In order to help make the transition to quarterly billing in the fall of 2014 as smooth as possible, Drexel Central has come up with these important tips for you:
For continuing students, it is important to understand what transition periods are and what they mean to you.
Since the university is switching all undergraduate students to quarterly billing at the same time, we have to make sure all students will have paid an equitable amount by the completion of their undergraduate program. However, not all full-time undergraduate students have paid the same amount of tuition and fees since there were previously differences in the annual tuition and fee amounts between 4 year and 5 year students; additionally, not all students have been enrolled for the same period of time and therefore have paid different amounts to date.
Transition years are meant to address this issue. By the end of established transition periods, all undergraduate students will have been billed and paid an equitable amount.
So what does this mean for you? In the simplest terms, it means your quarterly tuition charges for the 2014-2015 academic year may be different amounts than in upcoming years, which means you need to plan appropriately.
Fortunately Drexel has developed billing charts that you can refer to in order to determine what your per quarter charges will be based upon the year in your program. You can access these charts via the Quarterly Billing Information page.
It is also important to note that if you change your program, you may also be placed into a transition period to ensure the billing for your new enrollment schedule remains equitable. These possible transition rates are not listed online; instead, Drexel Central Representatives will counsel you on this information as your program change is being processed.
One of the most visible changes with this transition will be the information provided on your eBill. Under annual billing, your eBill reflected your total charges, financial aid, payment plans and other pending credits for the entire academic year.
With the transition to quarterly billing, your first eBill for the academic year will show your charges, financial aid, payment plans and other pending credits for the 2014 Fall Quarter ONLY. Don't be surprised when you review your August eBill and the charges and financial aid seem significantly different than in previous years; it is simply reflecting information for the fall!
Once you have registered for the Winter quarter, the next eBill you receive will show your information for the Winter quarter. The same process will apply for spring and summer quarters
Since your eBill will now only reflect quarterly charges, you will need to change the way you plan your finances for the year. Our hope is that this will, in the long term, make planning easier; however, you will need to make some adjustments to your planning in the short-term.
We recommend you take the following steps to come up with your new financial plan:
- Determine your costs for each quarter of the academic year - Since your annual charges will NOT be listed on your eBill, you will need to determine just how much you will need for the entire academic year, even though you don't have to pay it all up front. You should take the following steps:
- Review the charts on the Quarterly Billing Information Page to determine your tuition and fee charges.
- If you signed up for university housing and/or a dining plan, review your signed contract to determine how much you will be charged each quarter for these services.
- Certain charges may be applied to only one quarter (i.e., University Health Insurance, Study Abroad Program Fees). You should refer to the specific office responsible for these programs to determine what quarter they will be applied to your bill.
- Recognize that your costs may vary with your enrollment each quarter - Once you have calculated all your costs you may realize that you will not be charged the same amount for each quarter of your enrollment.
- For example: Students on co-op will only pay general university fees during their co-op quarters, so their bills for quarters of academic work will be higher than their co-op quarters.
- Using Payment Plans - Drexel will still be offering Payment Plans via Tuition Management Systems (TMS); however, there will no longer be an annual payment plan. Instead, you can sign up for payment plans on a quarter-by-quarter basis if you would like to utilize this method of payment. This will mean paying closer attention to your eBills and knowing the sign-up dates for each quarter. The Payment Plan web page provides all the details for how and when to sign-up for payment plans for 2014-2015.
- Using Loans - If you have previously used Parent PLUS or Private Education Loans to pay your balance due, you will still be able to utilize these resources. Drexel recommends that you do NOT apply for a new loan each quarter as this could have a detrimental effect on your, your parents' or your co-signer's credit. Rather, you should apply for the overall amount you will need for the academic year.
Your eBills for the fall and winter quarters will reflect only the University Fees (and university housing and/or dining plans if you have signed up for those services). Since your charges for the first part of the year will be so much less than in quarters when you are registered for classes, you may receive a larger refund from financial aid for these terms.
We strongly encourage you to determine if you will need to use any refunds received from fall and winter for your higher costs in the spring and summer BEFORE using your refunds for any other costs. Drexel cannot increase your financial aid offered for the spring and summer terms, so you may need to save a portion or all of any received refunds and apply them to your bill later in the year.
Drexel also recommends that you do not borrow a PLUS or Private Loan UNTIL the Spring quarter when you return for classes. This will help you avoid taking on more loan debt than is required.
With the transition to quarterly billing, students who are taking classes in the fall and winter quarters will see larger bills due during these terms than they will during the spring and summer quarters when they will not be charged for tuition.
While institutional financial aid has been adjusted to help during these transition periods, government regulations require Drexel to disburse federal aid evenly over all quarters of enrollment; this means that the spring and summer portions of your federal financial aid are not applied to your fall and winter quarters.
However, Drexel has decided to allow spring and summer portions of federal financial aid to be calculated against student account balances for the fall and winter. While the spring and summer portions of this aid will not actually pay during the fall and winter, they will act as pending credits against the students account and decrease the amount due. Please note however that if your enrollment or aid eligibility for the Spring and Summer quarters change, you may owe to the university the amount of the federal aid for those terms that were crediting against your account for fall and winter.