Financial Aid

Billing & Refunds

The University of Cincinnati does not send out a paper bill. Students should become familiar with the online billing process and review their online bill accordingly.

Aid Posting to the Bill

With the exception of Federal Work-Study, your financial aid funds will apply directly to your online bill. Just as you are billed for tuition (instructional, general, instructional equipment, campus life, and program fees), room and board (if you are residing on-campus), and student health insurance (until a waiver documents alternate coverage) based on your registration for the term, your aid will be applied each semester.

Accepted aid will initially show as anticipated aid when viewing your term bill. Aid eligibility will then be evaluated 10 days prior to the term in line with federal regulations to determine what aid will post. Aid will disburse based on enrollment eligibility.

Students will generally have their online bill available at the time or soon after they register. Registration and billing (as well as the financial aid process) occur within Catalyst. Students are also notified via their UC email account when a bill has been prepared for them or if a change has been made to their bill.

Students should routinely check their online bill in Catalyst to ensure their financial obligations are met in a timely manner. 

Be sure to check the due date and any further instructions for payment. Failure to meet payment obligations will result in late payment fees being assessed and a block on further registration for the unpaid semester or any future semesters until the balance is paid. Students can also take advantage of the payment plan to divide the semester payments into monthly ones.

Your awarded and accepted aid will post as a credit or as an estimate based on eligibility 10 days prior to the term. Your student bill will automatically check to ensure you are registered for enough hours, are maintaining academic progress, have completed all elements of loan processing, and do not have aid-restrictive service indicators. Aid eligibility will also be reviewed during the initial weeks of the term.

In cases of anticipated or posted loan amounts, be sure you understand loan fees that are deducted from the borrowed amount.

Though funding is anticipated on a term bill (if you have been awarded and accepted your aid) at the time of registration, the money is not available to students until close to the beginning of the term (or the date your classes start, whichever is later) based on university policies and federal regulations.

Credit Balances/Refunds

Because UC is a state agency and cannot act as a bank, credit balances cannot be held throughout the year for future terms. 

Students with credit balances (CR will appear after the amount on the Amount Due line) for any terms will have a refund issued by the Student Accounts Office. Students will be mailed a check or can sign up for direct deposit. Federal Parent PLUS Loan overpayments will be sent to parents.

General refund policies are noted below.

  • The refund process for a term will not begin until 10 days prior to the start of that term.
    • Your online bill will display when your specific refund is processing with the anticipated date of the refund noted as well.
    • Refunds may also be delayed due to academic action (withdrawing or adding classes) during the first 2 weeks of the term.
  • Refunds based on a credit balance due to financial aid will be processed as overages occur.
  • Refunds on accounts that include a student payment may have a portion equal to the student payment held for 21 days prior to release.

Even if a refund is issued, a student may owe money. Always review your online bill as changes in registration or other issues may cause a balance due.  Students should address any payment obligations in a timely manner to avoid penalties.

Be sure to use your refunds wisely (particularly when they are often based on borrowed loan monies). There may also be times when a refund for one term will be needed to help you plan for upcoming term costs.

Registration Changes

Students who change their registration can experience eligibility adjustments to their aid based on the timing of the registration change. Students should always add any classes at the same time they drop others if that is their net action. As well, students should limit changes once the term has begun to lessen inadvertent aid ineligibility. Students will be responsible for meeting any further payment (or, if refunds have already been issued, repayment) obligations as dictated by registration changes.

A complete withdrawal from all classes can result in loss of aid for the term, cancellation of future aid, federal aid return calculations and possible accelerated repayment on any loan proceeds. Students who withdraw completely and were issued refunds can avoid some penalties by returning refund monies in-full to the Cashier's Office depository (230 University Pavilion). Aid for future semesters may be reinstated after the student consults with One Stop staff (220 University Pavilion).

Withdrawals after the second week can also affect aid eligibility for future semesters and years.

Past Due Balances

Students with a past due balance are subject to late payment fees and limitations of service that can prevent future registration. As well, federal aid regulations limit aid from one academic year being used to pay off an amount owed from a previous academic year. Students should monitor their online bill and ensure their payments are up-to-date to avoid registration and aid problems in the future.

As well, students who receive a refund should not assume they will have no balance due and are fine for the term. They may have a past balance due from a previous term or a registration change may result in a new balance due. Always monitor the online bill throughout the term.