Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid 877-235-8386 · Student Accounts Office 866-640-4702

Q. Which office can answer questions about finances?
A. If the question you have is regarding your financial aid package and/or any student loans, you should contact the Financial Aid Office at 877-235-8386. If your question is regarding your tuition bill and/or making payments on your account, you should contact the Student Accounts Office at 866-640-4702.

Q. Where are these offices located, and what are their office hours?
A.  Both the Financial Aid and Student Accounting offices are located next door to each other on the first floor of Tomson Hall.  The Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices’ hours are 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday. You may make payments on your account at the Business Office, also located in Tomson Hall, which is open 8:00am -4:30pm Monday through Friday. All offices are closed during Chapel.

Q.  How will the Financial Aid Office and Student Accounts Office communicate with me this summer?
A.  The St. Olaf Financial Aid Office and Student Accounts Office (and many other offices on campus) will communicate with you via your new St. Olaf email account.  Be sure to check it regularly—we will notify you if we need anything from you and your parents to continue processing your aid.

Q. When and to whom is the tuition statement sent?
A. In late July, the bill for fall semester will be emailed to the student’s St. Olaf email account.  All billing statements are sent as e-bills to the St. Olaf student email accounts automatically. If a student wishes to grant access to someone other than themselves, he or she may add additional email addresses in the Student Information System (SIS) under the Permissions section.  Due to FERPA guidelines the student must be the one to set up access to their bill.

Q. How do I set up another email address to receive my tuition statements?
A. If you would like your parent or guardian to have access to your tuition statements, and to be able to make payments online, you can add them in Permissions page.  To do this, you will need to sign into the SIS and click on the Permissions link. Enter the relevant email addresses (one at a time if the email address is not already in here) and authorize viewing of selected information to that address. Click the green Grant Access button to grant access to the selected options for that email address. An email will then be sent to that address letting them know that they now have access to this information. If you need further assistance please see our instructions. Or visit the Parent Access page.

Q. When are payments due?
A. Fall semester payments are due August 26, 2016. Spring semester payments are due January 20, 2017.  A 0.5% finance charge will be assessed monthly on unpaid accounts.

Q. What other charges might I incur during the school year?
A. There may be additional charges after your initial fee statement is emailed in July. These include, but are not limited to: music lessons, parking tickets, fines, and interim program fees.

Q. How do I pay for books?
A. Generally, students use credit cards, cash, Ole$’s, or checks to pay for books, but they can also be charged to your tuition account. Your financial aid budget includes an estimate for book expenses.  If you received a financial aid package that exceeds the cost of tuition, room, and board you might be able to receive funds to help you pay for books.  However, this money will not be available for you to use until all of your financial aid has been disbursed (usually after the first week of the semester). If your financial aid is greater than the charges on your account, it will result in a credit on your account that can be withdrawn at the Business Office, issued as a check, or allowed to carry forward to the next semester.

Q. When is the First Payment/ deposit for the following school year due?
A. A $300 deposit for the following year will be due April 14, 2017. This payment allows you to participate in registration for the following year. All account balances must be paid in full before the reservation deposit will be accepted.

Q.  I already have my financial aid award—what happens next?
A.  If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from St. Olaf, our office will finalize your financial aid award this summer, incorporating any outside scholarships you have informed our office about. You will receive an email at your St. Olaf e-mail address instructing you to go online and accept your final financial aid package.  If you are receiving need-based aid, your award will not be finalized until you and your parents send us signed 2014 taxes, W2s and other applicable forms. You will need to make sure to follow the Financial Aid Timeline for important deadlines.

Q. How is financial aid disbursed?
A. Financial aid is disbursed by semester. Half of your financial aid will disburse at the beginning of fall semester and the other half spring semester. St. Olaf grants and scholarships automatically disburse before the bill is emailed in July, as long as you have completed and returned the necessary verification and tax forms detailed on the Financial Aid Timeline.  Federal and state grants disburse at the start of each semester if your award has been finalized.  All loans, federal or private (e.g. Direct, Perkins, PLUS), will disburse at the beginning of each semester if you have completed the appropriate loan applications and the loan has been approved by the lender.

Q.  How will I know when my loan(s) are approved?
A.  For Direct, SELF, PLUS and student alternative loans, you will receive a disclosure statement from the lender or US Department of Education notifying you of the loan approval and disbursement dates (which will coincide with our semester dates).

Q. What are loan fees?
A. Most lenders and the Department of Education charge origination/default fees on their loans. The fees will be deducted from the loan amount before the money is sent to St. Olaf to be disbursed on the students account. Fees are between 1.07 – 4.29% on federal loans and vary widely on private loans. Please check the disclosure statements to determine the fee that may have been charged on your loan.

Q.  Why doesn’t my financial aid appear on my bill?
A.  If you receive your bill in July and your financial aid is not showing on the bill, this means your award has not been finalized.  Contact the Financial Aid Office or access Financial Aid Online to find out what might be missing from your file.

Q. How can student employment be used to pay my tuition?
A. The student will need to complete the Student Employment Payment Method Form found on our website. This will allow you to have your student work earnings go toward your tuition or you can choose to have it deposited directly into a checking or savings account. This can be changed at any point throughout the school year.

Q. Who is eligible for student employment?
A. Only students who receive need-based aid are eligible for student employment. If you are eligible, your financial aid award will contain a student work award amount.

Q. Is the amount of my student employment award guaranteed?
A. First-year students are provided with a work assignment by the Human Resources department. Students are paid for the hours they work each pay period and must schedule the appropriate number of hours per week to earn their full work awards, e.g. 8 hours/week to earn approximately $2,300 for the year. Students who need assistance in finding more hours to earn their work award should contact the Human Resources department. We cannot guarantee that all students will earn the full amount of their work awards, but we will attempt to match students with supervisors who can provide adequate hours.

Q.  Are there any documents I need to bring to campus with me if I plan to work on campus?
A.  YES!  Before you can start working on campus, you will be required to complete an I-9 Verification Form, in person.  In order to complete the forms, two acceptable forms of identification are required.  These forms include a U.S. Passport, driver’s license and Social Security card.  You must bring original documents—we cannot accept photocopies!  There are other options for acceptable identification.  If you have any questions, you should contact Jennifer Skluzacek in the Human Resources Department (