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Issue 6, Late Spring '16

CATALYST

CATALYST IS HERE!

You may have seen the signs around campus, you may have watched the video, but if you don’t already know…Catalyst is Here!  University of Cincinnati’s new student portal, Catalyst will change how you take care of your student-related services, from class registration to paying your bill.


Additional information about what’s changing and when can be found on the Catalyst website. For news and updates on the new portal, keep an eye out for the #CatalystUC hashtag.


~Cecily Goode
SIS Project – Change Leadership & Communications Lead


1098-T TAX FORMS

1098-T Forms


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW


It’s tax season!  Your 1098-T form is available online to download for your tax-filing needs.  But what exactly is this form and what do you do with it?  Here are key points to remember about this form that you will receive each year while attending UC:

  1. Colleges and universities are required to provide the 1098-T form to all students for tax purposes to assist the students and their families in computing any tax credit or deduction they may be able to claim, based on amounts they have spent for education. This is not income that you add to your taxable income.
  2. The 1098-T form shows only the financial transactions that posted to your student account during the calendar year for which you are filing taxes.  Hypothetical example for tax year 2015:   You registered for your Spring 2015 classes in December 2014 during early registration and also made a $500 personal payment for that Spring term during the month of December.  This $500 payment will not show on your 2015 1098-T form because you made the payment in 2014, not 2015.
  3. You can obtain and download this form online , and your parents can also get this form online through the Parent Portal if you have granted them access for this.  Prior year 1098-T forms are available online dating back to 2008.
  4. One Stop staff cannot provide tax preparation assistance or advising.  The IRS website has a Tax Assistance for Students website you can review or you should contact your accountant or tax preparer for assistance.  However, One Stop staff can clarify payments and charges made to your student account for the calendar year.

Do you still have more questions about the Form 1098-T and it’s uses?  Feel free to visit UC’s Tax Compliance Website for detailed information.

~Ken Stratman
One Stop Staff


PLAN AHEAD: MAKING CENT$ OUT OF SUMMER CLASSES

Plan Ahead

FUNDING YOUR SUMMER CLASSES

As summer semester registration begins you may be wondering if you have financial aid available to cover your summer classes. There are also a few things different about summer financial aid compared to fall or spring Semesters. For the University of Cincinnati, the summer semester is the end of the financial aid year. Therefore, your available financial aid is dependent upon what you used for the previous fall and spring semesters. It’s important to determine what is available so you are not surprised by an unpaid student bill, late fees, or service blocks.  However, there are a few options available to you to make paying for summer classes more manageable.

Tap Into Unused Financial Aid

Do you have any unused Pell Grant funds? If so, the Student Financial Aid office will review your file and automatically apply unused Pell Grant to your summer semester bill close to the start of the summer classes. Have you borrowed all of your annual student loans? Did you change grade-levels from freshman to sophomore or to junior? If you will have a grade-level change at the end of the spring semester, you may have some additional loan money available. If you did not borrow loans for fall or spring, you may have Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized loans available. Are you a Cincinnatus Scholarship recipient?  You may also have scholarship funds available if you plan to be registered full-time during the summer semester.

You can determine if you have any additional financial aid for Summer Semester by reviewing your 2015-2016 Financial Aid Award Offer on the ‘Check My Aid’ page. You can check to see what the Term Breakdown is for your loans to see if you already have loans allocated for Summer Semester. Your award offer may also have additional loan money offered if you changed grade levels. You can also contact the One Stop Center to see if you have any unused loans that you previously declined.

Sign Up for a Payment Plan

If you have exhausted all of your financial aid for the 2015-2016 financial aid year, there are still a few additional options that may permit you to take summer classes. We offer a tuition payment plan that would allow you to split up the summer student bill into 3 or 4 installment payments. For additional information regarding Tuition Payment Plan options, visit One Stop's Tuition Payment Plan information page.

Consider Part-time Enrollment

Tuition is charged by the credit hour when you enroll in classes on a part-time basis.  Part-time is enrollment at less than 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and less than 10 credits for graduate students.  Is the class you want to take offered at UC Blue Ash or UC Clermont? Tuition and fees at the branch campuses are less than main campus costs. If you plan to register for less than 12 credit hours of classes at the Blue Ash or Clermont campuses, you will be charged the branch campus' tuition and fees rather than Uptown campus rates.

Summer Classes

Taking summer classes is always a good opportunity to get ahead, or catch up, so you graduate on time for your program. Just contact One Stop to see what options you have available to pay for Summer Semester classes.  For answers to more frequently asked questions, you can also visit www.financialaid.uc.edu/apply.


~ Michelle Harper
   One Stop Staff


UCAN MANAGE IT: FINANCIAL LITERACY

Loan Exit Counseling

LOAN EXIT COUNSELING:
              NAVIGATION TO START THE ROAD AHEAD AFTER GRADUATION

Following graduation, many college grads are faced with many unknowns.  One primary concern has been how to begin the process of student loan repayment.  To refresh your knowledge of your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrow and to inform you of your available repayment options, the US Department of Education requires students to complete loan exit counseling.  Loan Exit Counseling is required to be completed when students who have borrowed student loans graduate, completely withdraw from classes or school, or drop below half-time enrollment.  The word “exciting!” may not come to mind when you think about having to do this, but it can actually be a great tool to guiding you on how to manage your loan repayment.  So embrace it. Below are some good points to remember:

  • Exit Counseling for the Direct Loan Program (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Grad PLUS loans) and the Perkins Loan program, and any institutionally based loan, are entirely separate.  Instructions on completing both counseling types can be found online on the Student Financial Aid Office website.
  • Exit Counseling does not place you into loan repayment. 
  • Loan repayment begins after your grace period ends (typically six months for Direct Stafford Loans and nine months for Perkins and most institutional loans).  
  • The date that Exit Counseling is completed is not the starting point from which your grace period for loan repayment begins.  Your reported graduation date, or last date of enrollment at half-time, will determine when the clock starts on the grace period.  The same goes with completely withdrawing from classes.  
  • Exit Counseling provides you with helpful information that serves to: 
    • Advise you of your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. 
    • Provide you general information about repayment and advise of options for repayment.  
    • Help you understand budgeting techniques so you can be successful.  
    • Provide you with your exact outstanding federal loan balance and give you access to the National Student Loan Data Base System (NSLDS) to view your loan details

Let’s face it:  no one considers loan payment to be fun, but it may have been a necessary means to finance your education.  This counseling is a requirement, so use it as a means to help you plan for your loan repayment and make repayment just a little less painful. You’ll be glad you did in the end.

~Ken Stratman
One Stop Staff


BEARCAT SPOTLIGHT

Chelsey Mack

Ryan Hausfeld,
Ohio National Guardsman and Veterans Programs & Services Student Worker


Ryan Hausfeld is a 4th year biology major from West Carrollton, Ohio. He began attending Sinclair Community College in the Fall 2009, but soon found his drive and motivation dwindling. Looking for something else, Ryan inadvertently made the best decision of his life and contacted a National Guard recruiter in the spring of 2010. He signed up for a six year commitment and returned to Sinclair with fresh motivation after completing boot camp and tech school.

Ryan then started looking ahead for his next steps, and decided to come to UC. “My father always brought me to Reds games at Riverfront Stadium. My love grew for the Reds and the city. I knew someday I was going to live here and I decided this was the perfect opportunity; two birds with one stone.”

Before applying to UC, Ryan contacted Veterans Programs and Services (VPS) and Dave Frese, a program coordinator in the office, guided him to pursue a biology degree. Ryan says that he was a handful when he was younger, and was always getting hurt and going to the hospital. He wanted to understand how the hospital staff put him back together, which grew into a desire to be a health professional. After graduation, Ryan hopes to continue working full-time with his unit and become a physician’s assistant in the Air Force.

Once at UC, Ryan began looking for employment opportunities on campus (in addition to the one weekend per month and two training weeks per year that he puts in as a drill status guardsman). His academic advisor, Gail Stocker, referred him to VPS. Ryan landed the job in August of 2014, and spends a typical day answering phones, tending to walk-up customers, answering incoming emails, and processing paperwork for the office. The best part of the job, he says, is the flexibility he has and feeling of accomplishment. All of Ryan’s supervisors have military ties and can relate to any military issues he has.

Although VPS is more relaxed, Ryan has plenty of National Guard responsibilities to keep him busy. He works for the 126th Intelligence Squadron, part of the 178th Wing in Springfield, Ohio. Ryan’s weekly schedule is carefully planned out- he goes to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and works at VPS while he’s on campus, then works for his unit on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while balancing his class work at night. The Ohio National Guard Scholarship, which covers the majority of his tuition charges, helps Ryan pay for his schooling. He has also found a veteran’s fraternity and the MASS Center instrumental in his success at UC.

Ryan’s experiences with the National Guard and VPS have been a great influence. The National Guard helped him mature, accept authority and structure that he lacked when he was younger, and pushed him in a productive direction. “They instilled structure and a foundation of moral ethics to help me succeed in everything that life throws my way. The service has enabled me to see and learn things that I never thought I would have the opportunity to.”

~Ashley Corbett
One Stop Staff

ONE STOP TIP #101:

Keep The Dates and Deadlines Calendar at Your Fingertips


The Dates and Deadlines calendar is arguably one of the most important documents found on the Onestop website. Here’s what you’ll see:

  • When the last day to drop a class to receive a refund and no academic entry
  • The last day to add a course online, so you won’t need to get signatures
  • The last day to submit forms, such as: Grade Replacement, Pass/Fail Option, etc.
  • The dates of the parent term, as well, as all subsequent terms

Just go to the One Stop website before the beginning of each term (located under “calendars" on the left of the Onestop website). Make a date to learn the deadlines each semester!


~Eric Christy
One Stop Staff

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