New Student: Financial Aid FAQ and Troubleshooting

This article is for new and prospective students.


Thank you for your interest in becoming a Tommie!

Below we provide reference links to other articles that walk you through claiming you account, setting up MFA, etc. We also outline some of the most common issues reported by prospective and new students about accessing Murphy Online and seeing their financial aid reward. Also covered is basic troubleshooting and best practices for use when encountering issues.

Quick Navigation

After you receive your Student ID number and notice to review your Financial Aid Award

  • Claim & Setup Your St. Thomas Account
    • Claiming Your St. Thomas Account (step by step)
    • New Students can locate their St. Thomas ID Number in the Admissions Applicant Portal shortly after being accepted to the university.
    • What to do if it says "Already Claimed"
      • Some users try to follow the above steps and will receive an error that their account is "Already Claimed"
      • This error indicates that you were either a previous student or you have accessed your UST account at least once before
      • If you receive this error you will need to call the Tech Desk and verify your identity. Then the tech will be able to provide you with your Username and a temporary password and can assist you in setting a new permanent password
    • Setting a password (ITS Password KB)
      • Passwords will not expire
      • Password requirements:
        • at least 15 characters in length
        • at least (1) uppercase letter
        • at least (1) lowercase letter
        • at least (1) number
        • may not include your first name or last name
        • may not include  your username
        • may not include  the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
        • may not include any of the following special characters: % * ; " ` # @ & , \ ; ---
        • may not be any of previous 10 passwords. 
      • Forgot Password
        • If you set up your challenge questions and/or a password retrieval email address then you can reset your own password here
        • If you need assistance resetting your password please call (do not email) the Tech Desk at 651-962-6230 so we can verify your identity and assist with resetting
    • Challenge questions
      • In case you forget your password or need to reset it for any reason, you'll want to make sure you setup your authentication options ahead of time. Then, if you're across the world on vacation, at a conference, studying abroad, or trying to login while the tech desk is closed, you can still access your account in a breeze!
    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): First Time Setup
      • Detailed directions and information available at the above link
      • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security method for your account that helps verify that you are actually the person who is logging into your account.
      • We highly recommend downloading the Microsoft Authenticator app and choosing the Mobile App methods for the following reasons:
        • While it takes a bit longer to setup, it is the fastest verification option when logging in.
        • The app allows you to just tap your screen to approve the login request on your phone. 
        • The mobile app is also available even when you don't have cellular coverage by using the code generated within the app every 30 seconds.
      • International Students
        • We even MORE highly recommend that you use the Authenticator app for meeting the MFA requirement.
          • The app does not require an active cellular plan (or even wifi) to provide MFA verification. This means that whether you are in the US or at home, you can still retain uninterrupted access to your UST accounts as long as you have your phone and it has power.
      • Need to set a new method of MFA (no access to old method)
        • In the event that you no longer have access to any of your set forms of meeting the MFA requirement please CALL (do not email) the Tech Desk at 651-962-6230 so we can verify your identity and assist with resetting
  • Murphy Online
    • What is Murphy Online (
      • Murphy Online is hub for accessing an ever-growing list of necessary personal, academic, and financial information and more.
      • Some of the things you'll find/do in Murphy Online (Including seeing your Financial Aid)
        • Personal Information (change your password, or challenge question -- Employees may view/update personal data)
        • Employee Services (view pay, W2, etc)
        • Student Information (register for classes, view holds, view your schedule)
        • Student Account (view your account, view your 1098T, view your eBill and/or make an ePayment)
        • Financial Aid (accept/decline award, view award information)
        • Faculty Information (wait lists and class lists)
        • Development Officer Information
        • Finance Information (budget queries and purchase orders)
    • Accessing Murphy Online
      • Open your browser
        • We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge
        • Murphy Online may not function in Safari so we do not recommend it
      • Navigate to the Murphy Online homepage at

screenshot of the murphy online homepage

  • If you encounter a "Session timeout occurred" error

screenshot of the session timeout occurred error commonly received when navigating to the murphy online site

  • This is pretty normal. It just means that you've logged into the site from this browser before. You will likely get this error almost every time you go to Murphy Online. Thankfully, it's easy to resolve.
  • Click "Ok"
  • You'll get a screen indicating "You have successfully logged out"

screenshot of the you have successfully logged out screen after exiting murphy online

  • Now, if you begin again by navigating to the Murphy Online homepage at then everything should proceed normally
  • Click on the first option on the left where it says "Log in to the Murphy Online Secured Area"

Screenshot of the log in to murphy online secured area button on the murphy online home page

  • You will be brought to the University's authentication page (you'll see this page when you log into a lot of UST resources)

screenshot of the university adfs log in page

  • Log in with NOT your vanity email
    • There are 2 common errors that users have reported after logging here:
      • SAML 2.0 based Single Sign-On

screenshot of the SAML 2.0 error that happens when logging into Murphy without MFA set up

  • To resolve this error
    • A SAML error in this case almost always indicates that when claiming your account you missed the setting up Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for your UST account
    • MFA is mandatory for accessing Murphy Online. There is significant sensitive personal, professional, financial, etc information contained within Murphy Online so it CAN NOT be accessed without MFA
    • See the section above in this article for assistance setting up MFA or go to our MFA First Time Setup article for a detailed walkthrough
  • Bad Request - Header Field Too Long

screenshot of the error bad request header too long

Links to resources

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To report a problem or receive additional troubleshooting, please contact the Tech Desk.
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Article ID: 129960
Wed 3/10/21 3:20 PM
Fri 10/14/22 11:00 AM