First-Year FAQ

First Year Students Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Aid Process

Do I have to reapply for Financial Aid every year?

Yes! Student Financial Services depends on the timely completion of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that we may award you aid for each academic year. The deadline for receipt of the FAFSA each year is March 2. You may complete your FAFSA online at  beginning October 1. Significant changes are coming with the 2024-25 FAFSA, and as a result the FAFSA will not be available until December 2023. For more information, please visit this webpage

Will my financial aid award change in subsequent years?

If financial circumstances remain the same, students can expect a similar level of grant assistance from the University. For additional information please review REAPPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID above or at

How does Student Financial Services determine my financial need?

Student Financial Services will use information from your FAFSA to determine whether you are eligible to receive federal grants, loans, Work-Study funds, and most types of institutional aid. “Financial need” is the difference between the cost of education (tuition, room and board, fees, books, personal expenses, and transportation) and the family’s expected contribution. How much you and your family are expected to contribute is determined by a standard formula which considers your parents’ income and assets, family size, and the number of siblings in college, as well as your earnings, savings, and other assets. Once the amount of financial need is determined, a financial aid package is put together to match the need.

Do I need to provide additional information now that I’ve completed the FAFSA?

Student Financial Services will contact you to let you know if documents are needed. Be sure your check the email you supplied on your admissions application, your admissions portal, and/or your Redlands email once you are an enrolled student. If you are an enrolled student, you can view a list of required documents in Self-Service Financial Aid. We recommend all requested documents be submitted via the Student Financial Services Online File Submission webpage for fastest processing times.  If you prefer, you may fax documents to 909-335-5399 or mail to: Student Financial Services 1200 E. Colton Ave Redlands, CA 92373.

Will I receive financial aid for four years?

Financial aid at University of Redlands is renewable for up to eight semesters, if application materials are submitted on time and your family continues to demonstrate eligibility for aid based on federal and institutional guidelines. Families applying for renewal of financial aid must complete a FAFSA annually by the published due date.

How do I know if I am eligible for Work-Study?

Work-Study is a need-based student aid program that gives you the opportunity to earn money through part-time employment. If you indicated that you are interested in Work-Study on your FAFSA and you meet the eligibility criteria, Work-Study will be listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter. Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA. If you have been awarded an official Work-Study award, you will have the opportunity during Orientation Week to attend a workshop regarding Student Employment. During this workshop students will learn how to access the online Student Employment Portal to look for open positions, apply for positions and make an appointment with the Student Employment Office. All open positions will be listed within the portal.  Work-Study earnings are not disbursed to your student account and do not reduce the charges on your tuition bill. They are earned wages through employment that you’ll receive in the form of a paycheck. The figure reflected on your award letter is the maximum potential earnings you are allowed per academic year.

What if I didn’t receive Work-Study as a part of my financial aid award? Can I still find a job on campus?

Preference for student employment positions is always given to students who are awarded Work-Study as part of their financial aid package. For those students not awarded, Career Services solicits and posts part-time job opportunities in the community available to all students, whether or not they have a work award. While most community jobs require you to provide transportation, some are within walking or biking distance.

How is my financial aid disbursed?

If you meet all requirements for the disbursement of aid, financial aid (except Work-Study) is disbursed by Student Financial Services at the beginning of each semester and continues throughout the semester.

I am going to receive scholarship funds from an outside source. Do I need to report the funds to Student Financial Services?

Yes, all sources of financial aid must be reported to Student Financial Services. If you are receiving external resources such as scholarships you will need to send verification of the scholarship to our office. You may fax, email, or mail the official documentation.

What happens to my financial aid package if I receive an outside scholarship? Will you adjust my financial aid?

Outside scholarships can be used to lower or replace the loan and/or work portions of your financial aid package or supplement your family’s calculated contribution toward costs. Student Financial Services will apply your scholarship to your student account once funds have been received from your donor. We only adjust your financial aid when the combination of scholarship aid from all sources (institutional, federal, state, or other) exceeds a student’s calculated cost of attendance.

How will my financial aid package be affected if I live/move off campus?

First, Student Financial Services will adjust your Cost of Attendance (budget) to reflect your new off-campus status. Next, your financial aid (student loans, grants, etc.) will be reviewed to determine if the amount of aid previously awarded exceeds the new level of eligibility based on federal, state, and institutional policies.

If you are awarded an On-Campus Grant in your financial aid package and you choose to move off campus, you will no longer qualify for that award.

What should I do if my family has a reduction in income or other change of circumstances after we have filed the FAFSA?

Certain changes in family circumstances may affect a family's ability to pay educational expenses and can be used as the basis for a Special Circumstances Review. Eligible circumstances for review include, but are not limited to, loss or reduction of employment, separation or divorce, unusual medical expenses not covered by insurance, and loss of benefits such as social security or child support.

Request for review must be documented using the Special Circumstances form. Requests will be reviewed by a Student Financial Services committee and a decision will be reached within approximately two weeks and sent via postal mail. Please note: Students who wish to be considered for an appeal must file a FAFSA before an appeal can be considered.


Student Loans

Am I required to accept the loans offered to me?

No. You are never required to accept the loan(s) you have been offered. The loans(s) on your financial aid award letter are offers only. You may choose to accept all or part of your loan offers. If you do not want to accept a loan, no action is required on your account.

What is the difference between a Direct Subsidized and a Direct Unsubsidized loan?

A Direct Subsidized Loan is a federal loan awarded to students who demonstrate financial need as a result of filing the FAFSA. Maximum amounts available per student are set by the federal government and are based on the student’s grade level classification at University of Redlands. The government pays the interest on the Direct Subsidized Loan while the student is in school, and the student begins repaying the principal of the loan six (6) months after graduation or ceasing at least half-time enrollment.

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is identical to the Direct Subsidized Loan in terms of annual maximum amounts, interest rates, and application process. The only difference is the government does not pay interest on the Direct Unsubsidized Loan while the student is enrolled.

For more information about Federal Direct Loans, visit

If I want to take out a Federal Direct Loan, what am I required to complete?

Once you have deposited, Student Financial Services will send you a link provided on our Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling web pages. Taking care of this requirement early will ensure you have one less thing to have to worry about during your transition to the University.

Missing Information and Verification

What is verification?

Each year students and their families apply for financial aid by submitting a FAFSA. Some applicants are asked to provide supporting documents to verify the information reported on their FAFSA through a process called verification. There are several reasons why your FAFSA may be selected for verification. Perhaps the FAFSA included estimates of federal income tax information and the actual information now must be confirmed. Or maybe the FAFSA was submitted with data that appears inconsistent or includes the type of information that is frequently misreported. You may be selected for verification by either the University or the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Processor. For more information on verification please visit:

I used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, do I still have to mail my copy of the tax return to the Student Financial Services Office?

If you use the IRS Date Retrieval Tool to upload the tax information on to your completed FAFSA, and did not change the uploaded tax information, we likely will not need a copy of your tax form or IRS tax transcript.

What happens if I do not provide the information being requested?

If a student/family does not provide the verification materials, the verification is incomplete. Student Financial Services would be unable to award federal, state, and most types of institutional aid until verification is completed.

Why did my financial aid change after the verification process was done?

If any conflicting information or discrepancies are found between the materials you provide as part of the verification process and the information originally indicated on your FAFSA, your financial aid eligibility may change, and your award would be adjusted accordingly.

Where do I submit my missing documents?

We recommend all requested documents be submitted via the Student Financial Services Online File Submission webpage for fastest processing times.  If you prefer, you may fax documents to 909-335-5399 or mail to: Student Financial Services 1200 E. Colton Ave Redlands, CA 92373.

Student Account and Payment Questions

How do I access my bill and pay my balance?

The University of Redlands utilizes Self-Service Student Finance as the official method for making payments and receiving statements at the University of Redlands. This service is a secure method for viewing student account information and making online payments. Students will be notified by email that a new statement has been uploaded to their Student Finance account.  Students can access the Student Finance site by visiting their myRedlands account.

My financial aid awards do not cover my full balance, what can I do to finance my education?

University of Redlands provides several payment options for students and families to cover any balance due not covered by scholarships, grants, and student loans. Many families choose a combination of the options below to pay for costs that scholarships, grants, and student loans do not cover. 

  • Online Payments
  • Monthly Payment Plan
  • Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  • Alternative Loans

For more information about payment options visit

I have a credit on my student account. When will I receive the funds?

If the amount of your financial aid exceeds the amount of your tuition and fees, you will have a credit on your account. This credit will be mailed to your campus mailbox or preferred mailing address within 14 days of the disbursement of your federal financial aid funds. If the credit is due to a Direct PLUS Loan, the check will be sent to the person indicated on the PLUS application (student or borrower). If the student holds a U.S. savings or checking account, direct deposit may be set up through

How can I get money to pay for my textbooks?

Textbooks may be purchased via a number of retailers, and costs may not be charged directly to the student’s account. Most students who wish to pay for textbooks with financial aid will apply for loans in excess of their tuition and fees. Please keep in mind that refunds of credit balances are not available until the first week of each semester or as soon as we are in receipt of the funds. Students who need to purchase textbooks before that time will need to make separate arrangements until the credit is refunded to them.

FERPA and Proxy Access

Can you release my student information to my parents?

Our office takes great care to safeguard your personal information in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We do not release protected personal information unless specifically authorized to do so by the student. All students who wish to have their information accessible to parents or other designated persons should complete the Authorization for Release of Information form each year at Questions regarding this process should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at 909-748-8019 or

How do I add someone as a Proxy user on my Self-Service account?

University of Redlands students can designate an individual as a proxy user in the Self-Service Portal. Designating a proxy user in Self-Service authorizes that person to access specific areas of the student’s educational record. This access can be granted, changed, or revoked at any time by the student via the Self-Service portal.

Please note, this does not take the place of a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release. To authorize an individual to discuss your account with someone at the University, please visit


Student Financial Services Deadlines and Policies

Where can I find important Student Financial Services Deadlines?

Please be sure to review all University correspondence sent to your Redlands email for additional requirements and deadlines. Updated deadlines can be found at:

Can I get a duplicate copy of the financial aid publication I received with my award letter?

Yes, you can get a digital copy of our financial aid publications here.

What does it mean to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress?

Federal regulations require that colleges and universities evaluate satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at least annually to determine your eligibility to receive financial assistance. See our Satisfactory Academic Progress page for more detailed information.

What steps do I take if I need a ninth semester of aid?

Student Financial Services policies dictate that students are eligible for a maximum of eight semesters of institutional aid or the pro-rated amount remaining for transfer students. In the rare event that you are unable to complete your program of studies within eight semesters, you must petition to receive a ninth semester of financial aid.

Students will need to fill out an Appeal for Additional Semester(s) of Aid, which must be completed by both the student and academic advisor. Students must complete a major evaluation and include a statement explaining circumstances meriting an additional semester of aid. Only petitions substantiating need due to circumstances beyond the student's control will be considered. Also, students may not petition for additional aid for the sole purpose of studying abroad or completing a double major. Please note: Appeals for additional semester(s) of aid may take up to two weeks to process. Final decisions will be communicated via Redlands email.

Where can I find other financial aid Policies?

Here are four good references if you are looking for financial aid policies:

  1. University Catalog
  2. Financial Aid General Terms and Conditions
  3. General Financial Aid Policies
  4. Student Consumer Information


Self-Service Financial Aid Quick Reference Guide

What is the purpose of Self-Service Financial Aid?

Self-Service Financial Aid is designed to simplify the financial aid process. Using this portal, you can monitor the status of your financial aid package, track outstanding items, view and accept your awards, and more. If you have any questions regarding the Self-Service Financial Aid Portal that are not answered below, please contact Student Financial Services at or 909-748-8047.

How do I log in to Self-Service?

Self-Service can be accessed through the MyRedlands portal by selecting “Self-Service (Student Planning)” from the menu bar or directly at You will use the same credentials you use for your Redlands e-mail and MyRedlands accounts, however your username will be FIRST_LAST without the 

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What information can be found in Self-Service?

Status Update

The information in this box will change based on your current status in the checklist. a-status update.png


The checklist is designed to walk you through the important steps of the financial aid process. Completed steps are green and outstanding steps are yellow. Steps that require other steps in the checklist to be completed first will remain grey until the required steps are completed. a - checklist.png 

  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – this step is completed when a FAFSA for the appropriate academic year is submitted at If you believe you have already completed this step, it is possible that our office does not have your Social Security Number on file or that the a FAFSA for a different academic year was completed. 
  • Complete required documents– in some cases, additional documentation is required to prepare your financial aid award. Please visit the “Required Documents” page to review outstanding items. 
  • Your application is being reviewed by Student Financial Services – the SFS office has everything it needs to prepare your financial aid award. For College of Arts and Sciences students, award letters for the coming academic year are initially sent in Spring, and then within 1-2 weeks of receipt of the FAFSA. For School of Business and School of Education students, award letters are initially sent 30 days prior to the start of the academic year, and then within 1-2 weeks of receipt of the FAFSA. 
  • Review and accept your Financial Aid Award Package*– your financial aid award has been prepared and is ready for review. All grants and scholarships are auto-accepted, however loans should be accepted or declined as appropriate
  • Complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling– this checklist item only generates when you have been awarded a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. If you are choosing to reject these awards, the checklist item may continue to remain active but does not need to be completed. 
  • Sign Direct Loan Master Promissory Note- this checklist item only generates when you have been awarded a Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan. If you are choosing to reject these awards, the checklist item may continue to remain active but does not need to be completed.
  • Review and sign your financial aid award letter*– Once you have reviewed your awards and accepted or declined any loans offered to you, please accept or decline your award letter

*Please note, if no action is taken on the award package and award letter steps, Student Financial Services will assume that all awards are accepted and proceed with disbursing your financial aid.

Student Financial Services Coordinator

This section includes contact information for your Student Financial Services Coordinator. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding your awards or the financial aid process. a - sfs-coordinator.png

Helpful Links

This section includes helpful links various sites outside of the Self-Service portal that will assist you in understanding your financial aid and the process.

Where do I locate required documents? Where do I submit these documents?

In some cases, additional documentation is required to prepare your financial aid award. Please review and complete any items in the “Incomplete” list on this page for your financial aid award to be prepared. We recommend all requested documents be submitted via the Student Financial Services Online File Submission webpage for fastest processing times.  If you prefer, you may fax documents to 909-335-5399 or mail to: Student Financial Services 1200 E. Colton Ave Redlands, CA 92373.a-required-documents.png

What information can be accessed on the My Awards page?

The My Awards page displays all awards offered to you for the specified award year. All grants and scholarships are auto-accepted. 

Any loans offered to you should be reviewed and either accepted or denied. You may also reduce the per term amount prior to accepting them, however you may not increase your loans beyond the original per term award amount. If you want to make changes to your loans after you have accepted or rejected them, you must contact your Student Financial Services Coordinator. 

If your Parent applied for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan or if you applied for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan, these are auto-accepted as well and cannot be updated in Self-Service. 


Where do I report and/or view outside awards?

You can use this page to report any awards you are receiving from outside agencies, for example scholarships or tuition assistance. Please send any supporting documentation for your outside scholarship to your Student Financial Services Coordinator or - outside awards.png

Where do I accept or decline my award letter?

Once you have accepted or declined your financial aid awards, you can accept your finalized award letter here. You can also download a PDF of your current or previous award letters. 

What is a Proxy user?

You can designate an individual as a proxy user in the Self-Service Portal.  Designating a proxy user in Self-Service authorizes that person to access specific areas of the student’s educational record.  This access can be granted, changed, or revoked at any time by the student via the Self-Service portal. Proxy Users in the Self-Service portal are replacing the current Authorized User access in RedlandsPay. For more information on Proxy users, please visit

How do I view my student account information?

There are two ways to view student account information:

  1. Account Summary
  2. Account Activity

Account Summary: Allows you to view a summary of all transaction in all terms.a - student acct 1.png

"Amount Past Due" is the total of all terms with a balance owed and a payment due date in the past.

"Total Amount Due" is the total of all terms with a balance owed. This does not include terms with a credit balance and may not be indicative of the actual amount payable to the University.

"Total Account Balance" is the total of all term balances. This is the total amount payable to the University.

Select Account Activity to view you account activity by term.

Below the Overview, is a summary of total balance by term. Click on a term to view the account activity for that term.

The Account Summary page also includes 2 helpful links:a - student acct 2.png

  1. Payment and Payment Plans - Select this link to go to the "Payments and Payment Plans" page in Self-Service. From this page, you may launch the payment processor.
  2. View/Add Proxy Access - Select this link to go to the "View/Add Proxy Access" page in Self-Service. On this page you may add new proxy users or change or remove existing proxy user access.

What information is located on the Account Activity page?

The Account Activity page allows you to view a detail of all transaction and categories in the selected term.

Select "View Statement" to generate a PDF version of your term statement. (If you need a chronological statement and/or a statement that shows more than one term, please contact Student Financial Services.)

Use the "Term" dropdown menu to select the appropriate term.

Select "Expand All" or "Collapse All" to view or hide detail. Alternatively, click on the header for each category to view or hide detail for that category.

The account balance for the term is displayed in the Term dropdown menu at the bottom of the page below all categories.a - acct summary.png

Go to the "Payments and Payment Plans" page in the navigation menu to make a payment on your account or to set up or view existing payment plans. 

Where do I view my payments and payment plans?

Payments & Payment Plans shows a summary of the amount payable to the University.

Select the "Proceed to Processor" button to launch our payment processor in a new tab or window. You may return to the current tab or window at any time.a - payment plan.png

The first time you launch our payment processor, you will be asked to confirm demographic information and to set up a PIN and security questions. If any updates to this information are made with the University, please also update your demographic information with our payment processor.

The PIN and security questions are used to verify your information over the phone should you need assistance from our payment servicer.