 3 weeks before classes start to ensure your financial aid is not delayed.

We understand that you may be close to graduation and not need as many credits as in past semesters. However, you must still demonstrate at least half time enrollment to maintain your federal financial aid eligibility. If you do not meet the enrollment criteria your options are make to payment arrangements with the Student Accounting Office or to apply for a private educational loan (tuition only).

Scholarship Eligibility

If you are taking less than the minimum credits required for your program and are in your last semester, your scholarship eligibility will be reviewed by the Admissions Office before it can be applied to your student account. Please contact the Office of Admissions for further confirmation.

Deadline To Complete Perkins Loan Requirement: October 15th

Students that have accepted a Perkins Loan for the 2014-2015 academic year but have yet to complete the Promissory Note, must complete it before October 15th, or the loan will be cancelled.  

Please visit to https://www.ecsi.net/prom7g/ and complete this requirement. Once you have completed your loan requirements, please allow 3-4 days for the requirements to be satisfied on the myIIT portal. The IIT Student Accounting Office facilitates the Perkins Loan and works with ECSI to update our system so that the funds can be disbursed to your student account.

If you have any other questions or concerns please contact the Student Accounting Office at 312-567-3794, email sa@iit.edu. Or you may contact ECSI directly at 888-549-3274. If you are not interested in borrowing the Perkins Loan for the 2014-2015 academic year, please let us so that we are canceled your Perkins Loan. For more information on the Perkins Loan click here.

Still haven't received your Financial Aid Award?

Has it been 3 weeks since you completed your FAFSA and you have not received a financial aid award? If so, follow these instructions to make sure your FAFSA information is sent to the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Office of Financial Aid.

2014-2015 FAFSA: Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015: Complete 2014-2015 FAFSA (Available starting January 1st)

  1. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and view your Student Aid Report (SAR). Make sure the Chicago-Kent College of Law school code E00773 is listed on your FAFSA. Once you correct the school code it will take 1 to 2 weeks to receive a Financial Aid award notification.

  2. If you have the correct school code listed on your FAFSA, check your SAR comments. Your SAR comments will let you know if the data that you entered on your FAFSA has caused an error that prevents your FAFSA information from being transmitted to the school. If there is a problem with the data that you entered on your FAFSA, please update the data elements requested. Once you update the information, it will take 1 to 2 weeks to receive a Financial Aid award notification.

  3. If your comment codes are showing no problems and you have E00773 listed as your school code please contact the Office of Financial Aid so that we can find out why you have not received an award.

Don't Forget to Accept Your Awards

If you still have not accepted or declined your loans, please do so as soon as possible.  You must use your myIIT account to accept/decline your loans. If you do not accept your loans, we cannot process them. That is why we urge you to accept them now to avoid delays with disbursement. If you do not wish to wish to receive any of the funds, you may decline the loan(s) using the myIIT portal.

Please select one of the options below on the myIIT portal at: https://my.iit.edu/cp/home/displaylogin.

Accept: If you wish to receive any portion of the loans still listed as offered, you must accept the funds. Also, please be aware that you may be required to complete a Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling with Direct Loans at studentloans.gov before the funds can be disbursed. Please refer to your 'Requirements' section on the myIIT portal, and see our website for more information about loan requirements.

Decline: If you do not wish to receive any of the funds still listed as offered please decline the loan(s) using your myIIT portal.

Effective October 1st: Loan Origination Fee Increase

As of October 1, 2014 the Federal Direct loan origination fees on the Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct Plus Loan will increase for the remainder of the 2014-2015 academic year and be effective until October 1, 2015. The new loan fee percentages will apply only to loans where the first disbursement of a loan is made on or after October 1, 2014. For more detailed information see our website.  

Due to this change in the fee structure, our office will suspend loan originations from September 25th and resume loan origination processing as normal on October 2nd. In addition, loans that are still pending for disbursement on September 25th will be cancelled and reprocessed to Direct Loans on October 2nd. Effected students will be notified via email.

Current Loan Origination Fees (expire 10/1/14):

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 1.072%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.288%

New Loan Origination (effective 10/1/14, and subject to change):

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 1.073%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.292%

We understand that this can be confusing to sort out, and that is why we have created these forms to help you determine how much you need to borrow:

Estimated Cost Worksheet

Refund Calculation Worksheet

This is a mandatory fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Direct Loan Program for borrowing a Federal Stafford or Plus Loan. The loan origination fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan you receive, and is subtracted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means that the amount you accept on the myIIT portal will be less due to this automatic fee taken out by Direct Loans before the funds are posted to your student account.

We strongly urge students to keep add this fee to their calculation when accepting their requested loan amount(s) on the myIIT portal. If your loan accepted amount totals the exact amount you owe on your student account, you may not have borrowed enough and will have to account for this fee. 

Effective July 1st: Increased Student Loan Interest Rates

As a result of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 federal student loan interest rates have been increased for the 2014-2015 academic year, and any summer 2014 loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2014 and before 7/1/2015 to the following:

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 6.21%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 7.21%

The interest rates on federal loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2013 and before 7/1/2014 were: 5.41% on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and 6.41% on the Federal Plus Loan.

The new law amends the Direct Loan interest rate section of the Higher Education of 1965. For more information see the Department of Education website:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates

 

A Note For 2L Students

Q: It looks like my 2014-2015 financial aid package is a lot smaller than the financial aid package that I received as a first year law student, is this correct?

A: Yes, for most students this is correct and here are the reasons why:

  • A one-time lap top allowance is included in your first year Cost of Attendance (COA) budget. This line item is not included in the COA for continuing students.
  • As a first year JD student, your COA is based on a flat rate tuition charge. As a continuing student your initial COA is based on a per credit tuition charge. The tuition component of the COA is based on a minimum of 12 credits per term for full time and 6 credits for part time students.
  • Eligible continuing students are awarded Federal Work Study (FWS). It is a need based employment program that requires students to earn their award amount through work. FWS reduces the amount a student can borrow in federal student loans. If you do not plan on participating in the program and need additional funds you may email to request the amount be converted into additional loan funds.
  • If your current cost of attendance does not meet your financial requirements please send your fall and spring enrollment intentions, and if you are authorizing a FWS conversion, via email to the Office of Financial Aid. In your email, please specify the following in your email authorization request:
  1. Exact dollar amount that you need
  2. Number of credits that you intend to take in both semesters
  3. If you are declining FWS

Please note, the Office of Financial Aid cautions students against borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance limit.

Fall 2014 Disbursement Schedule & Step-by Step Process

All loans funds for students with completed financial aid files for the 2014-2015 academic year are are posted directly to the student’s account according to the scheduled disbursement date.

Funds will be disbursed electronically to the student's tuition account. This is not the date you will receive a direct deposit refund for living expenses. For refund estimation times please contact the Student Account's Office at 312-567-3794 option 5 or email sa@iit.edu.

On the scheduled disbursement date, we must verify that you are eligible to receive the funds. This process can take 1-3 business days.

  1. The funds are then released and credited to your student account.
  2. If a credit balance exists from an excess in financial aid funds, the Student Account's Office will process your refund. If you have direct deposit set up your refund will be deposited into your personal bank account, if not, it will be mailed (not held for pick up) by the Student Account's Office. The university encourages all students to sign up for direct deposit on the myIIT portal.

If you have any questions regarding the status of your refund check or charges on your account, please contact the Student Account's Office at 312-567-3794 option 5 or email sa@iit.edu.

If you have any questions regarding the financial aid funds that have been credited to your account, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 312-906-5180 or email finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu stop by suite 230.

2014-2015 Continuing Chicago-Kent Scholarships

Guaranteed renewable partial Chicago-Kent scholarships have been automatically included in financial aid award packages for the 2014-2015 academic year. If your renewable scholarship does not appear in your financial aid package, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Merit based Chicago-Kent scholarships based on class rank have been included in financial aid awards. For questions about your scholarship eligibility, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Full scholarships are initially based on your enrollment in the minimum number of credits required for the program (12 credits for day division and 6 credits for part-time/evening), and have been adjusted after the add/drop period.

Changes to Federal Work Study Awarding

If you plan on receiving federal financial aid for the summer and/or upcoming 2014-2015 academic year, please read this announcement regarding a change in the awarding policy for Federal Work Study (FWS).

FWS is an employment program that requires students to earn their award amount through work. It is a need based, self-help financial aid program. Students must demonstrate financial need in order to be eligible. The FWS program is a way for students to gain work experience while earning money to help pay educational expenses. Funds are limited and awarded on a first come, first serve basis each academic year.

How the FWS change in awarding policy will impact you:

  • FWS only awarded to students that answer “yes” to question 31 on the FAFSA: “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”
  • Students that answer “no” will not receive a FWS award as a part of their financial aid award

Exceptions to the new FWS awarding policy:

  • Students that answered “no” but are already working in an FWS approved position
  • Students that answered “no” but want to participate in FWS during any part of the summer term and/or 2014-2015 academic year

You must contact the Office of Financial Aid if you answered “no” to FWS FAFSA question 31, but want to participate in FWS during the summer term and/or the 2014-2015 academic year. If you answered “no” and do not contact our office and are working in a FWS position, you may not be eligible for compensation under FWS.

Missing Required Documentation

To avoid delays, please submit any requested documentation as soon as possible. See our website for Forms and Worksheets and Loan Requirement links.
Please follow the steps below to see if you still have missing requirements:

  1. Log into the Illinois Institute of Technology's myIIT portal at the following link: https://my.iit.edu/.
  2. Select the 'Finances' tab from the menu.
  3. Required documents are listed in the Financial Aid Requirements channel.

Please note that completing the Financial Aid Awareness Counseling does not satisfy the Loan Entrance Counseling Requirement. It is an optional counseling session that covers the basics of financial literacy. The required counseling session is called Loan Entrance Counseling. Please see our website sections entitled "Loan Requirements" and Forms and Worksheets."

Once you complete your Master Promissory Notes (not loan application) and Loan Entrance Counseling via the Department of Education's website, it may take up to 2 weeks for your required document status on the myIIT portal to reflect this. If it has been over 2 weeks since your completion of a Promissory Note or Loan Entrance Counseling and your documents status on myIIT is still showing not received, please contact our office.

If you were awarded the Perkins Loan please check your Kent email (or your IIT e-mail address on the welcome screen of your myIIT portal, as communications could be sent there), for information from the IIT Perkins Loan servicer, ECSI, on completing the Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. Students that completed this requirement as of the 2011-2012 academic year are not required to complete this requirement again. This maybe marked as spam in your mailbox, but it is not. You will not be able to complete the promissory note online if ECSI does not have your information on file that is why we ask that you wait until you receive an email notification. However, if mid-August has passed and you have not completed this requirement, please contact ECSI directly at 1-888-549-3274 and state that you are attending the IIT Downtown Campus. Also, for more information see the Student Account's (formerly Bursar's Office) website at:

http://www.iit.edu/bursar/institutional_and_perkins_loans.shtml

 

Planning to Study Abroad?

In order to determine if your study abroad program/course is eligible to receive financial aid please stop by the Office of Financial Aid. If you've been granted permission to study abroad through Chicago-Kent College of Law and are borrowing educational student loans to meet your educational costs, please complete the Chicago-Kent Study Abroad Application Form with the Office of International Law and Policy, and obtain the Office of Financial Aid signature, or submit a copy of the form. Please be sure to list the program name, semester of study, and credit hours. The financial aid process for the study abroad program can take 4 to 6 weeks.

If credit is approved by home school (Chicago-Kent), student may be considered enrolled at home school for financial aid purposes. You must still follow the same eligibility criteria as if you were taking classes at Chicago-Kent. You must complete a FAFSA, be enrolled at least half time, and be degree seeking. Please be aware that your Cost of Attendance during your study abroad term will be based on the living expenses and tuition charges of the program, not the standard Chicago-Kent budget.

The Office of Financial Aid does not determine the Cost of Attendance for host schools. For this reason, it is very crucial for each student to thoroughly research the host school's charges and costs of living prior to their departure. It is the students responsibility to budget themselves until their financial aid is processed.

Planning to Visit Another Law School?

If you have been granted permission to study at another law school for credit toward your Chicago-Kent law degree and are borrowing educational loans to meet your educational costs, you must notify the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. You must complete the Financial Aid Request Form to Visit Another Law School, if you wish to use federal student loans.

We will ask the host school's Financial Aid Office to complete a Consortium Agreement with cost of attendance amounts, and their Registar's Office to provide enrollment verification with dates of attendance, and credit hours.

Once we receive all the required documentation from the visiting school, we will finalize your financial aid award, and you can accept the loans you wish to borrow on the myIIT portal. The funds will be scheduled to disburse to your student account according to your enrollment period at the visiting school. If you are expecting a refund, the Student Accounting Office will process it. It is the student's responsibility to pay tuition at the visiting school. Please be sure that you have set up direct deposit of your refund.

The Office of Financial Aid does not determine the Cost of Attendance for host schools. For this reason, it is very crucial for each student to thoroughly research the host school's charges and costs of living prior to their departure. It is the students responsibility to budget themselves until their financial aid is processed.

Reminder: Direct Deposit Available

Please be aware that the university allows students the option of having their financial aid refunds direct deposited into their checking or savings account. The university encourages all students to sign up for direct deposit. Click here for more information on the new TouchNet service.

Bar study loan information

Bar Examination loans are intended to assist students in paying for bar preparation courses and meeting other financial needs while studying for the Bar Exam.

Students may submit the application for the Bar Exam Loan funds during their last year before graduation. The terms, conditions, and credit criteria for Bar Examination Loans are similar to those for alternative loan programs. Unfortunately, students with negative credit ratings are generally not eligible for Bar Exam loans.

To apply for a Bar Examination Loan, review the Bar Loan Information, on our website. Once you are approved, the lender will contact our office to certify your loan. The funds will be disbursed directly to you from the lender.

Free Credit Report

Did you know that you are now able to receive a free credit report once every 12 months? We encourage students to review their credit reports annually to check for inaccuracies and identify any suspicious activity.

To receive your free credit report, please visit the following link: http://www.annualcreditreport.com. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Please be aware that other sites may advertise free credit reports, but this is the only site that is sponsored by the federal government and the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Other sites may charge fees.

Financial Aid Contact Information

The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to assisting students in financing their education and making financially informed and responsible decisions. Please feel free to contact our office at any time during the office hours listed below.

Office Hours - Suite #230

Monday-Thursday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Phone: (312) 906-5180 - Fax: (312) 906-5274

Email: finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu


 

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