Parents and Families | SEMO

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Resources for families for financial assistance

Parent’s role

You play an extremely important role in the life of your student. We recognize that parents provide invaluable support to their students and have a vested interest in their educational success. We encourage you to continue to take an active role in providing guidance and support, but understanding college finances is part of your student’s educational process. We strongly encourage the student to be proactive in learning about their finances, budget and the financial aid process.

Although the student is ultimately responsible for their balance owed to the South East, their parents’ information is required on the FAFSA (usually up to the age of 24). While the finances of the whole family affect eligibility for financial aid, providing information does not commit the parent to contributing anything to the student’s education. It is simply required for the assessment of the financial needs of the family and the determination of eligibility for financial assistance.

Communication and confidentiality

When a student enters a post-secondary institution at any age (or turns 18 prior to post-secondary studies), certain rights are transferred from the parent to the student depending on the Family Education Rights and Protection of Privacy Act (FERPA). The student is the only person who has the right to have the records amended and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information. There is an exception that allows financial information to be shared with eligible parents (parents who have declared the student as a dependent on their federal income tax return), and we are happy to do so.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your student knows how to access their student portal
  • Emails can be sent to the student with relevant information regarding their account
  • You can become a Authorized user, at access the student’s account summary and make online payments
    • Log in to the student portal
    • If on mobile, click on the menu button to open the left menu
    • Select your Student SS tab, on the left
    • In the “Registration tools” section, click on “SEMO-Pay”
    • Click on your name in the main menu
    • In the “Payer” section, choose send a payer invitation. Fill in the required fields
    • The authorized payer will receive an email from SFS with a PIN code, password and link to the payment portal.
  • Students can add an “Accounts Receivable Billing Address”So the invoices will come to you, instead of their local residence
    • Log in to the student portal
    • Select your Student SS tab, at the top
    • Scroll down to the “Personal Information” section on the left
    • Click on “Update addresses and phones”
    • Scroll down and select the “Type of address to insert” from the drop-down list, then press “Send.”
      • Billing address = “Invoicing customer accounts”
      • Note: All students must have a permanent address on file at all times.
    • Fill out the form and click on “Submit” to save the changes


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