Frequently Asked Questions

General

Q. What does the Business Services Office do?

A. We bill students and third-party sponsors, post charges to student accounts, send refunds for credit balances, and accept payments and departmental deposits. If you have questions about financial aid awards, please contact the Financial Aid Office. If you have questions about your registration, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Q. Where is  Business Services  located?

A. We are located in Forrest County Hall, room 101.

Q. What are your office hours?

A. Our lobby is open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during normal business days.

Q. How can I check my account balance?

 A. Log in to SOAR and select Self Service>Learner Services>Finances. We encourage you to check your account balance frequently.

Q. What is the last day to drop a class and receive a refund?

A. Find refund policy here and specific dates for a term here.

Q. I registered for a mini-session class. How is the tuition calculated?

 A. Tuition for min-session classes is charged at the same rate per semester hour as regular classes. Out-of- State fees are waived for mini-session classes. Please be aware that mini-session classes are billed in addition to regular classes.

Q. I am registered for full time hours this semester. If I add a mini-session course, will the total cost of tuition change?

 A. Yes, mini-session classes are posted separately and are not included in your regular tuition charges.

 Q. I am an out of state student will I be charged out of state fees for a mini-session course?

 A. No, out of state fees are waived for mini-session classes.

Refunds and Go Gold Cards

Q. How do I receive my refund?

 A. Beginning with the spring 2009 semester, all student refunds will be processed through Higher One. Higher One will mail each student a Go Gold debit card. When you receive the card, you must go to the website www.gogoldcard.com and choose a refund preference. You may choose one of the following refund methods:

  • Activate the debit card and have your refund deposited directly on the card
  • Request your refund to be deposited directly to your existing bank account
  • Select to receive a paper check

Q. What is the fastest way to receive a refund?

 A. The fastest way to receive your refund is to choose the “One Account”. Money is deposited directly on to the Go Gold card. Any merchant who accepts a MasterCard as a method of payment will accept this card.

 Q. I don’t expect to receive a refund. Do I have to activate my Go Gold card?

 A. Yes. If you ever have a credit balance on your student account, you must have a refund method selected.

 Q. May I come by the Business Office to pick up my refund?

A. No. All student refunds are processed through Higher One, not on campus

Q. May I have my refund deposited directly to my checking or savings account?

A. Yes, simply log on to the website www.gogoldcard.com and select ACH Transfer (to other bank).

Q. Who do I contact with questions concerning my Go Gold card?

A. You should call the toll free customer service phone number on the back of your Go Gold card (1-877-211-2635).

Payment

Q. How can I make a payment on my student account?

A. You have several options for making payments  
  • Pay with a credit/debit card or eCheck via SOAR.Log In and select Self Service>Student Center.  Make a Payment link is located in Finances section
  • Pay in person in our lobby between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (No credit/debit cards)
  • Check payments may be placed in the drop box located to the left of the front door of Forrest County Hall (payments made after 3:00 p.m. will be posted the next business day)
  • Check payments may be mailed to 118 College Drive Box # 5133 Hattiesburg, MS 39406. Please be sure to write your student ID number on the face of the check.

 We accept cash, checks, cashiers, checks, money orders in our office.

Q. May I use my financial aid for this semester to pay a previous semester balance?

A. Financial aid may only be applied to the semester in which it was allocated. It may not be used to pay previous semester balances.

Billing  

Q. When do I have to pay my bill?

A. Billing Schedule and Due Dates.

 

Q. I did not receive a bill. What do I do?

A. Beginning March 2012, the University will no longer mail monthly billing statements or Fee Invoices. Monthly notifications will be sent via email to your eagles.usm.edu email address when you have a bill available. You can access your online statement by clicking on the View Invoices link in the finances section of your student center. Choose the latest invoice generated. Please check your eagles.usm.edu email account regularly.

Q. My bill is wrong. What should I do?

A. If you have a question about tuition, contact our office. If you have a question about a department charge, you must contact the department that placed the charge on your account.

Financial Aid  

Q. Why hasn’t my financial aid posted to my SOAR account?  

A. There are many reasons why financial aid hasn’t posted. If you have turned in all required documentation, please contact the Financial Aid office. The most common reasons financial aid has not posted are listed below.  

  • The student failed to register for the correct number of units
  • The Financial Aid office has not received additional information requested
  • The student is not making satisfactory academic progress
  • The University has not yet received the scholarship or loan

Q. When can I expect a refund from the proceeds of my financial aid?

A. After classes start and financial aid has posted to student accounts, we notify Higher One weekly to release your refund via the refund method you selected when you activated your Go Gold card.

Q. What is a Perkins loan?

A. A Perkins loan is a need based federal loan given through the University.

Q. Do I qualify for a Perkins loan? 

A.The Financial Aid office awards loans. Please contact them if you have questions about eligibility.

Q. I turned in an outside scholarship. When will it be posted to my account?

A. On average, it takes about two weeks for scholarship checks to post to your student account once a semester has begun.

1098-T Forms

Please note: The University of Southern Mississippi does not provide tax or legal advice. The decision as to whether you qualify for an education tax credit should be determined in consultation with your personal tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service.

Q. What is Form 1098-T?

A. Form 1098-T is an information tax document to aid taxpayers in determining whether they are able to claim a tax deduction or one of the education tax credits (Hope Credit - generally applies to 2008 and earlier tax years, American Opportunity Credit, or Lifetime Learning Credit)

Q. How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?

A. You can view and print your current or prior 1098-T forms online at any time by logging into SOAR. Go to Self Service/ Student Center. Scroll down to the Finance section and click "other financial..." Select View 1098-T from the drop down list.

Q. Why didn't I receive a 1098-T?

A. Institutions are not required to furnish a 1098-T to non-resident aliens; to individuals whose qualified tuition and related expenses are waived or paid with scholarships or grants; to individuals enrolled only in noncredit courses; or to those individuals whose calculations net to zero.