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Frequently Asked Questions

In this Section

What is my $300.00 Deposit for?
All Undergraduate Students are required to pay a $300.00 Security Deposit to reserve their place in a Clarkson University Class. This payment is not applied to the Student Account and will be returned to the student at the completion of their education or if they leave Clarkson early without any outstanding balance.

Who do I talk to about Housing Assignments and Meal Plans?
All questions pertaining to housing, room assignments and Meal Plans should be addressed to Residence Life. Contact information may be found at 

What can you tell me about Federal Work Study?
Based on the results of their FAFSA, students with need are eligible for Federal Work Study. Federal and campus work study earnings are not applied toward the student’s bill. The student will receive a paycheck bi-weekly.

Do I have to file a FAFSA every year and when?
Yes, if you want to borrow a Federal Direct Loan or your parent wants to apply for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan or you receive a Clarkson Grant you will need to complete a FAFSA.  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed annually to determine your eligibility for federal need-based student aid.  To complete a FAFSA online or for more information, visit FAFSA on the web at It is recommended you complete a FAFSA by or around April 15th of each year.

Why is my financial aid package different from last year’s package?
Your financial aid package may have changed from last year due to one or more of the following reasons:
-There has been a significant change in your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
-There has been a change in the number in your household and/or the number in college.
-You lived on campus last year and are now living off-campus or with your parents.
-There have been changes in the availability of federal funding.
-Certain scholarships require you maintain a specific minimum cumulative GPA or completion rate (examples are Honors Scholarship, SayYes Scholarship, NYS TAP and some of the Endowed and Sponsored Scholarships

What is the difference between the Knight Card and the Declining Balance?
The Knight Card is an optional account that can be used with campus vending machines and off campus merchants that includes but not limited to: University Bookstore, Subway, Jreck Subs, Kinney Drugs Stores. Potsdam Ponderosa, Sergi’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Big M Supermarket, McDonald, Burger King, Arby’s Restaurant and many more. The Declining Balance is connected only to our campus dining service, with or without a Meal Plan.
The Knight Card Website is:  
Contact Aramark for declining balance information at 

What is the “To Do List”?
The “To Do list” is a method of communication to the student pertaining to required or missing information or forms. This “To Do list” is on their PeopleSoft Account under the Student Service Center. By clicking on “Click to complete” it will bring you to the item(s) that need to be completed. When available if you “click on complete” on an item it will allow you to complete the form online or will instruct you on how to complete the To Do item.

What is the difference between a Federal Direct Subsidized and a Federal Unsubsidized Loan?
Subsidized Loans (undergraduate students only) do not accrue interest while a student is enrolled in school at least half time.
Unsubsidized Loan accrues interest after the loan is disbursed. You are not required to pay the interest while in school.

What do I need to do to apply for my Federal Direct Loan?
Submit a FAFSA annually. 
All Students are required to accept, reduce or decline their loan(s). Returning students do so via self-service on their PeopleSoft Account. New students do so by returning their completed Financial Aid Notice (FAN).
All Federal Direct Loans require a student to complete an Entrance Counseling session online at 
All Federal Direct Loans require a student to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at 
The MPN is good for 10 years.
All Federal Direct Loans require the student to complete the Federal Title IV Form found at  under Financial Aid Forms 

Requirements for a parent to apply for a Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan are:
All Federal Parent Plus Loans require the student to submit a FAFSA annually.
Federal Direct Plus Loan can be applied for online at
All Plus Loan borrowers will need to complete a Plus Master Promissory Note by selecting “Complete MPN” under the Master Promissory heading and then choose Parent Plus. 
A Parent Plus Title IV Form is required annually and can be found at 

Why does the Federal Direct Loan disburse at a lesser amount?
There is a Loan Origination Fee that is charged for each federal student loan. This loan fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan. This reduces the actual amount that is disbursed to your student account.

When do Student Account Invoices go out?
Prior to the start of each term an invoice will be mailed to show you all the charges, credits, anticipated aid and balance due for the upcoming term as well as any prior balance from a previous term. You will receive monthly invoices at the beginning of each month if you have any prior balance due as well as any activity that occurred during that prior month. All Payment Plan participants will receive a monthly invoice until their Payment Plan is paid off.

What should I know about the Payment Plan?
The Payment Plan is a 12 month plan, 6 months each semester. The financially responsible person agrees to pay the debt identified and incurred on the student’s account. A minimum of a $1000.00 per semester must be financed to participate in the plan. You must enroll prior to the starting payment due May 1st. Spring payments start November 1st. You will be automatically enrolled for the spring semester if you submit the initial application for the fall semester. To participate in the Payment Plan you will be required to download and complete the Payment Plan Application found at  a $60.00 non-refundable application fee is due with the application. If you have not received your financial aid information for the academic year at the time, you should use estimated figures based on your previous year’s aid and if changes are needed you should contact Student Administrative Service (SAS).
Once the completed application and fee is received we will process it and mail you a contact and coupons for your monthly payment. Monthly invoices will still be mailed to the student’s home address. They could reflect any miscellaneous charges not calculated in the Payment Plan. These additional charges must be paid in full by the due date on the invoice in addition to your normal Payment Plan. All payments are required to be made by the 1st of each month.

How do I get the credit on my account?
If a total credit results in an overpayment to Clarkson, a refund may be obtained by contacting your SAS Representative.  All overpayments are considered a credit refund payable to the student.  All credits on a Student Account will be issued in the form of a check or can be direct deposited to the student’s bank account. Signing up for direct deposit does not automatically initiate a refund. You still need to contact your SAS Representative and request the refund.

Is signing up for Direct Deposit for payroll the same as Direct Deposit for Credit Refunds?
No. You could be signed up for direct deposit for Payroll but not for a Credit Refund. If you would like to have direct deposit for both, you need to sign up for both. This is how you do it for the Credit Refund:

  1. Log into your PeopleSoft Student Center
  2. Navigate to the Finance Section on the first panel and choose Enroll in Direct Deposit from the drop down menu
  3. Click on the Enroll in Direct Deposit tab
  4. Follow the directions to add bank account information (be sure to confirm the accuracy of your Bank Routing Number and Account Number) then click next
  5. A confirmation screen will display to acknowledge receipt of bank account information
  6. Click the tab “Proceed to Enroll in Direct Deposit”
  7. Use the drop down menu to select the bank account for direct deposit. Click next
  8. Read the Terms and Conditions Agreement, check the agree box and submit
  9. A confirmation of direct deposit enrollment will display

It may take up to 14 days for the Direct Deposit to be finalizes.

How do we get a 1098T Form?
1098-T is available electronically by clicking the link provided below and following the step by step instructions:  
Any questions regarding electronic consent should be directed to the ECSI Tax Season Staff at

Where do we get Commencement information?
Information regarding commencement is located online at Commencement dates can be found on the academic calendar at

The following websites that may come in handy are:
For information on Student Accounts, Financial Aid, or Student Records -
Information on your New York State Awards - 
Information on Housing and Meal Plans – 
Federal Direct Loan –  
Heartland ECSI – 
Federal Loan Information for borrowers – 
Free Credit Report: