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Step 5: Finalizing Your Financial Aid Award and Getting Your Aid Disbursed (Fall Review Process)

Step 5 Video: - Watch this video to understand and receive tips on this last step of the process.

Overview and Timeline - Fall Review Process 

Every year Student Financial Services conducts a fall review process to finalize student contributions and financial aid awards. The information provided during this process (and outlined below) will be used in our determination of your final financial aid award and final LIPP Eligible borrowing amount for the 2014-2015 year.

During Step 5, you will complete ALL of the remaining documents listed on the "Documents" tab of My HLS Financial Aid. The information provided below will help you understand what is expected of you to complete this step. The deadline to submit all of the remaining documents listed as required in your customized documents list, and to complete the e-signing process for all required loan promissory notes, is Friday, September 12, 2014at 5PM. You will receive emails as web forms and promissory notes become available for you to complete/submit, as well as reminders about the deadline. 

The fall review process timeline is as follows:

  • Late-August/Early September: Submit the Summer Income & Expense Update Web form and Summer income documentation (final pay stub(s), letters from employers, etc.), as well as all other post-award documents and promissory notes necessary to complete your financial aid application.
  • Mid-September to End of October: Financial Aid Officers review student information and finalize awards.
  • Late October: Final Award Notification is sent to all students, including a finalized LIPP-Eligible Borrowing amount for the academic year.
  • Mid-November: Grant awards are disbursed to student online billing accounts.

The following is a list of documents that you may see on your "Documents" tab. Please refer to your actual list of required documents by logging in to "My HLS Financial Aid". ALL documents listed on your Documents tab must be "Received" or "Waived" by September 12th.

Summer Update Web Form

This form is REQUIRED from ALL financial aid recipients, including those receiving only loans and/or those who did not work over the summer. The information provided on this form is used to finalize our determination of your student contribution with regard to financial aid for the 2014-2015 academic year. This, in turn, allows us to finalize both your grant eligibility (if you are receiving grant) and any potential future eligibility for loan repayment assistance from LIPP.

NOTE: All students receiving SPIF regardless of whether a paystub is required still need to complete the Summer Update Web Form

When completing this form, please note the following definitions of  "Summer":

  • Returning and Transfer Students - Summer is defined as the period between the last day of classes for 2013-2014 and the first day of classes for 2014-2015.
  • Entering Students (Class of 2017 Only) - Summer is defined as the period between 6/1/14 and 8/31/14.
Summer Update Web Form

 

Summer Income Documentation/Final Pay Stub or Volunteer Form Requirements

To substantiate the summer income information you will provide on the Summer Update Web Form (listed above) the following income documentation is also required: Please remember to refer to our Document Submissions Guidelines when submitting your income documentation/pay stubs to our office.

  • Returning and Transfer Students -
    • All returning/continuing students and new transfer students must submit hard copies of their FINAL paystub(s) from ALL summer employers directly to HLS Student Financial Services. The final pay stub(s) must clearly display total gross earnings from each employer. If for some reason the final pay stub(s) is not obtainable, you will need to get some type of signed documentation directly from the corresponding employer (or your supervisor). This documentation must provide the dates of your employment, the number of full-time weeks you worked, and the amount of your TOTAL GROSS  (before taxes) compensation. 
      • Volunteer Work - Students doing volunteer work must also document their work. However,  in lieu of a pay stub, they should submit have their employer/supervisor complete and submit our Volunteer Summer Employment Verification Form (PDF)
      • SPIF Recipients (Returning Students Only)  - Returning/continuing students who were awarded money from the HLS Summer Funding Program do not need to provide income documentation of their SPIF award as we have access to this data in our summer funding records. However, SPIF recipients who also received income directly from their employer in conjunction with their SPIF award or SPIF recipients who split their summers working between SPIF-eligible employment and some other type of non-SPIF employment must submit a final pay stub(s)or other documentation  for all non-SPIF employment/income held/received throughout the summer. All students receiving SPIF regardless of whether a paystub is required still need to complete the Summer Update Web Form (above)
  • Entering Students 
    • Income greater than $10,000 - All entering 1Ls  who reported that they will earn summer income in excess of $10,000 during the summer of 2014 must comply with the same income documentation/pay stub requirements as outlined above for returning and transfer students. In this case, you will already see the Final Pay Stub/Volunteer Form document on your required list. If you did not originally report you would make more than $10,000 during the summer of 2014 but you actually did, you should also submit a Final Pay Stub for your employment because IT WILL BE REQUIRED once we review your income information as reported on the Summer Update Form and see you earned greater than the $10,000 threshold. In addition, entering students who were working a full time job  all of 2014 that continued into the summer of 2014 should be sure to also annotate their documentation in a way that clarifies which portion of any year-to-date earnings was earned prior to June 1st versus after June 1st. This can be done by attaching a note to the paystub with the specifics of the breakdown. 
    • Income less than $10,000 - All entering 1Ls  who reported that they will earn summer income less than $10,000 during the summer of 2014 are generally NOT required to submit summer income documentation or pay stubs since their income is, in most cases, not substantial enough to impact their aid. However, please note that this is not an absolute. SFS reserves the right to require entering students to document their summer earnings reported on this form with a paystub or other documentation from an employer. If it is determined that we need this documentation, a member of the HLS Student Financial Services staff will contact you directly via email.

Master Promissory Notes for Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct GradPLUS, Federal Perkins & Harvard Loans (Sub. & Unsub.)

All of these loan programs generally require you to e-sign a master promissory note only once for all three years of borrowing that you may do in these programs. Your "Documents" tab will list which promissory notes you are required to complete, please refer to the statuses below to determine what you need to do.

Loan Promissory Note Document Statuses listed on "My HLS Financial Aid"
To determine if you need to e-sign a promissory note for any of these loans, proceed to the "Documents" tab in "My HLS Financial Aid." You can find the status listed next to each loan promissory note which appears on your individualized document list. Below is the key which tells you what each document status means and outlines any action that is associated with that given status.

  • Waived: Indicates that you have signed a master promissory note for this loan program in a previous year at HLS; therefore, you do not need to e-sign again this year. The loan amount listed in your award package will automatically disburse to your online billing account without further action from you. Note: In some cases, we have found that notes e-signed in a previous year are no longer valid. If this is the case for a given student, we will re-set the promissory note back to "Not Signed" and send an email to the student directing him/her to complete the e-signing process again. We usually do not find this out until after the loan is scheduled to disburse.
  • Received: Indicates that you have already signed a master promissory note for this loan program during this current academic year at HLS; therefore, you do not need to take any additional action at this time. The loan amount listed in your award package will automatically disburse to your online billing account without further action from you.
  • Not Received: Indicates that you have been awarded funding from this loan program and you have EITHER not previously signed a master promissory note for this loan program OR you have previously signed a master promissory note but need to complete the e-signing process again. Promissory note documents in this status ARE ready for you to e-sign. Once we are ready for you to complete the e-signing process we will notify you via email. The loan amount listed in your award package will not actually disburse to your online billing account until the e-signing process is complete; however, in the meantime, you will continue to see these loans listed as anticipated financial aid credits on your online billing account.
  • Not Signed: Indicates that you have been awarded funding from this loan program and you have EITHER not previously signed a master promissory note for this loan program OR you have previously signed a master promissory note but need to complete the e-signing process again. Promissory note documents in this status ARE ready for you to e-sign by following the links to the e-signing directions listed below. The loan amount listed in your award will not actually disburse to your online billing account until the e-signing process is complete. In the meantime, you will see these loans listed as anticipated financial aid credits on your online billing account.

Links to E-Signing Instructions by Loan Program

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling

Federal and American Bar Association regulations as well as HLS policy require that all entering students, transfer students and first-time aid applicants complete financial aid entrance counseling at the start of enrollment or when they receive Federal aid for the first time as a student at HLS. To fulfill this requirement you will need to log in to the federal entrance counseling form using your FAFSA login and pin information via the link below.  Once you have successfully logged in, you will see a list of options both on the left hand side and the center of the page.  Click on the “Complete Entrance Counseling” link and be sure to go through the entire form before you log out.  You will receive a success page at the end and we will receive your completion notification with 48 hours.  We ask that all new students complete this form, even if it is the case that you currently are not receiving funds through one of the federal loan programs. This will allow us to process any future loan applications and disburse the funds immediately instead of waiting for you to complete Entrance Counseling at a later date.

Direct Loan Entrance Counseling Offsite Link

 

Restricted Grant Funding Web Form

The HLS Restricted Funding Form is a web form required for all HLS need-based aid recipients. We use the information collected here to allocate our restricted funds according to a particular donor's intended preferences. Your responses to the following questions will have no impact on your grant/loan eligibility status or the actual amount of assistance you have been awarded. 

Restricted Grant Funding Web Form

 

Required Supplemental Loan Application (Base Loan)

All grant recipients each year are required to borrow a minimum of the base loan, which for 2014-2015 is set at $44,300. For domestic students the base loan is made up of a $20,500 Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a $6,100 Perkins Loan, a $2,900 HLS Unsubsidized Loan, and a $14,800 required supplemental loan. For international students the base loan is made up of $23,400 in Unsubsidized HLS Loan, $6,100 in Subsidized HLS Loans (to mimic the federal loans) and a $14,800 required supplemental loan. In order to remain eligible for the grant, students must apply for the required supplemental loan through a lender of their choice before we can finalize their aid. Once you submit a loan application we will automatically remove this document from your required list. 

Verification of Sibling Enrollment Form(s)

All grant recipients who originally reported that they would have one or more siblings enrolled in school during the 2014-2015 academic year must obtain documentation of this enrollment from their sibling's school.  Having siblings enrolled in school at the same time as you are enrolled at HLS has a significant impact on our determination of your eligibility for need-based financial. As such, we require this documentation to verify that the number of siblings we treated as enrolled in our initial review of your eligibility for aid was correct. To complete this process, you will need to use the PDF found on the forms page of our website and be sure to have a separate form completed by the school of EACH sibling enrolled in school. 

Verification of Sibling Enrollment Form (PDF)

 

International Student Funding Web Form 

All international students are required to complete this form in order to disclose any funding they may be receiving from any entity in their country of origin to help finance their legal education at HLS. 

International Student Funding web form

 

All Other Documents listed as "Not Received" on "My HLS Financial Aid"

Any other documents listed on the "Documents" tab must be completed prior to the deadline. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • All Federal Tax Forms, Schedules and W2's not previously submitted and reviewed as part of our determination of your preliminary award offer.
  • All other miscellaneous financial documentation added to your document list by a Financial Aid Officer, including:
    • Copies of Spouse's Pay Stub(s)
    • Documentation of Child Care Expenses
    • Documentation of Spouse's Education Loan Payments
    • Documentation of Outside Medical Insurance Expenses

Outstanding Parent Documents (for Returning Students originally processed as Temporary Loan Only and for Entering Student whose initial award was done as an Estimate)

In order for us to finalize your award you will need to submit all remaining parental tax information and parent web forms. We realize that many parents will not complete their tax forms until the October 15 tax extension deadline and therefore you will not be able to submit any outstanding parent tax data until then. Please complete all other items by the September 12th deadline and then follow up with any remaining parent items immediately after the October 15th filing deadline. We will be contacting all students in these categories directly to outline what is expected in more detail.  

Please remember to refer to our Document Submissions Guidelines when submitting any tax forms or other paper documentation to our office. 

Last modified: December 02, 2014

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