Financial Aid & Credit Balance Refunds

Students will automatically receive a refund for any excess funds (credit balance) on their student account each semester. Simmons University will not hold credit balances to be applied to subsequent semesters. Refunds are processed by Student Financial Services 7-10 business days after the completion of the add/drop period each semester, approximately four weeks into the semester, following verification of student enrollment.

Since refunds are not immediately available at the beginning of each semester, students must ensure they have sufficient funds to meet living expenses, including rent for the first two months of each term (for students living off-campus), books, supplies, and personal expenses until refunds become available.

All refunds, regardless of the source, are first applied to any credit card payment(s) that were made toward the student's account during the current fiscal year (July 1—June 30). For instructions on how to set up direct deposit for your refund, please see the section below title "Direct Deposit Student FAQ". If direct deposit is not setup, a refund check will be mailed to the student's home address on file in AARC. Please ensure that your address in AARC is current at all times.

Return of Title IV Aid

When federal Title IV grant or loan assistance is disbursed, but the recipient does not complete the enrollment period, the law requires that Simmons University calculate the amount that must be returned by the school and/or student to Title IV program accounts.

The date the student initiates the withdrawal is used for calculating the percentage used in the formula for Return of Title IV funds. Students are required to initiate their withdrawal by completing the electronic wufoo form. The data from this form is sent to all of the appropriate offices on campus that play a part in processing a student’s withdrawal. The date the student files the form is used as the date of the withdrawal as it serves as the date the student notified the institution of their intent to withdraw. In addition, the Registrar’s Office sends a weekly report of all leaves and withdrawals and this report captures any withdrawals by a student who did not complete the wufoo form but was determined to no longer be enrolled (in these cases the withdrawal date is the date the institution became aware the student was no longer enrolled).The number of days from the 1st class day to the withdrawal date divided by the number of days in the payment period (semester) equals the percentage of Title IV funds earned. If the withdrawal date is after the 60% point of the semester, the student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds.

If the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance that the student earned is less than the amount disbursed to or on behalf of the student, the difference between these amounts must be returned to the Title IV programs in the following order of priority (not to exceed the amount originally disbursed):

  1. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Stafford Loans
  3. Direct PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG Grant
  6. Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant

The school and the student share the responsibility for returning Title IV aid. The school returns "unearned" Title IV funds that have been paid to the school to cover the student's institutional charges received from Title IV grant and/or loan programs.

The school must return Title IV funds due to the federal programs no later than 30 days after the date the school determines the student withdrew.

If the student owes funds back to the Title IV programs, the institution will advise the student within 45 days of determining that the student withdrew. The student has 45 days from the date of notification from the institution to take action on the over payment. If the student's portion of unearned Title IV funds included a federal grant, the student has to pay no more than 50% of the initial amount that the student is responsible for returning. Immediate repayment of the unearned loan amount is not required because the student repays the loan to the lender according to the terms or conditions in the promissory note. The institution will advise the lender of the student's withdrawal within 45 days of determining the student withdrew.

No additional disbursements may be made to the student for the enrollment period. If the student does not repay the amount owed to the Title IV programs or does not make satisfactory payment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education, Simmons University will report to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) that the student received an over payment. The student loses eligibility for further Title IV aid until resolved.

Example

NOTE: Dollar amounts are for example only and are not true current costs.

Rachel has been awarded the following package for Fall 2016:

  • Federal Pell Grant - $1200
  • Federal Work-Study - $1250
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan - $1750
  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - $2000

Rachel withdraws from all of her classes on October 5, 2016. The total amount of Title IV Aid that is subject to the Return of Title IV Calculation is $4950. The percentage of Title IV aid Rachel has earned is 31.1%. The total amount of Title IV aid that was earned by the student is $1539.45.

The total amount of Title IV aid to be returned is $4950 - $1539.45 = $3410.55

Total charges for Fall 2015 semester is $8420 tuition and fees. The amount of Title IV aid unearned is 68.9%. The charges times the amount of unearned aid is $8420 X 68.9% = $5801.38

The amount of Title IV aid to be returned by the school is the lesser of the two, or $3410.55. Therefore, Simmons University would return $2000 Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and $1410.55 Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan to the federal government. Simmons will also report the withdrawal effective October 5, 2016 to the National Student Clearinghouse.

The student in this example would not need to return any additional funds since the amount to be returned by the school was the same amount to be returned.

Post withdrawal disbursement

If a student’s loans were originated but did not disburse and they were enrolled at least half time when they ceased to be enrolled, they may be eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement (PWD).  (note: The student may need to resolve an issue that prevented loans from disbursing.  For example, if they did not complete their loan documentation but the loan had originated, regulations state the student can complete them after last day of attending.) 

We will communicate with the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, and inform them that they can accept all, a portion or none of the PWD.  The normal timeframe we allow them is 15 days to inform us of their wishes. If they do not meet our deadline, then the loan funding is cancelled.  We can, on a case by case basis, extend that deadline as long as the overall length is within scope of the federal regulations.

If the student has completed their loan documents but does not respond to the offer of the PWD, the loan will need to be cancelled.

Example, using the same example from above:

Rachel withdraws from all of her classes on October 5, 2016 but at the time she withdraws, her loans had not yet disbursed.  The total amount of Title IV aid that was earned by Rachel is $1539.45 but the total aid that was disbursed was $1200 (her Pell Grant).  

The total amount of Title IV aid eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement is $1539.45- $1200 = $339.45

The student would receive a letter from the Financial Aid office stating the details of her return calculation and letting her know about her eligibility for a post withdrawal disbursement.  She would have 15 days in which to confirm that she would like her post withdrawal disbursement.

Refunds

In the case of a student who has earned Title IV funds that exceed their charges (more common when there are 100% earned funds) the school is required to perform the return calculation and then within 14 days of the date the institution performed the calculation, pay any remaining credit balance as a refund to the student.  There is a weekly process of verifying and generating all student refunds which will then be mailed to the student.  This ensures we remain compliant with the 14 day timeframe. 

Using the example above:

If any part of the $1,539.45 Title IV disbursement exceeded the institutional charges, the student would be eligible for a titled IV refund.  This would automatically be generated and sent to the student within the 14 day timeframe. 

Where do I add my bank account information for direct deposit?

A: Log in to connection.simmons.edu and:

  1. Click on the AARC tab and then go to the "Student" menu
  2. Click on "Access Student Account Center" and then click "View Bill/Make a Payment"
  3. You will now be in the student portal. Under "My Profile Setup" located to the right, click on "Electronic Refunds"
  4. Click on "Set up Account"
  5. Enter your bank account information and click continue. Make sure you enter your checking or savings account number and not your debit card number
  6. After reading the disclosure, check "I AGREE" and click continue. Your eRefund account should be saved and visible under "Current Refund Method"

* It is essential that you enter your checking account information accurately. If not, you will not receive your direct deposit and a check will be issued instead.

After I add my bank account information how quickly will I receive my first refund via direct deposit?

Once you have added your bank account information in the "Direct Deposit" section of the Student Account Center, all future credit balances will be issued via direct deposit from that point forward.

How long will it take for the direct deposit to show in my bank account?

1-4 business days.

What if my refund is payable to a third party? Will it be refunded via direct deposit?

A: No. All refunds payable to anyone other than the student will be issued via paper check.

What happens if my direct deposit doesn't come through? How will I be notified?

If Simmons University was unable to successfully deliver your refund via direct deposit, you will receive an email from SFSNotifications@simmons.edu informing you of the issue and a paper check will be mailed to the home address on file within 10 business days. If you have not seen your direct deposit reflected in your bank account after 5 business days, and you have not received a notification from SFS that a paper check is being issued instead, please contact SFS to make an inquiry.

Direct Loan funds that are returned within 120 days of the disbursement are treated as a partial or full cancellation, with the appropriate adjustment of the loan fee and interest. If you have received a refund and would like to cancel all or a portion of your Direct Loan, you are responsible for returning the money directly to your loan servicer. Contact Applicant Services at 1-800-557-7394 or log in to studentaid.ed.gov to find out who your loan servicer is. Always use the term "cancellation" or "cancel" to ensure that the interest and fees are removed as well. If you have received a refund from a private loan and would like to cancel all or a portion of your loan, please contact the private loan servicer directly for instructions.