Refund Processing

Most financial aid will be disbursed to a student’s UAF account 10 days before the start of classes contingent upon certification by Financial Aid of the student maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward his/her educational goal. Information regarding SAP can be found at

All aid received will be applied to any debt owed to the university first. Once all debt has been paid, the Office of the Bursar will refund any remaining balance. During the initial aid release, a high volume of refunds are processed in the order in which the aid has been applied. Remember: Any debt owed to the university will be deducted from your refund.

How Can I Receive My Refund?

Refunds are processed one of three ways: direct deposit, check, or credit card refund depending upon the method of original payment (if applicable). No cash refunds are available on amounts over $10.00 although they may be applied to your PolarExpress card. Please note that once applied, the funds are non-refundable.

For refunds less than $10, the Office of the Bursar does not issue checks. It is the student’s responsibility to check UAOnline and contact the Office of the Bursar to receive the refund as cash or it may be applied to the student’s PolarExpress card as a non-refundable payment. Due to increased volume during fee payment, this may take additional time. Direct deposit refunds for less than $10 are processed as normal.

When Can I Expect to Receive My Refund?

To determine if financial aid has been posted and a refund is due, students should check UAOnline as it contains the most up-to-date information. If the “Current Amount Due” shows a negative balance, some or all of the aid has been posted and a refund will be processed. Please note that the Office of the Bursar processes refunds as quickly as possible therefore it is unnecessary to contact the office to determine the status. Once the “Current Amount Due” shows a zero balance ($0), the refund has been processed.

Once processed, direct deposit refunds can take up to five (5) business days to reach a student’s bank account while printed checks can take up to two weeks. To receive your refund as quickly as possible, students should sign up for direct deposit.

What if I Add (or drop) a Class After My Refund has Been Processed?

Please keep in mind that if a student makes any changes to their account (i.e. the addition of classes or voluntary fees) once the refund has been processed, the student is responsible for paying the remaining balance by the fee payment deadline or holds and late fees may be assessed. See Payment Due Deadlines ( ) for more deadline dates.

Policies for specific refund types:

Direct Deposit
After the Office of the Bursar processes the refund, it takes up to 5 business days for the funds to be direct deposited into a student’s designated bank account. If the account information is inaccurate and the refund cannot be processed, a check will be sent to the student’s mailing address as indicated in UAOnline. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their mailing address is current. To see the account information for direct deposit, log onto UAOnline. The Office of the Bursar does not have access to this information.
**You will need to enroll in Direct Deposit for your student account even if you have enrolled in Direct Deposit for payroll or travel**

Personal Checks
If tuition and fees were paid with a personal check, the refund will be processed once your check has cleared the bank. This includes electronic check payments made via UAOnline. The waiting period may be reduced by bringing proof to the Office of the Bursar that your check has cleared.

Credit Card
If tuition and fees were paid by credit card, the card will be refunded up to the amount charged depending upon the situation. If the refund is due to a student dropping a class within the 100% refund date, cancellation of course, or successful appeal of a refund, the money will be refunded to the credit card. If the refund is due to the disbursement of a scholarship or loan, the money will be refunded to the student.

Important Information
All refunds are subject to federal regulations. A refund received due to dropped classes or a total withdrawal may render a student ineligible for scholarships or financial aid. As a result, funds may be returned to the lender or grantor pursuant to all applicable rules and regulations resulting in a balance due to the University. All students are encouraged to contact Financial Aid before dropping or withdrawing from classes to determine the impact of these actions prior. Any aid received through external funding (i.e. Department of Labor, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, etc.) will generally be returned to the original funding source. Students receiving this form of aid should contact their campus representative for more assistance.

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