There are significant differences between graduate and undergraduate student loans. Here is some important information to consider as you move forward.
Student refunds are the excess of loan funds available to students once tuition has been paid out to the school. Student refunds are not available to students until enrollment verification has been completed each semester. Typically, this will be the third or fourth week of classes in fall and spring semesters.
For summer semester, refunds are not available until enrollment verification has been completed for all summer sessions. Depending on the academic calendar, this can mean refunds for summer are not available until early to mid-July. If you need funds before they are disbursed, you can apply for an emergency loan through the Student Financial Services Center. There are limits to the amount of money you can request through this program. Please contact Student Financial Services to discuss their policy.
If you prefer to get your student refund via direct transfer rather than as a paper check, you may register for BankMobile. The school uses this service for issuing student refunds to your bank account. With BankMobile, you can set your online user account to have your refund directly deposited to your existing checking or savings account, or you can open an account to receive a pre-paid card that your refund can automatically be loaded on.
You will receive an information packet in the mail from BankMobile once you are registered in classes and agree to receive BankMobile refunds on the consent form in your self service account. The Student Financial Services Center can assist you with the steps you need to take in order to receive your refunds electronically.
You are not required to set up a bank account with BankMobile. If you choose to opt out, your refund will be processed via check through the school and will be mailed using US Postal Service, which usually takes longer.
Summer attendance and loan limits
Summer courses are offered as an opt-in semester at Saint Martin's University; this means you will receive an email from the Student Financial Services Center in April each year asking you to complete a summer enrollment form.
Summer is the leading semester of the financial aid award year at Saint Martin's University. Your loans will be divided over summer, fall and spring semesters evenly. MAC program requires three summer sessions, each with two classes.
Graduate students are eligible for Unsubsidized loans in the amount of $20,500 each year as long as they are not in default on any student loans and have not met their lifetime maximum borrowing amount of $138,500 through The Department of Education. If a student begins their program in the fall semester, their loans will be split evenly between the fall and spring ($10,250 per semester). If a student attends summer classes, the $20,500 will be split into three equal disbursements for summer, fall and spring ($6,833 per semester).
Unsubsidized loan amounts are usually not enough to cover the cost of taking six to nine credits per semester for three semesters. You must budget personal funds or consider applying for a Graduate PLUS loan to cover your balance due each semester. The Student Financial Services Center is available to help students estimate their tuition costs once a student knows how many credits they will be taking each semester.
Health insurance waiver
You must complete the online health insurance waiver if you have your own health insurance. You will receive instructions on how to do this via email and with your billing statement for fall and spring semesters.
Please be sure to check your SMU email regularly for time-sensitive information and deadlines. If you do not complete the online insurance waiver by the appropriate time (listed on your billing statement and the Student Financial Services page) you will be enrolled in health insurance through the school; once you are enrolled, it is very difficult to receive a refund.
Graduate PLUS loans
If the student aid you receive is not enough, you can apply for a graduate PLUS loan through www.studentloans.gov. These loans are credit-based, and the interest is usually one percent higher than the Unsubsidized loan interest rate. The loan origination fee for a graduate PLUS Loan is also higher than the fee for the Unsubsidized loan. PLUS Loans are credit-based loans, which means your credit history will be considered for approval.