FAQs

Students frequently have questions or concerns regarding their finaancial aid, bill, or refund.  Which office should the student see to have their question(s) answered, Financial Aid or Student Accounts?

How often do I need to complete a FAFSA?

One each year you are in school and want aid consideration.  The FAFSA opens October 1st each year for the following school year. Example: October 1st 2018 opens the 19/20 FAFSA that starts in Fall 2019.  www.fafsa.gov

Do I have to complete a FAFSA?

 No, you don’t have to complete a FAFSA but you should to ensure you aren’t leaving free money on the table. Also, some scholarships require you have a FAFSA on file so every student should complete the application every year.

What is the ‘e-communications opt in’ clause listed on the MyShip portal?

This is for us to send you electronic communications including your award letter. By opting in to this system, we can email you forms, notices and requests for documentation.  By not opting in, there may be a delay in your paperwork processing (as we need to mail it to you) and award you an aid package that we then have to mail to you via the USPS.  Please be sure to opt in to avoid any unnecessary delays with your aid awards.

When will I receive my aid package?

NEW Students -   Although you may have completed your FAFSA in October, due to software updates required in our system, it’s after January before we can load the files to our system.  Therefore, it will likely be early spring for your awards to be made and listed on the MyShip portal.

CURRENT Students - You will not receive an aid award until Spring grades post and we check  Academic Progress for  your eligibility.  This should happen the end of May beginning of June.

Where is my financial aid award letter?

It’s listed on the MyShip portal.  We don’t send out paper aid packages in an effort to reduce paper waste. Once packaged, you and your parent (if a parent email was listed on the FAFSA) will receive notice via email of your aid package being ready to view and how to find it.

I filed the FAFSA in October, it is now April and I still don’t have my aid package, why?

Either you did not list SHIP as a school code (003326) choice on your FAFSA or you have documents owed to the University.  If you owe documents, SHIP has sent emails requesting the documents needed to award you an aid package.  These requirements are listed on your MyShip portal. Once all documents are received, an aid package can be awarded to you.

I completed the PA PHEAA State Grant notice upon completion of the FAFSA but my State Grant award is not listed on my award letter, why?

The PA PHEAA State Grant sends your grant funding to the first school you listed on your FAFSA. If SHIP was not listed first, it is possible that you just need to update your school choice on www.pheaa.org.  If SHIP was added first and you show eligibility for a PA PHEAA State Grant, you may owe documents to PHEAA for income validation.  Please review your account at www.pheaa.org to check the status of your application.

My aid package only listed loans. Don’t I qualify for any free money?

Your aid package is based on your FAFSA which determines your eligibility based on income, assets and household size.  PELL Grant and PA State Grant are awarded to eligible students whereas every student can qualify for low interest or no interest loans that are paid back after graduation.

Why were there no scholarships listed on my award letter?

Did you apply for the SHIP scholarships online via https://ship.scholarships.ngwebsolutions.com/?  If not, it may not be too late to do so.  Please apply for each scholarship individually if you feel you meet the criteria. All students accepted to SHIP are eligible to apply but anyone can search the site (parents/friends/siblings).  Other scholarship information can be found here: http://www.ship.edu/financial_aid/scholarships/

I applied and was awarded a scholarship through an outside organization but I received the scholarship check in the mail – what do I do with it?

Please send it to the Student Accounts office – Shippensburg University, Student Accounts Room 100, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257. Please be sure list your name and SUID number in the memo of the check so it can be added to your account. Unless otherwise noted, all scholarships are split 50% to the fall bill and 50% to the spring bill.

I have my award letter, but I don’t know if the aid is enough to cover my bill. When will I know?

The Board of Governor’s sets tuition costs in July each year. Therefore, it is early July before the fall bills are finalized.  The Student Accounts Office will issue the bill and it will be located on your MyShip portal to be viewed and paid.  The due date is mid-August.

Why is my aid not showing as credit on my bill?

This may be due to not accepting your aid on the MyShip portal.  Also, once you accept any portion of a federal loan offer, you must complete both the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling at https://studentloans.gov.  If you did not complete these steps, your loans cannot credit to your bill.

My aid is not enough to cover my bill. How do I close the gap?

You can always make a payment to the University for the balance due.  Beyond that, you and/or your parent can apply for an additional loan to help cover your costs.  The options include a Federal Parent PLUS loan your parent can apply and seek approval for at https://studentloans.gov.  If approved, they are not obligated to take out this loan for you, but they can to cover whatever gap you may have.  If they are denied, we can increase your federal student loan offer by up to $4000 for the year. The other option is for the student to seek a private, educational loan through a third party lender of your choosing (local bank/credit union/list of lenders on our website), but the student would require a credit-worthy co-signer.

How do I get books and money for my books?

Our University bookstore sells new books, used books and rents books to students. You can also purchase books online.  Although we do not offer ‘book vouchers’, if you have enough aid to cover your billable costs (tuition, fees, room and meal plan) and have enough funding left over, you will receive a refund from the Student Accounts Office that you can use for your books, personal care expenses, transportation costs, etc.  If you are not qualified for a refund or had a payment owed to the University to satisfy your bill, you must be prepared to pay for your books out of pocket.

How do I get my refund for the books and other expenses?

As long as you have enough aid to cover your bill and have cleared your bill with student accounts, once all of your aid is paid to the University and an eligible refund is showing due to you, a live check will be sent to your local address on file – dorm, apartment, parent’s house – or you can set up Direct Deposit in person at the Student Accounts Office.  By setting up Direct Deposit with Student Accounts, your refund will be deposited into the bank account of your choosing much quicker than waiting for a check in the mail.

I have additional questions not answered here about my financial aid and the financial aid process, who do I call?

You (or your parent listed on the FAFSA) can contact the Financial Aid office at 717-477-1131.  You or your parent must have your SUID number available when contacting our office.  If you choose to email our office at finaid@ship.edu please be sure to also list your name and SUID number in the body of the email.

My relative (parent, grandparent, etc.) wants information on my bill. Can they just call Student Accounts?

As federal privacy laws prohibit the Student Accounts office from releasing student information to anyone other than the student, the student must complete a FERPA waiver with the Student Accounts office in person. This is not something that can be downloaded and sent via fax, email or mail.  Once done, the student will select a pass code to give to relatives or anyone who is assisting with payment.  When the parent or relative calls or emails, they must have the student’s name, SUID number and pass code available for any information to be supplied regarding billing and payment.

My parent/family/friend has a 529 or college savings plan for me. How do we access those funds?

Please contact the College Savings Plan directly. It is possible they will require a copy of the bill (printable from the MyShip portal) to send payment to the University directly or they would simply require a phone call requesting a distribution to you or SHIP.  Further, these payments (along with all payments) are facilitated through the billing office at SHIP – Student Accounts.  Please contact Student Accounts if you plan to pay using a College Savings Plan as payments can be delayed past the billing due date – 717-477-1211 or studentaccts@ship.edu.