Fall Financial Aid FAQs

In the next week you’ll likely see some changes on your account. Soon (if you haven’t already) you’ll be able to see a future balance due, and you’ll likely have some questions. Here are some of our FAQs!

What do I owe?

You will be sent an email and a bill from the Bursar Office with details on fall payment.  Please read these carefully. Billing statements for fall will also be viewable on PAWS for all registered students.

It is very important that you select “View Billing Statement” (shown below) which takes into account anticipated financial aid. DO NOT SIMPLY LOOK AT THE ACCOUNT SUMMARY.

account summary

billing statement

  • If the amount of anticipated aid is LESS than the amount owed, you will have a balance due to the university.  As long as you have anticipated aid of at least $100, or made a minimum payment of $100 or more, any balance due after September 5 will then be moved to the Installment Plan.  Once the balance is moved to the Installment Plan, you will have two new due dates—October 9 and November 8.  That will happen (approximately) September 6.
  • If you will have a credit balance (i.e. you owe less than your anticipated aid), you do not need to make a payment; just confirm all of your aid disburses.

In some instances, you may appear to have a credit balance, but this may not be the case. Sometimes, not all charges appear at once. Once all charges are posted (tuition, housing, and meals if applicable) may owe the university.  Any amount owed can be paid using the installment plan. Billing/payment plan questions should be directed to the Bursar Office:  (414) 229-4915.

In the example below (Figure 1.), the student’s tuition has been posted, but their housing charges have not. In this case the student currently appears to be getting a credit balance, but this is incorrect.

Figure 1:
statement of account

What if I don't have any anticipated aid showing?

You should read the PAWS Financial Aid Tutorial for help reviewing your PAWS account including ‘To Do Items and Accepting Aid.”  If you haven’t applied for aid, it isn’t too late. Apply online at www.fafsa.gov.  If you don’t have any anticipated aid, you will want to make the $100 minimum payment in order to participate in the installment plan and avoid possible late fees.

When will my aid disburse?

Financial aid disbursement begins Saturday, August 26, ten days before classes begin.   You should be able to see disbursed aid posted on your PAWS account that afternoon.  Our office will send you an email the following week either confirming your aid has disbursed or explaining why it has not.  We will also send emails the week of August 1 to those who may experience a delay in their disbursement.

Beginning the week before the first disbursement, call volume in our office is extremely high. You may experience difficulty in speaking with a financial aid representative.  The easiest way to verify your funds have disbursed is by checking your PAWS account and reading any email sent to your UWM account.  If you do not see any To Do items in your PAWS account, and do not fall under one of the categories below, you should assume your aid will disburse on time.

If you are expecting an excess cash check, please make sure that your mailing address on PAWS is correct.  The Bursar Office will begin mailing these on Thursday, August 31.  They are unable to hold checks for pickup.

What could prevent my aid from disbursing?

Even when disbursement runs smoothly, some students experience delays in receiving their funds.  The most common problems are listed below:

ENROLLMENT vs. FINANCIAL AID BUDGET:

  • These must match in order for funds to disburse. All original financial aid awards are based on the assumption of full time enrollment.If you are an undergraduate student planning to enroll for less than 12 credits or a graduate student taking less than 8 credits, you must tell us how many credits you will take. Our office will review your aid for possible revisions and make sure these match which then allows your aid to disburse.  In most cases, a minimum of six undergraduate credits or four graduate credits is required to receive any amount of financial aid.  If you have not previously provided our office with this information, please do so now. The most efficient way to inform us is via email or  our online contact form.  Please provide the number of credits you will take (fall and spring if known). Include ENROLLMENT or CREDIT LEVEL in the subject line and also make sure you include your STUDENT ID # in the body of your email.) Failure to notify our department by August 10 may result in a delay in the disbursement of your aid.

ALL LOANS REQUIRE A PROMISSORY NOTE:

  • FEDERAL DIRECT AND/OR GRAD PLUS LOAN MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN) and ENTRANCE LOAN COUNSELING: Both are required for these types of funds to disburse.  If this is your first time receiving one of these loans, you will need to complete a MPN (which is the actual loan application.)  First-time borrowers are also required to complete Entrance Counseling (a tutorial and quiz.)  Both of these requirements can be satisfied online at https://studentloans.gov/.   If you need to do either, you should see them reflected as a ‘To Do Item” on your PAWS account.
  • OTHER LOANS (Perkins/Nursing) –If a promissory note is needed, you should see it as a TO DO item in your PAWS account.

HOLD PLACED ON DISBURSEMENT PENDING VERIFICATION OF MAKING SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS: 

  • If you are on academic or financial aid probation, or on an academic plan, we need to confirm that you are meeting the requirements to continue. This review is generally not completed until closer to the start of the semester.
What else do I need to know?

If you change your enrollment level after your aid disburses, an adjustment to your award may be required.  For details, please refer to the “Census Date” section of the online version of the 2017-2018 Financial Aid Handbook. Now would be a good time to review the entire handbook for important and timely information.

Ask the Panther allows you to submit your questions 24/7 and most questions will be answered immediately.  You can contact us by phone, email, or in person as well.  Advisors are available to assist with more complex issues via phone as well as in-person.  Please call in advance to schedule an appointment.  Otherwise, Financial Aid Advisors will be available without appointments, on a walk-in basis:

August 7-24, 2017
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
August 7th and August 14th ONLY: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

August 28 – September 8, 2017
Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
(The office will be closed 9/4 for Labor Day)

Extended Advising Hours (4:00 pm – 5:30 pm) available on the following dates:
August 29
August 30
August 31
September 5
September 6