Students Interested in UT
What you need to know to help your student visit campus, apply, and get updates on the process. Information is available for:
Your student can log into MyUTK, set up an account, and give you access so you can make payments for tuition and fees. UT cannot share a student’s financial records with third parties unless there is written consent. The directions to give account authorization are posted here. Authorized users then make payments electronically. UT accepts several payment methods.
You can also go online and add money to your student’s VolCard account to pay for campus services. The VolCard Office website has more information posted about its accounts. There’s also an orientation letter for parents.
A student’s full or minimum payment is due by the published date each semester. The due dates for charges and fees are printed on their student account statements. If all charges and fees aren’t paid by the due date, the student’s schedule is cancelled and he or she is required to enroll in a payment plan on MyUTK.
PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools like UT that participate in the Direct Loan Program.
Here’s a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans:
- The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
- The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
- Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
- The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.
To receive a Direct PLUS loan, you (or your student) must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet these requirements:
- Be a graduate or professional degree student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a degree or certificate, or be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at a participating school; and
- Meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. If you are borrowing on behalf of your child, your child must also meet these requirements.
Full information about receiving and maintaining financial aid at UT is posted here.
Your student may be eligible for discounts and waivers while attending UT, or you may be eligible to take reduced rate classes yourself. Some of the situations that apply include: employment by UT or another state institution, employment for the state of Tennessee or as a Tennessee educator, or service in the military. Employee fee waivers are contingent on your pay status on the first day of classes each term.
The Tennessee Treasury Department administers two programs to help families save for their children’s future college education costs.
The Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST) allows any person to pay for future college tuition and mandatory fees by purchasing tuition units based on the current weighted average tuition costs at Tennessee’s four-year public universities. The units grow in value as the weighted average tuition increases each academic year. You can use the units at private and out-of-state institutions as well as Tennessee’s public universities. Anyone who wants to set up a BEST plan for a child living in Tennessee can participate.
The TNStars College Savings 529 Program offers families a low-cost way to save for children’s college expenses through investment options and special tax advantages. The plan offers an age-based track where the allocation becomes more conservative as the child approaches college. TNStars also offers individual investment options including domestic and international equities, balanced fund options, fixed income options, and an FDIC insured option. The underlying funds for each of the options are from a range of fund companies. The program offers the products at a competitive fee of 35 basis points.
Parents and UT students may be eligible for education related tax benefits. The American Opportunity (Hope Credit extended) and the Lifetime Learning Credit are education credits you can subtract in full from federal income tax, not just deduct from taxable income. Information from the IRS is posted here.
Students can also retrieve their tuition statement (Form 1098-T).
Student Privacy (FERPA)
Visit UT’s FERPA website
UT governs the distribution of student information based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (or FERPA). It’s also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA established the requirements that govern the privacy of student educational records in regard to their release and access.
Students are notified of their FERPA rights and the procedures for limiting disclosure of directory information in Hilltopics, at orientation for new students, and in annual e-mails from the university administration.
Parents Association Website
The Parents Association helps you connect to the UT campus and stay informed about your student’s success. The staff provides e-mails, electronic and print publications, timely information, and hosts events such as family weekends. You may also be eligible for local hotel discounts. Plus you can learn about student scholarship opportunities.
The Parents Association includes information about FERPA release forms (to allow parents and third parties to access academic and financial information protected by FERPA) in weekly e-mails to members.
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