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Frequently Asked Questions

 

E-bill Questions: 

When will an e-bill be available for review? 

 Once an e-bill has been generated, an email notification will be sent to your Rice email address and to each Authorized User email address and you will be able to view your statement. 

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Will I receive a bill every month? 

Yes, an e-bill will automatically be generated at the beginning of each month. 

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Where can I get a paper copy of my statement? 

The Bill Payment Suite retains 12 months of statements and students can print their own paper copy of their statement from the Bill Payment Suite. Log into Esther and select: Student Services & Account Information> Account Summary - Pay My Bill> Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite> eBills

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Can you give me copies of my past statements? 

Unfortunately, no. Students are responsible for printing and maintaining hard copies of statements, as the Cashier's Office does not retain copies.

 

Will my parents automatically get a bill even if I do not set them up as an Authorized User? 

No! You must set your parents up as an Authorized User in order for them to view or receive a bill. 

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Is there a limit to the number of Authorized Users a student can have? 

No, you may set up as many Authorized Users as you would like, even those not sending payments. 

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What if my parents do not have an e-mail account? Can I still set them up as an Authorized User? 

All Authorized Users must have an email account. You can not set up an Authorized User without one. Students may print their e-bills for their parents. 

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Where do Authorized Users go to log in? 

Authorized Users may log in at: www.rice.edu/billpay 

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Can international students receive e-bills and pay online? 

Yes, all degree seeking students will have an e-bill in Bill Payment Suite. Paper bills are no longer mailed out. Once an e-bill is created, students will receive an email. However, eCheck payments online can only be made from a US bank account and credit card payments can only be made with a US credit card. 

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What if I need an official paper bill? 

There will no longer be a paper bill. You can, however, print an e-bill and this document represents an official Rice University bill. 

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How do I remove an Authorized User from receiving e-bills? 

You should update the user and remove the option allowing them to view your billing statement? 

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My account shows a credit balance, how do I request a refund check? 

The Cashier's Office will request refund checks for those students who have loans and/or federal aid on their accounts. Students will be notified by email when checks are available or direct deposits (for students with refund profiles in Bill Payment Suite) have been made. Refunds are generally available the first week of classes but students can request refunds at any time as long as funds are available. 

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What are the technical requirements for viewing the Bill Payment Suite? 

You must have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer to access the Bill Payment Suite. Simply click the following link to install the Adobe Flash Player for FREE!  

http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ 

If you are accessing Esther from my.rice.edu, you may not be able to access Bill Payment Suite. To solve this problem, open a new browser window and go to esther.rice.edu. 

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Why am I having trouble logging into my Bill Payment Suite? 

You must have the Adobe Flash Player on your computer in order to view the Bill Payment Suite. If you do not have Adobe Flash Player, you can click on the following link to install it FREE!   

http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ 

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Why don't I have the Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite button? 

If you are accessing Esther from my.rice.edu, you may not be able to access Bill Payment Suite. To solve this problem, open a new browser window and go to esther.rice.edu. 

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Online Payment Questions: 

What are the restrictions for making e-Check payments? 

E-Check payments can only be processed from a US financial institution. Your bank’s routing number will be automatically verified using the Federal Reserve E-Payment Routing Directory and your bank account number will be validated at the time the transaction reaches your bank. There is no charge for paying by e-Check. 

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Are credit card payments allowed? 

Yes, MasterCard, American Express or Discover are accepted with a convenience fee of 2.75% ($3 minimum).  This fee is charged by the credit card servicer and covers the cost of processing credit card payments. 

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How can I make a payment in Bill Payment Suite? 

The ‘Pay’ icon in Bill Payment Suite will allow you to make a payment online.         

If you log into ESTHER through the Rice website, select the “Student Services & Account Information” tab, and click on the “Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite” button, you will access Bill Payment Suite. Click on any ‘Make a Payment’ link to locate the ‘Pay’ icon.  From here simply follow the step by step instructions for paying by e-Check or credit card.  

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Can international payers make e-Check payments in Bill Payment Suite? 

International students can only make e-Check payments from a US financial institution. 

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Can I still elect to make a paper check payment? 

Yes, you may come by the Cashier’s office located on the 1st floor of the Allen Center or print a copy of your latest statement and mail it with your payment to the address on the top of your bill. 

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Who do I make my check out to? 

Make checks payable to: Rice University 

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Do I have to store my bank account information in Bill Payment Suite? 

No. If you choose not to store your bank information, you will need to enter the information each time you make an e-Check payment. 

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Is my bank account information secure? 

Yes. Bank account information can only be accessed by the specific payer who has entered those payment accounts in their profile. While the amount of the payments are available to the student and the owner of the “payment account”, all bank information is marked as confidential and only the owner of the payment account can make payments using that account. Please be reminded that you and all Authorized Users should keep your Bill Payment Suite User Name and Password confidential and in a safe place for reference. 

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Can I have more than one payment account? 

Yes. You may add multiple payment accounts (checking and savings, for example) in the “Add a Payment Method” section when you set up your Payment Profile. Please note: ATM Debit Card is under construction and, therefore, temporarily unavailable. 

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How do I change my banking information for payment? 

Once you enter your bank information you cannot revise that information; you must delete that payment method under “Payment Profiles” and add the new information by adding another payment method. 

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When can I begin making payments using Bill Payment Suite? 

You can begin making payments as soon as you set up your “Payment Profile” in Bill Payment Suite. 

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Can I add accounts later, after I have set up my Payment Profile? 

Yes. You will need to select the “My Profile” tab and click the “Payment Profile” link. In the “Add a Payment Method” section, select your payment method and enter the bank account information on the next screen. 

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What other methods of payment does Rice accept? 

Other methods of payment are cash, personal checks, money orders, traveler's checks, and wire transfers (wire transfers are reserved for international students only, please).

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Why is there a convenience fee added to my credit card payment? 

The convenience fee is charged by the credit card servicer and covers the cost of processing the credit card payments.

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How do I pay by a Bank Wire Transfer online 

Request wiring instructions via E-mail: cashier@rice.edu. The University can accept funds in the amount due to the University only. No refunds can be issued for wired funds.

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General Questions: 

How can I contact the Office of Financial Aid? 

You can get their contact information from their website: http://financialaid.rice.edu/  or call them at (713) 348-4958.

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How can I contact the Registrar's Office? 

You can get their contact information from their website: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~reg/ or call them at (713) 348-4999. 

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What are your hours and where are you located? 

The Cashier's Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Open during student-only holidays. Closed for University-wide holidays. The location is the first floor of the Allen Center.

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What do I do if I was incorrectly billed? 

Contact the Cashier's Office if the tuition and required fees on the statement is incorrect. Undergraduate students are billed full time unless approved for and registered part time. Adjustments will be made to student accounts for part time registration based on the rebate schedule in the General Announcements. If the charges are for printing, the library, or parking, please contact the respective department.

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Why isn't my scholarship listed? 

Please inform the Office of Financial Aid of any problems with your financial aid, including scholarships. Accounts may be viewed on ESTHER for changes to financial aid. Students will need the student ID and pin for access to ESTHER. Incoming students will receive information in the mail on how to access ESTHER.

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When do classes start? 

Please consult the Registrar's Academic Calendar for dates pertaining to academics. 

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How can I change my billing address? 

You can change your address online through ESTHER.

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I don't need health insurance, how do I get rid of this charge? 

Submit the online Insurance Waiver Form. Once it is processed the charges will be removed. Please note if your waiver is audited, it could take up to two weeks to process.

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Wire transfers (International students only, please) 

Request wiring instructions via E-mail: cashier@rice.edu. The University can accept funds in the amount due to the University only. No refunds can be issued for wired funds.

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What is the Refund Policy if I withdraw? 

Students who withdraw in the first 2 weeks of the semester are not charged tuition or fees for that semester. Students who withdraw in the 3rd week must pay all fees and 30 percent of the semester tuition, receiving a 70 percent tuition refund. The amount of the tuition refund drops by 10 percent at the beginning of each successive week that passes before withdrawal until the 9th week, after which no refund is made. 

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I am a part time student. How do I change my full time tuition charges? 

Students who receive approval to enroll with a part-time course load and do so within the first two weeks of the semester will be charged at the per-hour rate plus a part-time registration fee. There are no refunds for part-time enrollment after the first two weeks of the semester. Undergraduates receive approval from the Dean of Undergraduates, ugdean@rice.edu. Graduate students request approval through their department. 

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I have a question not listed here...  

Please contact the Cashier's Office with any other questions. (Frequent questions will be added to this FAQ.)

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1098-T Questions:   

When can I expect to receive my 1098-T form (IRS Tuition Statement)?   

Any student that did not opt to receive their 1098-T electronically will receive the form by mail. Copy B of the 1098-T form (the Student copy of the IRS Tuition Statement) will be post marked by the last day of January.  If that day falls on a weekend, then it will be the following Monday.  However, as a courtesy we create an electronic copy in Bill Payment Suite for all 1098-T’s we produce. 

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If I lost my 1098-T form (IRS Tuition Statement), how can I get another one? 

You may access the 1098-T form by logging into Esther, selecting the “Student Services & Account Information” tab, clicking the “Account Summary – Pay My Bill – Bill Payment Suite” link, clicking the “Pay My Bill - Bill Payment Suite” button. 

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

Residency - If you are a non-resident alien (international student), we were not required by the IRS to send you a 1098-T. This is especially true if you do not have a Social Security number which is required to create and report the form.

Address - For Undergraduates, we send it to your permanent address on record. For Graduate students, we send it to your mailing address on record. If it was lost in the mail or misplaced, you can get a copy online, through Esther. Go to the "Student Records & Account Information" menu and click on the link for "Tax Notification".

No Activity - You did not incur any net eligible items during the calendar year to be reported on a 1098-T. 

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What is this form for? 

This form may be needed if you intend to apply for the Ameriacn Opportunity Credit, Hope Credit, or Lifetime Learning Credit. Please note that the IRS, not Rice, determines eligibility for these credits. For more information, Read Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education, on the IRS website, www.irs.gov 

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Why are there no amounts in Box 1? 

Based on IRS instructions, Institutions may report either payments received in Box 1 or amounts billed in Box 2. We have chosen to report Box 2 amounts. We are also required to report any amounts in Box 5, "Scholarships or Grants" received.

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Do I need to include the scholarships as income? 

Box 5 shows the total of all scholarships or grants administered and processed by Rice. The amount of scholarships or grants for the calendar year (including those not reported by the institution) may reduce the amount of the education credit you claim for the year. To determine if your Scholarships and Fellowships are taxable, refer to Publication 970 – Tax Benefits for Education, on the IRS website, www.irs.gov 

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My SSN is listed wrong on the form. Can you please correct it and send me a new one? 

The SSNs are maintained by the Registrar's Office. You would need to provide them with proper documentation, such as a SSN Card and picture ID. Once updated with the Registrar, contact us and we can redo your 1098-T.

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Who do I contact if I have questions about my 1098-T form? 

Questions regarding the amounts on your 1098-T form should be directed to the Cashier's Office. Any questions regarding filing your 1098-T form with your tax return should be directed to the person preparing your taxes or the IRS.

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