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Office of Veteran Services & Financial Aid Staff

Office number – 210-567-2635
Fax number – 210-567-6643

Hours 8:00 am – 5:00 pm  Monday – Friday

Located in the Medical School – Room 318.L

Ellen Nystrom,  Director

Gloria Salinas,  Assistant Director

Janelle Braxton, Financial Aid Officer, VA Certifying Official

Rebecca Brysch, Financial Aid Officer, VA Certifying Official

Camille Garcia, Office Manager

Cathy Lopez, Student Administration Assistant-Intermediate

UT Health Science Center San Antonio
Office of Veteran Services &
Financial Aid – MC 7708
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX  78229-3900

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Fair Lending Practices – Code of Conduct

The University of Texas Health Science Center is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct and ethical behavior. Ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process and programs is critical to providing equity and access to higher education. With the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress requires that all colleges post a Code of Conduct relating to financial aid, private lending and student choice. Hence, the staff in the Office of Veteran Services and Financial Aid (VSFA) herein confirms that we adhere to the following sound practices:

I. University employees do not receive any personal benefits from Lending Institutions. No member of the VSFA staff will accept anything of more than a nominal value on his or her behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc, will never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual will never accept payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars.

II. The University does not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution. The Staff in VSFA does not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including, but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software.

III. The University does not make use of any “Suggested Lender Lists”. Our students may select any private/alternative lender of their choice and request certification from our office without a penalty or delay in processing.

IV. University employees do not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration. No officer, trustee or employee of the university who makes financial aid decisions for the university or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the VSFA office will receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant on a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution, or receive any reimbursement of expenses for such service.

News

All students applying for scholarships, exemptions, waivers, grants and any Title IV aid must fill out a FAFSA before the student is can be awarded or complete the online scholarship application.

2017-2018 FAFSA Verification Requirements

The Department of Education (DOE)  has heard the complaints from students, their families, and their financial aid offices and is implementing “Prior Prior Year” tax data collection in the new federal aid year.  This means your 2017-2018 FAFSA will be based on your 2015 Income Tax data (Prior Prior Year) instead of your 2016 Income Tax data (Prior Year).  This will remove the burden placed on families who file extensions on their returns and do not have the completed tax return available for filing their FAFSA until late in the school year.  This will also assist students with filing their FAFSA’s as early as they wish without worrying about estimating tax information and allowing for greater use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to prevent data entry errors.

The DOE will be selecting student applications for the different types of verification as shown below:

  • V1 – Standard Verification – Student must use IRS Data Retrieval Tool and submit a verification worksheet.
  • V4 – High School Completion Status, Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose, SNAP (if reported on the FAFSA) and child support verification (if reported on the FAFSA) – Student will need to submit a copy of their high school transcript, complete the Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose form in person (with valid state ID) or in the presence of a Notary Public, SNAP form, the Child Support Paid form and/or documentation from Department of Health and Human Services, and/or from the Office of the Attorney General.
  • V5 – Aggregate Verification – student will need to submit all of the above requested items.

If you cannot complete the IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, you will need to submit a tax return transcript.  The DOE no longer allows copies of tax returns to be accepted. To order a tax return transcript click here to access the IRS Get Transcript Online website. Please note the the IRS now uses a two-step multi-factor authentication process that requires you to register before submitting an online transcript request.  If you are not able to successfully register, you can still request a transcript or verification of non-filing via mail.

All 2017-2018 forms can be found here.

Verification is intended to improve the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA.  Please be aware that our office cannot process financial aid, requests for professional judgment, or disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete.  Financial aid administrators have the right to ask for any documentation they feel is necessary to complete verification.   We must receive your documents and, if corrections required, have received your updated Student Aid Report no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 22, 2018, whichever is earlier.  Corrections may be made by our office on your behalf, or if they must be made by the student/parent we will contact you via your UTHSCSA email account and assist you with identifying the necessary corrections.  If your EFC changes, as a result of corrections made during the verification process, the DOE will send a message to the email address on your FAFSA announcing an updated Student Aid Report is available for your review.

How do you know if you are selected for Verification?

Your Student Aid Report comments, from your FAFSA, will indicate if you have been selected for Verification. Also, once you grant our office authorization to communicate with you via email, we will send you an electronic notice. To complete the Authorization to Communicate, log on to the portal and access your Student Center.  In the middle of the page, on the left-hand side, you will see a bright yellow box entitled “Authorization to Communicate”.   Selecting that link will give you an opportunity to view the types of communications and web links we may send to your secure UTHSCSA email account if you authorize this method of communication.  If we do not received authorization for electronic communication we will use regular US Postal mail to notify you of required actions/documents/award notices which will require additional processing time.

UTSHCSA reports any fraudulent activity uncovered during the verification process to the Office of Inspector General, Dallas Division, as required by regulation.

Information about the verification requirements for award year 2016 – 2017 can be found here.

News Flash For First-Time Loan Borrowers

Federal rules are changing for borrowers who receive funds from the Direct Subsidized loan program, for the first-time, after July 1st, 2013.

Click the link below for an interactive explanation from Federal Student Aid, an office of the US Department of Education, which explains the new rules.

Time limitation

 

 

1098T Information

If you paid qualified tuition and fees, or received scholarships and grants, in the previous calendar year, please visit this site for instructions on how to obtain your form.   Medical and Dental students that graduated in 2014 actually paid/received their tuition/scholarships in the fall of 2013 and will not receive a form for the 2014 calendar year.  For additional questions please contact the Bursar’s office at bursar4students@uthscsa.edu.

For information from the IRS about why the 1098-T is important to Student and Parents, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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Statement of Ethical Principles adopted by Veteran Services and Financial Aid

The Statement of Ethical Principles adopted by Veteran Services and Financial Aid were developed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and were last updated in March of 2014.
The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. NASFAA members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. To achieve those goals financial aid administrators shall:

Advocate for students
• Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
• Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.

Manifest the highest level of integrity
• Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
• Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
• Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
• Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.

Support student access and success
• Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue post-secondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
• Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
• Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
• Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.

Comply with federal and state laws
• Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
• Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
• Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.

Strive for transparency and clarity
• Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
• Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
• Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
• Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.

Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
• Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the financial aid office by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including the Federal Education Rights to Privacy Act and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
• Protect the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.

Welcome to the Office of Veteran Services & Financial Aid

The Veteran Services and Financial Aid (VSFA) office at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) guides students in obtaining financial resources enabling them to pursue their educational goals while maintaining compliance with institutional, state, and federal regulations. VSFA also assists our veteran students with obtaining educational benefits while helping them succeed at UTHSCSA. In addition to our support of our students and veterans, VSFA strives to support our campus partners by supplying relevant, timely data for their use in meeting their departmental and academic goals.

We have an experienced staff committed to helping guide students through this process and are available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

Ellen Nystrom
Director, VSFA

Your Right To Know

In compliance with The Jeanne Clery Act, the UT Health Science Center is committed in assisting the HSC community in providing for their own safety and security. Information regarding campus security, personal safety, crime prevention, university police law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, crime statistics for the most recent three year period and disciplinary procedures is available on the UTHSCSA police department Annual Report. If you would like a paper copy of this information, you may contact the crime prevention office at 210-567-9092.