When reviewing the information on this webpage, it's important to keep in mind that if your enrollment status changes as a result of adding or dropping classes, your financial award package may need to be adjusted and this may affect the amount of any refunds.
Key terms to know
Credit balance: Results when the total of the credits posted to your account (payments, loan disbursements, scholarships, awards, exemptions, waivers, etc.) exceeds the total of the charges applied or applicable to your account for a specific term.
A credit balance becomes eligible for a refund when all the applicable charges and credits have been posted to your account and funds have been reviewed and confirmed or adjusted based on your current eligibility, enrollment status, adding courses, drop limits reached and any other applicable conditions.
Anticipated funds: This includes anticipated financial aid. Anticipated funds aren't considered credits to your account until the funds have actually been disbursed to the account
Balances and Refunds
Expand the fund types below to learn more about the process in receiving a refund for any credit balances.
Federal student aid funds
Federal student aid funds that fall under the Department of Education's Title IV regulation are specific grants and loans provided by the federal government.
Federal grants include:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- and TEACH grants.
Federal loans include:
- William D. Ford Direct Loan Program
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct Plus Loans
- and the Federal Perkins Loan Program.
Recalculating credit balance
Depending on the specifics of the situation, if you have a credit balance the level of federal student aid awarded may need to be recalculated by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
SFA will only credit federal student aid funds to your account against allowable institutional charges, including:
- current charges for tuition, fees, room and board
- other educationally related charges incurred by you at SFA
- need your (or a parent's) written authorization
- and prior-year charges up to and not exceeding $200.
Visit financial aid's Degree Plans and Your Financial Aid webpage for more details.
You (or parent borrowers) must provide written authorization before SFA can perform the following actions:
- apply funds awarded for the current year to prior year charges, up to $200
- or apply funds awarded to pay for current educationally related charges other than tuition, fees, room and board
To provide a written authorization, submit an email request to email@example.com.
Refunds for Title IV federal student aid
Eligible credit balances related to Title IV federal student aid funds will automatically be refunded. Per federal regulations they must be refunded no later than 14 days after either:
- the date the credit balance occurred on your account, if the credit balance occurred after the first day of class of a payment period
- or the first day of classes of the payment period, if the credit balance occurred on or before the first day of class of that payment period.
SFA prioritized refund processing for credit balances related to Title IV federal student aid.
Nonfederal student aid funds
Federal student aid that does not fall under the Department of Education's Title IV regulation includes:
- external awards
- certain grants
- and private loans.
Depending on the specifics of the situation and the conditions of the award, a credit balance in your account may be reduced, returned to the source or refunded to you.
If your account has an overpayment, related credit balances will be refunded to you, regardless of the source of the payment. The only exception is when there is a federal parent PLUS loan and the applicant (usually a parent) has requested the funds be refunded directly to them.
If you cancel your enrollment prior to the first class day of the term but have made a payment toward your student account, the credit balance will be refunded to you.