What is a refund?
When students receive more financial aid than the University charges, the extra funds are paid to the student (or parent, if the funds came from a Parent PLUS loan) as a "refund."
Financial aid, including loans, are first used to pay student account charges. A refund will be issued only if there is a credit after charges are paid.
Refunds typically happen when a student uses their financial aid to pay for indirect expenses, such as books, transportation and off-campus housing, or when the University reduces a charge after a student has paid their bill.
Note: Students are responsible for paying any additional charges incurred on their student account after receiving their refund.
Students who receive more financial aid than the University charges will receive a refund. Students who owe a balance after their financial aid has been processed will not receive a refund.
Note: Students who need money to make academic purchases — such as books and supplies — can ask University Auxiliary Services to advance up to $650 against their student account on a Podium account the first two weeks of each semester. Visit the UAS website for more details.
The University at Albany begins issuing refunds shortly before the start of each semester as financial aid funds start to be processed. However, some refunds may not be available until the start of classes.
Refunds can only be processed after your financial aid is posted to your account. That means your aid must move from the estimated/pending area of your Student Account to become an actual credit on your account.
Refunds are issued several times a week depending on when the aid posts to a student’s account. As a result, students may receive several smaller refunds, rather a single large refund.
You may not receive your complete refund until two to six weeks after the start of the term.
Posting/Disbursement of Financial Aid
Some financial aid — such as Direct, PLUS and private loans — is posted prior to the start of classes. These funds can start arriving 10 days before the start of classes depending on processing.
Other grant funds — such as Pell — are posted after the start of classes.
TAP and SUNY Tuition Credit awards may appear on you your account as Estimated Aid at the start of a semester; yet they are disbursed through refunds during the semester.
Excelsior Scholarship funds are disbursed after the semester ends.
During the pandemic, the University has reduced check printing. Paper checks are only issued twice per week, while E-Refunds are issued daily.
Get your refund faster by logging into E-Pay and setting up an E-Refund account.
E-Refunds allow the University to deposit your refund directly into your savings or checking account, where you’ll be able to access the money as soon as two business days after the transaction appears on your MyUAlbany account.
Only students can set up an account for E-Refunds. Please have your routing number and account number handy when setting up your payment profile. These numbers can be found on your checks and/or banking statements.
If a student doesn’t sign up for an E-Refund account, their refund will be issued as a paper check and mailed to the student’s permanent address. Checks cannot be picked up on campus, although students can have the check sent to a local address by updating their refund address in MyUAlbany.
E-Refunds with incorrect account information are returned to the University and the funds are re-posted to the student’s account. The University will send the refund as a paper check instead, notifying the student via email. This process usually takes two weeks.
Two exclusions apply:
If the payment was made on a credit card, the refund will be issued back to that credit card.
Refunds from Parent PLUS loans are only sent as paper checks and are issued to the parent or designee listed on the loan.
There are several reasons why you may not have received a refund yet.
You are not eligible for a refund because you owe a balance on your student account.
Your financial aid has not been processed. Make sure to accept your awards, secure your loans, monitor MyUAlbany for Important Notices and take other necessary steps to access your financial aid.
There is a hold on your student account.
Your external scholarship hasn’t been posted to your account yet. Checks should be mailed by mid-July to Student Accounts, Campus Center G-26, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222.
There is an issue with your E-Refund account. If your MyUAlbany account shows an E-Refund was issued to you more than three business days ago, but you have not received it, check that your routing and account numbers are correct on E-Pay. You may also need to check with your bank to ensure they are not holding any credits for your account.
For graduate students: There is an issue with your tuition scholarship. You must register for the total credits covered by the scholarship by July 8 for fall and December 1 for spring. Consult your academic department to be sure your scholarship has been posted and the paperwork was forwarded to Human Resources.
Students who still have concerns should contact Student Financial Services at [email protected] or 518-442-3202 and ask for an advisor to review their account.
Title IV Aid Payments
Title IV Aid consists of any federal aid — including Stafford and PLUS loans, as well as Pell, ACG and Smart grants — administered by the Office of Financial Aid and applied to a student’s account. If your federal aid exceeds your billed charges, you will be issued a refund.
Title IV aid can only pay charges related to a student’s attendance at the University, such as tuition, fees, housing and meals. Title IV aid cannot pay optional charges — such as the Student Alumni Partnership Charge, Health Center, Library and Residential Life room damage fees — unless the student authorizes the use of financial aid to pay other charges.
Non-Title IV Payments
Non-Title IV aid consists of any financial aid not provided or subsidized by the federal government, such as alternative loans, scholarships and personal payments. These types of aid can be used to pay optional charges, as well as previous balances from past semesters outside of the given aid year.
Refunds of Non-Title IV aid are usually a result of a reduction of your charges. Personal payments will be refunded but scholarships and third-party payments may be returned to the provider.
Note: Charges are most often reduced because the student drops or withdraws from a class. Please review our tuition liability policy for more information.
The University at Albany must return any unearned military tuition assistance (TA) funds in accordance to the federal student aid rules. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period, with unearned funds returned based on the date a student stops attending.
TA funds will be returned to the military service branch on a pro-rated basis for service members who withdraw from a course before 60% of the course has been completed.
If a service member withdraws from a course after participating in 60% or more of the course, the service member is considered to have earned 100% of TA funds and no funds must be returned to the military service branch.
If a service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, the University will work with the service member to identify solutions that will not result in student debt for the returned portion.
The federal requirements for the return of TA funds when a student withdraws are separate from UAlbany’s refund schedules for tuition and fees. Therefore, students using TA funds may still owe unpaid institutional charges to UAlbany. Please review our tuition liability policy for more information.
Students using TA funds should contact the Office of Veterans and Military Student Services for assistance.
To determine the number of days in each semester, please refer to UAlbany’s Academic Calendar. Each semester-length and eight-week course may be calculated differently, depending on the number of days within the term or session, and exclude any five consecutive vacation days.
First, complete this calculation:
(number of days you completed) ÷ (number of days in the semester) = (percentage earned)
Next, complete this calculation:
(your old TA amount) x (percentage earned*) = (your new TA amount)
* For percentages of 60% or greater, enter 100%.
For example, if you enrolled in a 15-week semester long course for the Fall 2019 semester and you withdraw from that course on ...
August 26, the University would return 100% of your TA funds to the military service branch.
September 22, the University would return 74%.
October 19, the University would return 50%.
October 30 or later, the University would return 0%.
For a quick look, here are the figures for Fall 2019: