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 2018-2019 year.
During Step 5, you will complete ALL of the remaining documents listed on the “Application Requirements” page of the SFS self-service portal . The information provided below will help you understand what is expected of you to complete this step. The deadline to submit/complete all of your remaining documents, including e-signing any loan promissory notes, is Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 5PM.
The fall review process timeline is as follows:
- Late-August/Early September: Submit the Student Application Update Form and summer income documentation (final pay stub(s), letters from employers, etc.), as well as all other outstanding 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.
- November: Final Award Notification is sent to all students, including a finalized LIPP-Eligible Borrowing amount for the academic year.
- December: Grant awards are disbursed to student online billing accounts.
The following is a list of documents that you may see on your “Application Requirements” page. Please refer to your actual list of required documents by logging in to the SFS self-service portal.
ALL documents listed on your “Application Requirements” page must be “Received” or “Waived” by September 14th.
Summer Application Update 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 2018-2019 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 additional summer income documentation in the form of a pay stub/volunteer form is required) still need to complete the Student Application Update 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 2017-2018 and the first day of classes for 2018-2019.
- Entering Students (Class of 2021 Only) – Summer is defined as the period between 6/1/18 and 8/31/18.
Summer Income Documentation: Final Pay Stub and/or Volunteer Form Requirements
To substantiate the summer income information you will provide on the Student Application Update Form (listed above), the following income documentation is also required:
- Returning and Transfer Students –
- Paid Employment (NON-SPIF JOBS) – All returning/continuing students and new transfer students must submit their FINAL paystub(s) from ALL summer employers directly to HLS Student Financial Services. The final pay stub from each employer must clearly display your name, your total gross earnings, and the pay period end date (which must be equal to or after your last day of work). If for some reason the final pay stub(s) is not obtainable, you will need to contact SFS to request a form (in PDF format) that you can download and give to your employer(s) to complete in lieu of an actual paystub.
- Volunteer Work (NON-SPIF JOBS) – Students doing volunteer work must also document their work. However, in lieu of a pay stub, they should have their employer/supervisor complete and submit our Volunteer Work 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 for money that they received directly from HLS. We have access to this data in our summer funding records. SPIF recipients do need to document all income received directly from their SPIF employer. In addition, those who split their summers working between a SPIF JOB and some other type of NON-SPIF employment must submit a final pay stub(s) for their NON-SPIF JOB.
- 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 2018 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 2018 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 Student Application 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 2018 that continued into the summer of 2017 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 2018 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.
- Returning and Transfer Students –
Master Promissory Notes for Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct GradPLUS, & HLS Loans
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 “Application Requirements” 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
- Received: Indicates that you have already signed a master promissory note for this loan program while 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 NOT 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.
- Note about HLS Loans – You need to wait to get an email from Heartland/ECSI before you attempt to e-sign any Harvard loan notes. Heartland/ECSI is the third party vendor HLS uses to manage the e-signing process.
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 FSA ID and password 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.
Verification of Sibling/Spouse Enrollment Form(s)
All grant recipients who originally reported that they would have one or more siblings or a spouse enrolled in school during the 2018-2019 academic year must obtain documentation of this enrollment from each sibling’s/spouse’s school. Having siblings or a spouse 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 their enrollment. 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/spouse enrolled in school.
All Other Student Documents listed as “Not Received”
Any other documents listed 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 provisional 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 all students originally processed as Temporary Loan Only and for 1Ls 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 15th 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 14th deadline and then follow up with any remaining parent items by the October 15th filing deadline.