Student Financial Success Guide

Student Financial Success Guide

PGS Accounting Office

1001 E Beltline Ave NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Phone: 616-222-1506
Fax: 616-222-1408

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

To access your account online go to:
https://cornerstoneportal.topschoollive.com

Financial Policy Section


Payment Due Dates: Payment and/or voucher for each course is due two weeks prior to the course start date regardless of payment option chosen. Payment schedules for your Cohort will be distributed at the beginning of your program. Any additional courses (Drop-ins) scheduled will be due four weeks prior to the course start date.


Credit Cards/Debit Cards Accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted and can be used by calling the Accounting Office at 616-222-1506 or by logging onto your student portal to make a payment. Cornerstone University is not responsible for any fees incurred through the use of a debit card or any other restrictive card.


Changing Financial Plans: You may change your financial plan while attending Cornerstone University. Please contact the PGS Accounting Office and complete new financial paperwork. All changes must be approved by the Accounting Office prior to the change becoming effective.


Fees: A late fee of $30, unless limited by state law, will be assessed 24 hours after the due date of an unpaid charge.

All returned checks (NSF) will be assessed a $20 processing fee. This fee will be in addition to any late fees that may be charged.
Any accounts turned over to an outside collection agency will be charged the collection and/or attorney fees. The collection fee is at least an additional 33.33% of the principal balance. Collection balances will also be reported to credit bureaus.


Grade/Transcript Release: Grades are released for paid courses only. No transcripts (official or unofficial) will be released to students with a balance due on their student account.


Refund Policy: All fees (application ee, registration fees, assessment fees, late fees, NSF fees or student service fees) are non-refundable, unless prohibited by law. A tuition refund may be given for those who qualify. For a complete description of the refund policy, see the Cornerstone University student handbook.


Withdrawal: If you wish to withdraw from Cornerstone University, you must complete an official withdrawal form. Upon receipt of the official withdrawal form, the Financial Aid Office will review your financial aid awards and return any funds as required. The Accounting Office will audit your account and process any refunds that may be due or collect any outstanding balances.

NOTE: Withdrawal from a course(s) may reduce or cancel your financial aid award. Please consult with the financial aid office before withdrawing.

The University reserves the right to change the tuition rates and fees at any time.

Financial Aid Policies Section

  • I acknowledge that I have completed all financial aid forms two weeks prior to the beginning of my first class. If I am unable to complete these forms before class begins I understand that I may not be permitted to start my degree program, but if permitted I understand that I cannot start my second course until all financial aid forms are complete or I have made payment.
  • I understand that my financial aid award is based on the successful completion of an academic year which consists of 24 credits and 30 instructional weeks for undergraduate programs and 18 credits and 30 instructional weeks for graduate programs. The financial aid awards (loans, grants, etc.) are disbursed in two disbursements. The first is disbursement is
  • 30 – 45 days after your financial aid is processed and you have posted attendance in your first course. The second disbursement is after successful completion of at least half of the credits and weeks in the academic year (approximately six months).
  • I understand that courses in which I do not receive a passing grade are not considered as complete for financial aid purposes and may cause a delay in receiving my next disbursement of financial aid funds. I agree that upon receiving a notice of a failing grade I will contact the Accounting Office to discuss any financial implications.
  • I understand that the cost of my degree program may be more than the financial aid for which I qualify depending on my current grade level. I, therefore, agree that I will pay the cost of tuition and fees not covered by financial aid and will pay by the due dates of the courses that are not covered.
  • I understand that if I withdraw from Cornerstone University or break the university’s attendance policy that under Federal Financial Aid guidelines, a refund calculation must be completed and all or a portion of funds disbursed to my student account may be returned to my lender or federal government (unless on an approved Leave of Absence). This may leave a balance due on my student account and I understand that I am fully responsible for the balance owed immediately.
  • I understand that in some cases the financial aid awarded to me may be more than the cost of my classes. Since this money belongs to the student, I understand that I will be refunded after the charges for my payment period or loan period have been covered.
  • I understand that if I have taken funds off my student account it is my responsibility to pay for courses two weeks before they begin and that I will be treated as a cash paying student until my next financial aid disbursement arrives.
  • I also acknowledge that it is my responsibility to reapply for financial aid (FAFSA) every year. If I do not reapply in a timely manner, I understand that I will not be able to attend classes until my financial aid is complete or I have made payment.
  • I agree to abide by the requirements of my chosen payment plan and acknowledge that the payment obligation has been fully explained and all questions have been answered to my satisfaction by the PGS Accounting Office. I have received the Cornerstone University PGS Student Handbook which contains the complete guidelines of my payment plan. I understand that I am ultimately responsible for all financial charges and fees under my chosen plan, and that upon leaving Cornerstone, if my account is not paid in full, I may be referred to a collection agency and I agree to pay the collection fees (normally 33.33% of principal balance) associated with this service.

Financial Aid Authorization Section

1. Direct Loans and other Title IV funds are released in two equal disbursements, with the first one expected 3 - 4 weeks after you start your degree program. A notification/receipt will be emailed to your student email once the funds have posted to your student account. Please note that a Loan Entrance Interview and Master Promissory Note (MPN) are required for your loan funds to be released.
2. Any registration/schedule changes will affect your financial aid awards and may result in a balance due on your account. You are financially responsible for any balance due created by a registration change.

  • I understand that Cornerstone University PGS Accounting Office bills by payment period.
  • I further understand that my Financial Aid disbursement is applied to all charges based on my Financial Aid payment period. I authorize Cornerstone University to retain the necessary funds to cover my charges. If a credit balance exists after my charges and disbursements have been processed within the payment period, a refund will be automatically issued for any excess funds.

In the form below you may choose ot authorize Cornerstone University to use Title IV funds to cover all administrative fees outside of tuition and required fees. These fees include late fee, NSF fee, graduation fee, drop-in cancellation fee, waiver evaluation fee and any other fees not listed here. By not initialing on the line I understand that I must submit separate payments for each of these fees and not doing so will result in additional charges and administrative withdrawal.

Statement of Understanding:

  • I understand that I am ultimately responsible for any and all charges I may incur while I am a student at Cornerstone University.
  • I understand that this authorization may be modified in writing at any time, and will remain in effect as long as I am enrolled at Cornerstone.
  • I understand that any available credit balance may be requested through PGS Accounting Office at any time during my program.

Financial Agreement Section

There are several ways to pay for your education at Cornerstone University – cash, financial aid, or employer or military tuition assistance. It is your responsibility to choose the option that will ensure that your tuition, books and fees are paid in accordance with the payment schedule for your program. All payments and/or employer vouchers must be received two weeks prior to each course start date. A $30 late fee will be charged if the payment is not received by the due date. Failure to keep your account current could also result in referral to an outside collection agency and an unfavorable credit reference. Transcripts will not be released to students with a balance due on their account.

Cash Plan

The cash plan requires payment in full two weeks prior to each course. If you wish to pay using a debit or credit card, you can pay online by logging into your student account portal or by calling the Accounting office at 616-222-1506. Those using "tuition reimbursement" benefits from an employer will use this option secondarily. 

Financial Aid Plan

All students wishing to use financial aid must complete the following financial aid forms:
1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. Cornerstone school code is 002266.
2. Entrance Counseling at studentloans.gov.
3. Master Promissory Note (MPN) at studentloans.gov.
All of these forms can be found at http://pgs.cornerstone.edu/pgs/admissions/financialaid/.

There may be other verification forms required after the FAFSA is completed but the Cornerstone Financial Aid office will contact you if you need to submit those forms. To determine financial aid eligibility all students must be admitted to a degree program that is eligible for financial aid. Students may be eligible for Federal Pell Grants, SEOG Grants, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Michigan Tuition Grant, and Federal TEACH grant (MAEd programs only).

You must complete the FAFSA every academic year and any other forms required by Cornerstone University. The reapplication process must be completed at least 60 days before the end of your current academic year. If you do not reapply for financial aid timely, you will not qualify for financial aid deferment and will be required to make payment for your balance due.

Direct Billing Plan

Employer Billing plans are available if your employer (or military or government agency) will be paying in advance for your education and the payments are not dependent on your grade for each course. This option will also apply to active duty military personnel and students eligible for benefits under the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (chapters 31 and 33 only). This plan does not include GI Bill benefits. All Employer, Military or Government tuition assistance vouchers must be received by Cornerstone University two weeks prior to each course start date. It is the student’s responsibility to request these vouchers/forms from their employers and forward them to the Accounting Office. Any costs not covered by the voucher must be paid two weeks prior to each course start date.

Please acknowledge the following in the form below:

  • A late fee of $30, unless limited by state law, will be assessed for payment/vouchers not received by the due date. All returned checks will be assessed a $20 processing fee. This fee is in addition to any late fee that may be applicable. These fees are non-refundable.
  • I agree to notify Cornerstone University PGS Accounting Office of any changes in my current address and phone number. I also agree that my participation in this Primary Payment Plan is voluntary, and the terms and conditions of payment are not dependent on grades, invoices, statements, reimbursement from my employer, or qualifying for financial aid. I understand that I will be administratively withdrawn if I do not comply with the terms and conditions of my selected method of payment.
  • I have read and fully understand the above information. I have received the Student Financial Success Guide and all my questions have been fully answered to my satisfaction. I also understand that I am financially responsible for any and all charges incurred, no matter which plan I have chosen. I also understand that Cornerstone University PGS Division may take steps toward collection of any outstanding balance and I agree to pay any and all costs of collections, including any legal costs.
Student Financial Success Guide Agreement
Student Name: *
Social Security Number (last four digits only): *
Date: *
Primary Phone Number: *
Primary Email: *
Cohort if known: *
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand the Financial Policy Section. *
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand the Financial Aid Policies Section. *
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand the Financial Aid Authorization Section. *
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand the Financial Agreement Section. *
These fees include late fee,NSF fee,graduation fee,drop-in cancellation fee,waiver evaluation fee and any other fees not listed here.
I understand that I am ultimately responsible for any and all charges I may incur while I am a student at Cornerstone University.
I understand that this authorization may be modified in writing at any time, and will remain in effect as long as I am enrolled at Cornerstone.
I understand that any available credit balance may be requested through PGS Accounting Office at any time during my program.
Payment Options: A secondary plan is required for all students in case the primary plan does not cover 100% of tuition and fees. Primary covers at least 50% of annual costs.
Cash Pay Plan – Course by Course: 100% cash payment submitted two weeks prior to each course (this option will include most “tuition reimbursement” benefits from your employer). *
Financial Aid Plan: *
Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Michigan Tuition Grant, and/or Federal TEACH Grant (MAEd programs only) may be available for eligible students.
In order to have your tuition/fees deferred during the application process, you must provide Cornerstone University with all documents required to process your aid.
Direct Billing Plan (includes Military & Government agencies):
University approved employer, military or government tuition assistance vouchers or forms must be received by the PGS Accounting Office
Vouchers must be must be received by the PGS Accounting Office two weeks prior to the start of each course.
Any amounts not covered by the voucher must be paid two weeks prior to the start of each course as well.
This plan does not include GI Bill Benefits but it DOES include Chapter 31 benefits under Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment as well as Chapter 33 Post 9/11 benefits.
Employer or Government Agency:
Annual Cap:

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