Financial Wellness

YogaonGreenSeptember2016

Further the Return on Your Investment

Financial literacy is the understanding of how money works and how to manage personal finances. It is an essential part of planning and paying for post-secondary education. Providing information on money management, handling credit and debt, and consumer protection is also an essential part of learning.  See below for financial literacy tools, employment opportunities, and other information on the Blue Hen Success Grant and external scholarships.

Blue Hen Success Grant

The Blue Hen Success Grant program is a formal program, also referred to as “retention grants” or “completion grants”, with dedicated resources and increased transparency to ensure that a small financial situation does not prevent a student from completing their degree.

  1. To apply for the grant, please provide us with your information and general summary of your situation.
  2. The Coordinator of Blue Hen Success Grant will contact you to understand the financial circumstance that has occurred. At times, there could be Federal Grant options available, so a conversation allows us to determine the best path for appeal. We will work with you to ensure you have exhausted all eligible aid and will be informed of all options available to you based on your financial situation.
  3. Once we have determined the appropriate appeal, you will be asked to provide additional documentation in support of your appeal to determine grant eligibility and/or other additional aid that may be offered.

What is the typical amount awarded?
Amounts awarded will be specific to each individual situation. In general, the awards will be no more than $3,000.

What are the general requirements in order to receive the grant?
Students must be an undergraduate degree-seeking junior or senior based on credit hours, have maintained a full-time status and reflect a 2.0 grade-point average. As part of accepting the grant, students will be required to complete a simple financial literacy course to provide valuable information to further assist in managing their educational finances.

Is the grant renewable?
The Blue Hen Success Grants will typically be awarded only one time. However, a student may appeal again and exceptions could be made in extenuating circumstances.

Why are only juniors and seniors eligible for the grant?
At this time the grant is to support those students who are nearing graduation. However, we encourage any student who may have a financial circumstance to contact us so we can explore other funding options.


 

Financial Wellness

A big part of student success while in school and once you graduate is understanding how to obtain credit, understanding your credit score, paying back student loans, budgeting, creating an emergency fund and most importantly not being afraid of dealing with these personal financial responsibilities.

Understanding your finances, and having the ability to pay back your student loan debt while also having a secure financial future does not have to be a scary issue or confusing task. Within this site we have put together relevant content that answers most questions regarding your student loan debt and how to manage your finances while in school and after graduation.

The University of Delaware Student Financial Services has collaborated with “Cash Course” to provide you with tools and resources that will enable you to take charge of your finances and to understand your financial responsibilities.

CashCourse is your real-life guide to taking charge of your money.   CashCourse provides online personal finance tools to help you build real-life-ready financial skills. Students at more than 800 schools across the country use CashCourse, and here’s why:

  1. It’s easy to use. CashCourse offers you a customizable set of tools so you can make decisions that fit your life.
  2. It’s free from commercial ties. You can trust that the information on CashCourse is independent and noncommercial, and that they will never try to advertise any products or services to you.
  3. It’s 100% FREE. They’re independently funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), so CashCourse won’t cost you a penny—ever.

Access Cash Course

  1. Go to www.cashcourse.org
  2. Look for “Students” and select register now.
  3. Follow the set-up instructions and Accept the Terms and Conditions.
  4. Look for the instructor name “Carla Lord-Powalski” in the drop-down.
  5. Select the course you were assigned to take.
  6. Once you have access to the site you may take as many courses as you like and utilize any of the resources provided on the site.

 

ED Home Room is the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education. The site provide up-to-date information on higher education, student loans and policies that may affect you.

Money Management International, Inc. is a nonprofit financial resources site that offers free monthly webinars on diverse financial topics. It also includes an abundance of information on debt management, podcasts and financial counseling.

Next Gen Finance offers a free online curriculum of 65+ complete lessons and 100+ standalone activities you can access from anywhere. The site provide an on-line community that includes blogs, Q& A forum, podcasts, newsletters and contests.

 


 

External Scholarships

The reality is that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship monies available in the United States, and many — if not most — of these scholarships are attainable by regular students with regular accomplishments. There are even dozens of odd and unusual scholarships for all those odd and unusual students out there.

The bottom line is this: You don’t have to be a superstar to win scholarship awards — but you will probably feel like one when you pay for your tuition with free money!

Below is a list of several scholarship websites that you can either subscribe to or simple search to find a scholarship that fits your unique abilities, accomplishments, demographics, interest and/or course of study.

SFS's External Scholarships listing shows a number of external scholarships available for application by college students.  Many more options exist, and SFS encourages students to consider local resources, corporate and non-profit entities, as well as good, old-fashioned web surfing to research other potential scholarships.


 

Student Loan Repayment

For students who have borrowed educational loans to finance their degrees, understanding the amounts they have borrowed, who will be servicing their loans, and repayment plans and amounts is a critical part of financial wellness.

We encourage students to play an active role in knowing who will be servicing their loans and in keeping their personal information, such as contact information and permanent address, updated with their loan servicers.  Students who ignore loan servicer communications or who do not keep their information updated run a greater risk of falling behind or defaulting on their loans.  Delinquent or defaulted loans are reported to credit bureaus and appear on credit reports, impacting the ability of individuals to get approved, or get the best interest rates for other loans or mortgages.

Keep in mind that loans require regular monthly payments, but many lenders will provide different repayment plans for borrowers to explore.  Extending your repayment time can help lessen your monthly payments; however, it will increase the overall amount of interest paid over the course of your repayment.

Students can find additional information on federal loan repayment on the Federal Student Aid website.  For information on repaying private (non-federal) loans, students should contact those lenders.  Students wishing to speak with someone at UD about loan repayment may reach out to Student Financial Services online, or call 302-831-2126.

Students who graduate, take leaves of absence, or drop below half-time enrollment prior to beginning loan repayment are required to complete loan exit counseling if they have received any of the following:

  • Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan

Exit counseling provides students information about their rights and responsibilities regarding loan repayment, and can review the TEACH Grant service requirements for students receiving the TEACH Grant.  To determine how much you have received in federal loans and/or TEACH Grants, you should review your information on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Loan Exit Counseling Sessions for Graduating Students

Student Financial Services offers in person and phone exit counseling sessions to students upon request.

In Person
Attend a formal, in-person Exit Counseling session with a representative from Student Financial Services, and be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card when you sign up for a free Cash Course account.  Register (indicating your preferred session in the form's Comment section) to attend one of the following sessions in Pearson Hall 305:

  • November 27, 2018, 3:00pm-4:30pm
  • November 29, 2018, 12:00pm-1:30pm
  • December 4, 2018, 3:00-4:30pm

Phone
Call Student Financial Services at 302-831-2126 to speak with a Peer-2-Peer counselor or the Student Success Grant Coordinator to complete the requirement over the phone.

Online Exit Counseling

Students may complete their exit counseling requirements online, and these sessions may be different depending on your borrowing type.

  • Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans – Students will log in to the federal loan site using their FSA IDs and passwords and look for the link to complete Exit Counseling.
  • Perkins Loans – Students who have borrowed Perkins Loans will receive an email message from University Accounting Service with information about how to complete the exit counseling process for these loans. Questions about the exit counseling process for Perkins and Loans should be directed to Student Financial Services.
  • TEACH Grants – Students receiving TEACH grants will go to the federal loan site and look for the TEACH Grant Exit Counseling link to complete this process.

The University is notified once students complete their exit counseling sessions, generally within 3 business days of the student completing the process.  Students do not need to contact the University after completing exit counseling, though you are welcome to follow up with Student Financial Services should you have any additional questions.

Reenrollment

Students re-enrolling full time at the University of Delaware or another college or university should notify their loan servicers. Students may need to complete in-school deferment requests to postpone repayment.  Students should continue to make monthly payments until they are officially notified of approval of their deferment requests.

Additional Resources

Students with questions about individual student loans should contact their loan servicers, which can be found on NSLDS for federal loans.  Please note that private (non-federal) education loans not included in NSLDS.

Students who encounter difficulties with their lender(s) you may contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Ombudsman. The Ombudsman provides borrowers with information and guidance to resolve concerns about their student loans. As an advocate, the Ombudsman can research problems and determine if you have been treated fairly. The Ombudsman may be contacted at the following:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY  42633
(877) 557-2575
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare

Federal student loans borrowers are automatically enrolled into the Standard Repayment Plan (10 year repayment) upon graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment.  Borrowers can decide to remain in the Standard Repayment Plan or choose a different plan.  Repayment plans range from 10 to 25 years for repayment.  The Federal Student Aid website has detailed information about all of the repayment plans offered by the federal government.

Students who have borrowed through private (non-federal) lenders should contact their lender to discuss repayment plan options, as these may vary based on lender.

Students who have multiple federal loans may be able to consolidate these loans into a single loan.  This results in a single monthly repayment, rather than multiple payments.  It can also open up additional repayment options.  For additional information on loan consolidation, visit the Federal Student Aid site.

Some private (non-federal) lenders will allow students to consolidate private loans, generally at a new interest rate.  This may be beneficial for students whose credit scores have improved and who want a single private loan repayment.  However, borrowers should do research to determine if consolidating private loans are in their best interest.  Borrowers can find information on private loan consolidations at FinAid.org.

Some federal loans have the option to have some or all of the loans forgiven, cancelled, or discharged, meaning borrowers are no longer required to pay that portion.  For information on these options, visit the Federal Student Aid site.

Students who are delinquent (fall behind on making payment) or have defaulted (not paid on their loans after a period of time), may still have the option to repay their loans.  If you fall in one of these categories, we recommend you reach out to your loan servicer(s).  Students can find additional information on federal loan defaults on the Federal Student Aid site.

Students who encounter difficulties with their lender(s) you may contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Ombudsman. The Ombudsman provides borrowers with information and guidance to resolve concerns about their student loans. As an advocate, the Ombudsman can research problems and determine if you have been treated fairly. The Ombudsman may be contacted at the following:

U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY  42633
(877) 557-2575
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare