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There are two types of refunds; tuition refunds and credit balance refunds. The disbursement of refunds can come by direct deposit, credit card, 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 on file 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 unexpected refund because of late class cancellations, schedule changes, academic program changes, etc. It happens more frequently than you may think so be prepared and ensure your refund goes directly to your bank account by signing up for direct deposit.
Tuition and Fees Refunds Expand
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 by visiting the student portal (https://catalyst.uc.edu).
Credit Balance Refunds Expand
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.
All students with a credit balance from financial aid will receive a refund of 100% of their available term credit balance beginning 10 days before the start date of the student’s first course. Once the term starts, any credit balance resulting from Federal (Title IV) financial aid will be refunded no later than 14 days after the credit balance occurs. Personal payments (checks, money orders, credit cards, etc.) are held until after the drop/add period (15th day of the term). Thereafter, student accounts are reviewed weekly for credit balances that may develop on student’s accounts for various reasons and refunds will be issued on an ongoing basis. All personal payments are held for 14 days, after the payment posted to the account, before being refunded.
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.
The University of Cincinnati refunds credit balances via direct deposit. However, funds coming from credit card payments will be refunded directly back to the credit card. Students and parents (with Federal Parent Plus Loans) are expected to sign up for direct deposit by visiting the student portal, Catalyst, ASAP even if they don't expect a refund. Failure to sign up for direct deposit will signifcantly delay the receipt of a credit balance refund.
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.
Refunds via Direct Deposit Expand
Direct deposit is required. Failure to sign up for direct deposit will delay your credit balance 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 the student portal, Catalyst.
- 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 paper checks are assessed a $25 fee.
- You do not have to stand in line at your bank to deposit or cash your check.
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.
How do I enroll?
To set up direct deposit as a student, go to Catalyst (https://catalyst.uc.edu) and select the "My Finances" tab. On the left hand side click on "Billing Information" and then "Direct Deposit Enrollment" from the drop down menu.
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 too, once your student has assigned you access privileges, via delegated access, and you have the necessary UC credentials, which include an UCID, USERNAME, and PASSWORD. To set up direct deposit as a parent/guest, go to Catalyst (https://catalyst.uc.edu) and select "Manage Bank Account". Then select "Direct Deposit" and follow the prompts.
Note: Keep in mind that parents only receive loan refunds if their loan amount is greater than the student's bill.
Refunds via Paper Check Expand
Paper check refunds are scheduled to post once a week (usually Thursday). Then they are printed and mailed, usually on Friday or Monday depending on volume; 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 at least a week before a person receiving a paper refund. Refunds via paper check do not begin 10 days before the term starts, rather, that process starts the first week of each term.
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: mailing, permanent, diploma. You can update your address using the student portal, Catalyst under the "My Profile" tile.
Please note that stop payment requests on paper checks will only be considered once a check has been missing for 30 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 the Bursar's Office 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) 556-4252 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the above process should be directed to your respective One Stop Student Service Center:
150 Muntz Hall
100 Student Services Building
2nd Floor University Pavilion