Office of the BursarUniversity of CincinnatiDivision of Administration and FinanceOffice of the Bursar

Office of the Bursar


There are two types of refunds; tuition refunds and credit balance refunds. The disbursement of refunds can come by direct deposit or by paper check. Students are required to sign up for direct deposit. Students who do not sign up for direct deposit will have their refunds delayed and if the address is bad they risk having their refund escheated (returned) to the state or federal government.

Don't think you will ever have a refund?

Students who pay their bill in full could be due an unexpectant refund because of late class cancellations, schedule changes, academic program changes, etc. It happens more frequently than you may think so be prepared and insure your refund goes directly to your bank account by signing up for direct deposit.

Tuition and Fees Refunds

Tuition and fees refunds are governed by Board of Trustee Rule 20-31-05.  Refund schedules only apply in the event one or more dropped classes’ results in a decrease in total applicable tuition and fees.

For example, if you are enrolled for 18 credit hours (full-time status) and drop a 3 credit hour class (still full-time status) and your total fees do not change then the refund schedule will not be applied to the dropped class since there is no change in tuition and fees.

To see refund schedules by year go to Tuition Refund Schedules by Year.

Sessions or classes with beginning or ending dates different than the standard term schedule have refund schedules in proportion to the standard term.  For example, Summer accelerated sessions (A, B, C, D and E) are shorter than the standard Summer term so they have significantly reduced refund schedules.

Individual classes that do not follow the standard term have a different refund schedule.  In some cases there may be no refund once the class has started due to the accelerated nature of the class.

Students can see the refund schedule for every class they are enrolled for at One Stop Student Services under MY CLASSES by selecting "register for classes." The classes are separated according to class length with a header detailing the applicable tuition refund schedule.

When a student drops or modifies a class (resulting in a decrease in fees) outside of the 100% refund period they will see a charge (Tuition After Drop/Withdrawal) posted on their bill for 50% of the associated fees. 

Credit Balance Refunds

A credit balance refund occurs when the posting of all aid (grants, loans, and other payments) exceed charges posted to the students account.  Ten days before a term begins, the earliest legal day to do so, the university starts receiving Federal Loans on behalf of students. Once eligibility is verified the loan is posted to the student's account.

Starting Fall 2012, for undergraduate students with a credit balance the maximum refund that will be processed prior to the 14th day of class is $2,000. On or before the 14th day of class, Student Accounts starts the process of refunding any remaining credit balance. Thereafter, student accounts are reviewed weekly for credit balances that may develop on student’s accounts for various reasons. 

Parents who have Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans should know that these loans are applied first to a student's bill before any other aid (loan or scholarship). So unless the Parent PLUS loan exceeds eligible charges there will be no parent refund.

Graduate and professional (MD and JD) students will have their entire credit balance paid to them on the first check.

In all cases personal payments (cash, checks, or credit cards) are held until after the end of the drop/add period which is the 15th day of the term.

To see the credit balance refund schedule go to the Credit Balance Refund Schedule.

PLEASE NOTE:  The University will not use current term federal financial aid/loans to pay a prior term balance. Students are expected to pay any previous term balance separately and should not expect current, or future term, aid to cover the balance.

Direct Deposit of Refunds or Credit Balances

Direct deposit  is required. Failure to sign up for direct deposit will delay your refund. Direct deposit is safe, secure and quicker than paper checks. 

When processing refunds, priority will be given to those students participating in direct deposit. Paper refund checks will not be issued until after all direct deposits have been processed. Students can sign up for direct deposit at One Stop Student Services under MY BILL by selecting "direct deposit my funds." Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in direct deposit. 

Direct Deposit FAQs

What are some of the advantages of Direct Deposit?

  • Generally, the funds are deposited in your bank account in 2-3 business days.
  • Mailing address problems are eliminated.
  • You do not have to wait for the university to go through the process of printing, folding, and stuffing envelopes.
  • You do not have to wait for the mail service to deliver your check.
    There is protection against check theft or loss.  All stop payments on checks are assessed a $25 fee and replacement of lost or stolen checks can take 2 weeks.
  • You do not have to stand in line at your bank to deposit or cash your check.
  • Students that request a stop pay on a refund check that they have not yet received, may have the fee waived if they enroll in direct deposit.

Can a direct deposit be made to any bank?
The university can direct deposit to any U.S. financial institution with electronic funds transfer capabilities as most banks participate in the electronic funds transfer network. Contact your bank if you have any questions about the bank’s ability to accept direct deposit.

How will I know when funds have been deposited in my bank account?
Notification will be sent to your university assigned e-mail account.

What if I do not have a bank account?
If you do not have a bank account, you have the option to sign up for one through our campus banking partner, PNC Bank. You can contact them at:

PNC Bank
University of Cincinnati
2766 UC MainStreet
Tangeman University Center #301

Phone: (513) 569-4190 or (800) 762-2265
Fax: (513) 569-4194

How do I enroll?
To set up direct deposit as a student, go to One Stop Student Services under MY BILL by selecting “direct deposit my refunds.”

Can parents get their PLUS Loan refunds through Direct Deposit?
Parents who have Federal Plus Loans can sign up to have their refunds direct deposited, once your student has assigned you access privileges and you have the necessary UC credentials, which include an UCID, UDERNAME, and PASSWORD. To learn more about getting access privileges and your UC credentials go to “Parent Credentials and Access”. Once you have these you may then sign up for direct deposit using the Parent Portal.

Note: Keep in mind that parents only receive loan refunds if their loan amount is greater than the student's bill.

Paper Checks

Paper check refunds
will be processed (printed, stuffed, and mailed) once a week, usually on Friday; however, direct deposit refunds will be processed daily.  Please keep in mind that a student who signed up for direct deposit and was due a refund the same week as a student receiving a paper check refund typically will receive their refund before a person receiving a paper refund.

If you choose to receive your checks by paper check refunds and do not participate in direct deposit, it is critical that you keep your address up to date.  When mailing checks, the university uses the following order with the first address found as the proper address to mail the paper check: dorm, local, permanent, parent. You can update your address at One Stop Student Services under MY INFORMATION and select "change my address."

Please note that stop payment requests on paper checks will only be consider once a check has been missing for 10 business days from date of mailing. 

Other Things to Know About Refund Checks
Refund checks should be cashed promptly.  Federal Title IV Recipients are subject to Federal regulations which require the university to return stale refund checks to the federal program which generated the refund.  Checks over 120 days (~ 4 months) are considered stale and may be voided.  Once these funds are returned to the Federal government  the university may not be able to request their return. Check with Student Accounts before attempting to deposit or cash any refund check older than 120 days. 

Stale checks resulting from sources other than Federal Title IV can be re-issued upon request.  Contact Student Accounts at (513) 556-5055 or via e-mail at

Questions regarding the above process should be directed to One Stop at (513) 556-1000 or by e-mail at One Stop Student Services.