Your Financial Aid Offer Letter
Understanding your offer letter
So you’ve received your offer letter from Hamline University, but you aren’t sure what it’s showing. We’re here to explain how it all works. From financial aid terms to how we disburse payments, we’ll help you understand everything you need to know.
Keep in mind that your offer is available in two formats: You will receive a paper copy in the mail and can also access it electronically. Both types will show the same information. If you’ve lost or misplaced your paper offer letter, no worries; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org from your Hamline Gmail account to request a copy.
Financial aid terms can be complicated, so we've put together a glossary for you to reference whenever there’s a word or phrase you don't recognize. Use this glossary as a supplement to the information provided on this page.
Your offer, explained
Review our example financial aid offer letter for helpful tips on how to read its content. We’ve highlighted important terms and phrases, explaining what each one means. If you’re having trouble with our example images, you’ll find the same terms listed further down this page.
What to look for in your offer letter
Need an easy way to see all the terms and phrases on your offer letter? Use our table to quickly identify what specific words mean. For a complete list of related terminology, refer to our Hamline financial aid glossary in Google Docs.
|Term or phrase||Explanation|
|Enrollment status: Full-time||Full-time is 12–18 credits per semester. State grant recipients must be at 15+ credits each semester for full grant dollars.|
|Living arrangements: On campus||Appears under “Assumptions” near the top of your offer letter. Contact financial aid if this is incorrect, as on-campus status can affect grants and estimated costs.|
|Grants and scholarships||Gift money that does not need to be repaid. Includes all Hamline, federal, and state aid available.|
|Grants and scholarships: 2023–2024 total||Total gift money for the year. The column above this amount shows how dollars are split for the year.|
|Federal student loans||Loan money in the student’s name that must be repaid with interest. Application required, but no cosigner/credit check required.|
|Federal student loans: 2023–2024 total||Total student loan money for the year. The column above this amount shows how dollars are split for the year.|
Estimated direct costs
|Total estimated costs to be billed by Hamline for the year. Includes fees, books, and room and meal plan if you’re assumed to be living on campus (based on “Living Arrangements” from the front page of your offer letter).|
|Summary of estimated costs minus aid: Owed to Hamline without loans||Total estimated net cost for the year. This is direct costs minus gift money (from the first page of your offer letter).|
|Summary of estimated costs minus aid: Owed to Hamline if borrowed loans||Total estimated cost for the year after borrowing student loans (from the first page of your offer letter).|
|Additional financing options: Federal/state work-study||Shows your work-study eligibility. Money isn’t guaranteed and is dependent on applying for a job, being hired, and then getting paid directly for hours worked.|
|Additional financing options: Federal Parent PLUS or Alternative Loan||Credit-based loan options. Must be credit approved to apply. Visit the website for more information and contact the Office of Financial Aid for your maximum dollar amount eligibility. The number provided is your PLUS loan or alternative loan amount eligibility for the year.|
Disbursement and payment FAQs
Grant and scholarship disbursements: Assuming your financial aid file is complete, grants and scholarships on your offer letter will be split equally between the fall and spring semesters. All grants and scholarships will disburse to your student account approximately two weeks after the start of the term to allow the Financial Aid Office to adjust aid packages to reflect actual enrollment after the add/drop period. More information can be found on our grants and scholarships page.
The J-term intersession and spring term will be combined for financial aid purposes. Grants and scholarships for this combined term will be credited to student accounts at the beginning of the spring term, generally in early February. For students enrolled in J-term but not spring term, aid for J-term–specific courses will be disbursed in early January.
Third-party scholarships are scholarships from any outside resources, such as a high school, local church, business, etc. Please email email@example.com if you know that you’re receiving an outside scholarship with the amount and name of the scholarship. Additional information can be found on our outside scholarships page.
Third-party scholarship disbursement: Unless otherwise specified by the scholarship agency, Hamline will disburse half your third-party scholarship(s) for fall term and half for spring term. The funds will be disbursed to your student account as the funds arrive from the scholarship foundations. In cases where the scholarship is co-payable to Hamline and the student, the funds will be credited once you endorse the check at the cashier's window.
Students and parents may be eligible for a number of different loans. Some loans are through the federal government and some are through outside lenders such as banks or credit unions. Some loans require credits checks and some do not. Loans offered will be listed on your offer letter. A loan is different from a grant or scholarship in that it must be repaid. For assistance with understanding the different types of loans and how to accept/apply for them, please visit our loans page.
Student loan disbursement: Most student loans will be disbursed in two equal payments. Assuming all your loan acceptance, loan counseling, and promissory note requirements are complete, Hamline will disburse half your loan proceeds approximately two weeks after the start of each term to allow the Financial Aid Office to adjust aid packages to reflect actual enrollment after the add/drop period. Students enrolled for only one term may receive their loans in one disbursement. Some circumstances require a proration of eligibility for single-term loans. For alternative/private loans from a lender that sends funds to Hamline via paper check, the funds will be credited to your student account once you endorse the loan check at the cashier's window.
Overpayment refunds created by financial aid disbursements will be refunded to the student, or parent in cases the overpayment is created by a Parent PLUS loan, within 14 days after the overpayment is created. The refunds may be paid through direct deposit or through a paper check. For more information regarding refunds, please visit the Student Accounts refund and account overpayment page.
Earnings from student employment will be paid to the student once they have secured a job, completed all required paperwork, and have earned wages. Earnings are paid bimonthly to the student by direct deposit to your bank account or through a paper check available at the cashier's window. Additional information can be found on our student student employment page.
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