DROPPING A CLASS/WITHDRAWING FROM SCHOOL

First of all – dropping and withdrawing are two DIFFERENT things.

Students drop a class but are still enrolled in others.

However, when they withdraw, they have no classes left, i.e., they withdraw from school for the semester.

Students do this online at Peoplesoft.

DEADLINES (http://www.uh.edu/financial/payment/refunds/index.php)

There are a number of deadlines for getting some money back:

Dropped by September 9th – 100% refund for the dropped class(es)

Withdrawn by August 23rd -100% refund – $15

Withdrawn between August 24th and 28th – 80% refund

Withdrawn between August 29th and September 4th – 70% refund

Withdrawn between September 5th and 14th – 50% refund

Withdrawn between September 15th and 21st – 25% refund

Withdrawn after September  21st – NO REFUND!

FINANCIAL AID ISSUES

Students need to maintain their hours to remain completely eligible for financial aid and scholarships.

For financial aid, they need to keep 75% of:

6 hours if halftime

9 hours if 3/4 time

12 hours if fulltime

For scholarships limitations and rules, they need to look at the terms of their original scholarship.

PAYING BILLS

General link at http://uh.edu/financial/payment/

 Tuition and Fees are due by AUGUST 18th.  If these are not paid or arrangements made, then students will be dropped from their classes.

 Students can check their bill at my.uh.edu.  There are two general situations:

a)FINANCIAL AID/SCHOLARSHIPS COVER THE WHOLE BILL.

In this case, students need do nothing.

The university will take out the amount owed on the first day of class. 

If there is anything left, students will receive a refund
http://uh.edu/financial/payment/refunds/index.php

They need to register where this refund should be sent at http://myonemoney.com/

b)  THE STUDENT WILL OWE SOMETHING

In such cases, students do need to pay something by August 18th.

http://uh.edu/financial/payment/method-payment/index.php

They can just pay the whole outstanding bill using credit card (not VISA) or electronic check online or come in person to the Welcome center.

They can enter into a payment plan: http://uh.edu/financial/payment/plans/

Finally – certain special cases can apply for a waiver:

http://www.uh.edu/financial/payment/Fee-Waivers/

SCHOLARSHIPS

General link at : http://www.uh.edu/financial/undergraduate/types-aid/scholarships/index.php

Scholarships can be through the university or from outside sources.  By this stage, all university scholarships have been assigned and taken into account.

Outside scholarships are often an issue.  Some scholarships are given directly to the student; others are given through the university.

If a student has not received a scholarship that they were expecting, the first thing to do is contact the scholarship organization to make sure that they have done their part.

If so, then the student should contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

For future scholarship opportunities, students can try  www.fastweb.com or http://www.collegeboard.com/

 

FINANCIAL AID

FINANCIAL AID:

http://www.uh.edu/financial/undergraduate/faq/index.php

Financial Aid is the cause of most of the complaints and problems you will hear.  Much of this is because it CAN BE a very complicated process. 

In addition, a lot of students leave it to the last minute to apply or take care of certain things.

So that you can provide as much help to your students as possible, here is a fast summary of the important issues:

FIRST THING – COMMUNICATION:

The Financial Aid office communicates with students via e-mail. E-mail will be sent to their preferred e-mail address provided at my.uh.edu.

Students can also check the status of their financial aid in many ways. The best option is to log into my.uh.edu to look for updates. They can also call a Financial Aid customer service representative at (713)743-1010, send an e-mail to Ask Shasta, or stop by the welcome center and sign in to speak to a Financial Aid Officer (the last 3 are awfully busy most of the time!)

THE PROCESS

Students have to complete a federal form WELL IN ADVANCE of school starting (FAFSA). 

The FAFSA goes to the Department of Education for processing. They send the processed FAFSA to the student in the form of a Student Aid Report or SAR and to the University in the form of an Institutional Student Information Report or ISIR.

Once the SFA office receives an ISIR, they will review the information and notify the student via e-mail if there are any additional documents that they need in order to complete their file.

Not only might these be things left out by the student, but the Department of Education randomly selects about 50% of the students who submit the FAFSA for this process and requires UH to check the FAFSA for accuracy. All students selected like this need to submit a copy of the Institutional Verification Form (available at www.uh.edu/finaid/forms) and a copy of their signed 2008 tax return.. Dependent students also have to submit their parent’s signed tax return. Some students may have to submit additional forms, but this will be determined on a case by case basis.

If additional documents are needed, the student needs to submit them to the SFA office ASAP so that they can continue to process your application.

If they do not need any additional documents, or if they have already been submitted and the SFA office has finished processing them, then they are awarded financial aid.

This can be in the form of scholarships, grants, loans etc as a FINANCIAL AID OFFER.

Students then have to accept this offer on my.uh.edu.

If they have only accepted grants or scholarships, there are no additional requirements.

LOANS

Loan information may be found at http://www.uh.edu/financial/undergraduate/types-aid/loans/

HANDLING FINANCIAL AID

Most of the problems associated with financial aid have to do with students being unclear about the process or being slow in taking care of issues.

So – before you start contacting anyone, ask:

“When did you submit the Federal Form?”

“Were you asked to supply any further information?  If so, when did you do this?”

“Did you get an offer from the University of Houston Financial Aid?  If so, did you accept this?  When?”

If the answer to any of these are no, or a few days ago, then the paperwork is undoubtedly still being processed.

If it sounds like the student took care of things in a timely fashion then:

a) every student has been assigned a Financial Aid counselor.  Tell them that this person is the one they need to contact.

List is at

http://www.uh.edu/financial/find-advisor/index.php

b) if they have an issue with their counselor, or seem like they’re at the end of their rope, then contact your EMERGENCY CONTACT.  Tell the student you’re doing this and who it is that you’re talking to.

ADDING CLASSES

Most of your students will have registered for classes by the time you see them.However, a lot of students like to change their schedule either right before classes start or in the first week of classes.

Some may have been dropped from their classes due to non-payment.

First of all – encourage your students to get in classes quickly and GO TO CLASS.  The chances of a student doing well in a particular class decrease dramatically if they miss the first week.

Students add classes on Peoplesoft.  If there is space in a class, they can add themselves.

If a class is FULL, then different departments, colleges, professors, programs have different ways to do things. Students should e-mail the professor to find out how to do this for that particular class.

 

STUDENTS MUST PAY FOR CLASSES THE DAY THAT THEY ADD THEM TO BE SURE THAT THEY’LL KEEP THEM!!!

MAJORS

A majority of incoming students have already picked their “major” – the subject that they plan to graduate in.

Generally, a major links a student with a college and department.  They will need to talk with the advisor associated with their major.

The list of advisors may be found at

http://www.uh.edu/provost/student-success/advisorlist.html

If you want to try to call the particular advisor to help your student, go ahead.

There are several terms to be aware of with this.

CHANGING MAJOR:

Once a student has registered for classes, they can only change majors by going to the department they WANT to major in!

Many majors just require a student to be in “good standing.”   However, Engineering, Business, Education, Hotel Restaurant Management and several departments have extra requirements.

In these cases, ideally, you should just be able to send the student to the appropriate advisor.  However, if the advisors are overloaded, you can find out the information as follows:

Business: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/undergraduate/

Education: http://www.coe.uh.edu/student-services/undergrad-office/advisors/

Engineering: http://www.egr.uh.edu/academics/?e=adm

HRM: http://www.uh.edu/hilton-college/Current-Students/Academic-Advising/

PRE-SOMETHING MAJORS 

A lot of incoming students are premed, predent etc.  These are not “real majors” – but describe courses of study towards a student getting into medical or pharmacy school etc.  Their advisors are in Cougar Village 2.

http://www.uh.edu/ussc/pre-health-advising/

UNDECLARED MAJORS (No major) 

These students are based in Exploratory Studies.  Their advising is also in Cougar Village 2.

http://www.uh.edu/provost/student-success/advising/#exploratory-studies

THE LONGER A STUDENT GOES WITHOUT A MAJOR, THE LOWER THEIR CHANCES OF GRADUATING.  So – if one of your students is in the category, encourage them to try to pick one.

COLLEGES AND DEPARTMENTS

Academically, the university is split into colleges, each with a Dean as the head.  Most colleges have a number of departments – which usually are headed by a Departmental Chair.

Students often have difficulties separating colleges from departments and Deans from Chairs, so be aware of this possible confusion.

There are nine colleges that offer undergraduate courses.   Each of these can have different procedures for student-related issues so you will need to be able to match departments to colleges and vice versa:

It will be obvious which college is associated with most of the courses your students will take.  There are some non-intuitive ones, like Nutrition which is actually in education.

In order of number of freshman taking classes:

CLASS – or LIBERAL ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 

Anthropology

Art

Communication

Communication Disorders

Economics

English

Health and Human Performance – this includes Kinesiology and Nutrition.

Hispanic Studies (including Spanish)

History

Modern and Classical Languages (including French and German)

Music

Philosophy

Political Science

Psychology

Sociology

Theatre and Dance

Visual Studies

NSM – or NATURAL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS

Biochemistry

Biology

Chemistry

Computer Science (different from computer engineering)

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Geology)

Math

Physics

BUSINESS

Most of your business students will be “Prebusiness”

Accounting

Decision and Information Sciences (DIS)

Finance

Management

Marketing

ENGINEERING 

Biomedical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Industrial Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

EDUCATION 

Curriculum and Instruction

Education Psychology (includes Human Development and Family Studies)

TECHNOLOGY 

Engineering Technology (different from Engineering)

Human Development and Consumer Sciences (HDCS)

Information and Logistics Technology

HRM or HOTEL AND RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT  ARCHITECTURE PHARMACY 

Are all obvious! J

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