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FAQ - Finances and Student Services

Finances and Student Services

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Finances, Refunds, and Financial Aid

Student Jobs and Internships

International Students

Veterans


Finances and Student Services

Finances, Refunds, and Financial Aid

Will my financial aid be affected by this change?

No. Your aid will not be affected as a result of the change in the mode of instruction. Please be sure to contact your financial aid counselor if you have any questions or concerns.

Which fees are eligible for prorated refunds?

Housing:

Students who are not approved for Emergency Housing will receive a prorated credit on their student account. Proration of housing charges will be calculated from March 24, 2020 through May 6, 2020. If this credit produces an overall credit balance, then the student will be issued a refund. Please note any student who receives financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid will need to review it to ensure the financial aid package is not over-awarded before a refund can be issued. Students do not need to apply to have their housing charges prorated. You can expect to receive a prorated credit on your student account and will be issued a refund if applicable.

Meal Plan Charges:

Students will not be charged for the portion of the term they will not be utilizing meal plans. Students should expect to receive a prorated credit on their student account. If this credit produces an overall credit balance, then the student will be issued a refund. Please note, Eaglebucks are excluded from refunds, they will remain on the student’s OneCard for continued use next semester.

Parking Permit Fees:

Students will not be charged for the portion of the term they do not have access to use their parking permits. Students should expect to receive a prorated credit on their student account. If this credit produces an overall credit balance, then the student will be issued a refund.

How is the refund processed?

Students do not need to apply for refunds.

  • Student Accounts will automatically produce an ACH refund to all students with banking information on file. If no banking information is on file, then a refund check will be mailed to the mailing address on file.
  • Please note any student who receives financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid will need to review the financial aid package to ensure it is not over-awarded before a refund can be issued.

When can I expect to see a refund?

Please note prorated refund credits will begin to post in April 2020. If you have any questions, please contact AU Central at AUCentral@american.edu.

Who do I contact with questions about refunds?

If you have any questions, please contact AU Central at AUCentral@american.edu.

Which fees are not eligible for prorated refunds?

Enrollment/Registration Charges:

Students will not receive any refunds for the enrollment/registration fees listed below.

These charges remain nonrefundable, as AU continues to offer courses via virtual course delivery until the end of the spring 2020 term.

  • Tuition
  • Health Insurance Fee
  • Metro UPass Fee
  • Technology Fee
  • Activity Fee
  • Sports Center Fee
  • Course Fees

What effective dates are being used to calculate the prorated refund?

The effective dates for proration of refunds is March 24, 2020 through May 6, 2020.

Are late fees being assessed to student accounts?

The Office of Student Accounts has not placed financial stops or assessed additional finance charges on accounts with an outstanding spring semester balance, in order to give families additional time to make payment arrangements. Late fees will also not be assessed for the remainder of the semester for students on the monthly payment plan. If you are on the payment plan, and expecting an adjustment to your student's on-campus housing and/or dining charges, you may wait to make payment until after the adjustment has been made, with no penalty. Please contact AUCentral@american.edu with any questions or concerns regarding your student account.

Student Jobs and Internships

I have a federal work-study (FWS) job on campus. What will happen while I’m not on campus?

Please find out from your on-campus supervisor if there is work you can do remotely. If there isn’t, AU is permitted by the federal government to continue to pay you for hours similar to those you’ve been working over the last several weeks. Your supervisor will work with you to estimate the number of hours for which you will be paid, and you should submit timesheets for the estimated hours.

I have a federal work-study job off campus. What will happen while I’m not on campus?

If your work-study job is with an off-campus employer, first check with your supervisor to see if you can work remotely. If you can’t work remotely, please consult with Aubrey Hill in the Career Center at fwsassistant@american.edu on the possibility of continuing employment through AU an on-campus employer.

I work on campus but I’m not a federal work study student. Can I continue to work?

Whether you are an undergraduate/graduate student worker, or a graduate assistant (GFA), your on-campus supervisor will do their best to have you work remotely. If your regular work is difficult to conduct remotely, discuss alternative work assignments with your supervisor so that you can continue to be paid. GFA’s should continue to receive their checks as usual if they are working remotely. All other non-FWS student workers, please submit timesheets for hours worked as usual.

I was counting on the income from my part-time job. What should I do now?

Whether you work on campus or off campus, first have a conversation with your supervisor to see if there is any work that you can continue to do remotely. If not, you may need to look for other paid work. For general advice, visit the Job & Internship Searching webpage and/or consult with your career advisor on finding other paid work. You should also go to AU's student jobs site, where you can find postings for internships and neighborhood jobs. Note that neighborhood jobs (through Quadjobs) are available in some locations in the US beyond Washington, DC, and may allow you to earn some money. Many AU alumni around the country are also starting to share opportunities with their organizations, and these will be posted as they become available.

I am receiving academic credit for my internship, which has been affected by my employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What should I do?

Talk to your professor or your academic advisor, and with your internship supervisor. You may be able to complete internship assignments and complete your internship remotely. If not, your professor will make every effort to develop alternative assignments so that you can receive credit for your internship class.

If I live off campus and wish to remain in DC and work at my internship, can I do that?

Yes, so long as your employer is continuing to operate. Please discuss with your employer their continuity and contingency plan through May. This is new territory for many organizations, and they might not immediately think of incorporating interns into their plans. Be proactive and offer suggestions on how you can continue to support their work or projects.

I typically receive my pay via check, which I typically pick up from the HR office or AU office I am employed in. What do I do now?

We strongly encourage all student workers to sign up for direct deposit if you haven’t already done so. Go to HR's direct deposit page for more information about signing up for direct deposit. Paper checks will be mailed to your permanent address until you have signed up for direct deposit. If you have any questions or concerns about direct deposit or if you are trying to locate a missing paycheck, please contact Payroll at 202-885-3520 or payroll@american.edu.

I realize that there is much uncertainty about whether summer internships and jobs will happen on schedule. How should I proceed?

Employers are in the process of adjusting to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, but many of them are likely to be recruiting interns and full-time employees for the summer and beyond. We continue to receive job and internship postings and are planning to conduct the Spring Job and Internship Fair virtually (stay tuned for details). For now, keep searching for and identifying positions you wish to pursue and submit applications. This way, even if the timeframe gets pushed later, you will be a potential hire at some point. You can also maximize your online networking through LinkedIn and Alumni Fire during this time of uncertainty.

International Students

Is it okay to travel back home to another country and still return to AU this summer or next semester?

Currently, there is a travel ban. AU’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) continues to monitor immigration guidance from the US departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS) and health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For travel inquiries and up-to-date information on travel bans, students should review the US Department of State's COVID-19 Country Specific Information page.

I live off campus, should I leave the United States to go back to my home country?

Only students living on campus were asked to leave residence halls. The university encouraged all students to return home to their permanent addresses if possible due to the global health pandemic.

Will final exams be administered online?

The university has not made a decision on that yet.

Do I need to maintain full time enrollment while pursuing online education outside the U.S.?

International students must maintain full time enrollment unless they have been previously authorized for reduced course load (RCL) by ISSS. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security temporarily granted permission to international students to take more than one online class to maintain full time enrollment under the extenuating circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does retroactive withdrawal affect international students?

International students should not withdraw from classes retroactively as this action will cause loss of immigration status from the beginning of the spring 2020 semester. This loss of immigration status will have multiple implications for their futures.

Will international students be able to fulfill their for-credit internship requirements remotely?

DHS is temporarily allowing international students to ask employers for alternative work arrangements if the students’ academic units agree to keep their internships intact to complete academic requirements.

Will international students be able to return to the US with the current visas in their passports?

According to the DHS, students returning to the US to resume their studies after an authorized temporary absence will not need to renew their visas if those visas are still valid. According to DOS, a student does not need to apply for a new F-1 visa if the student’s current visa is still valid, regardless of the length of time the student has spent outside the US. However, a valid visa does not guarantee entrance into the US because US Customs and Border Protection agents at each US port of entry ultimately determine who can enter.

The U.S. State Department suspended non-immigrant visa services in all countries. How will this affect me?

Unless students’ visas will have expired by the time they are ready to return, there will not be any adverse impact of the recent visa suspension. Please refer to usembassy.gov for more information on embassies’ operating status.

Will ISSS authorize me for summer Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

There is no change to the current CPT policy or authorization process.

Will international students be able to obtain reduced course load authorizations for the fall 2020 semester during the course enrollment preregistration period?

Yes. International students will need to coordinate reduced course load authorizations for the fall 2020 semester with their academic advisors. Or, when they return to the university, they can request a reduced course load authorization during the add/drop period.

Will international students who are graduating be able to apply for post-completion optional practical training (OPT) from outside of the US?

Current federal regulations affecting F-1 students do not allow for OPT applications from outside of the US. ISSS will provide an update if DHS introduces any flexibility to these regulations.

How will ISSS assist international students who are graduating and are currently in the US with optional practical training (OPT) applications?

The OPT intake process with workshops on how to complete it are now fully online. Academic advisors will verify program completions through electronic forms initiated by students. Students will pick up their hard copy application packets in person at ISSS via appointment. For more information, visit ISSS's OPT page.

I’m an international student with more questions. Where can I find answers?

Please check the FAQs for international students for guidance specific to your concerns. It’s on the webpage for International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), the AU office that works with international students.

I am an international student with authorized off-campus employment for an internship or practical training. Is there any guidance from Department of Homeland Security for situations like this?

Students with authorized practical training off campus are encouraged to consult with their employer to seek alternative ways to maintain employment, such as teleworking or other arrangements.

Veterans

Will my VA education benefits be affected by this change?

President Trump signed into law S. 3503, March 21, which will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue providing the same level of education benefits to students having to take courses online due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The law gives VA temporary authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies, allowing for continued payment of benefits even if the program has changed from resident training to online training. In addition, GI Bill students will continue receiving the same monthly housing allowance payments they received for resident training until Dec. 21, or until the school resumes in-person classes.

Students receiving GI Bill benefits are not required to take any action as benefits will continue automatically. VA will work closely with schools to ensure enrollments are accurately certified and processed timely with updates provided to students via direct email campaigns and social media. Students with specific questions can contact the Education Call Center at: 888-442-4551 between 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

I was registered for an immersion class that was canceled or I elected to drop. Will this impact my certification with the VA?

We will report your change in credit hours to the VA. If you have received any housing allowance associated with the dropped course, please hold onto this funding as the VA will ask for this housing allowance to be returned.

I was studying abroad and was required to return to AU or was not able to begin my study abroad program for spring 2020. Will this impact my VA education benefits?

As we receive information from VA, we will continue to update you concerning any impact changes to Study Abroad will have on the VA education benefits you received or were anticipating.

I’m a VA work study student. Can I still earn work study hours while classes are held online?

Yes. Please contact your VA worksite supervisor for projects that can be completed remotely.

I’m a veteran and have more questions about finances. Where can I find answers?

Please see these detailed FAQs provided by AU’s Veteran Services Office, which is helping AU veterans navigate VA benefits and other issues.

I receive VA education benefits and based on extenuating circumstances I am retroactively dropping/withdrawing from a course(s) this semester. Will this affect my VA education benefits I have received for spring 2020?

Please email veterans@american.edu any time you make a change to your schedule. Veteran Services is responsible for reporting all changes to your schedule, including retroactive drops/withdrawals to the VA in a timely manner.

Please note: Withdrawing from courses at any time will affect your VA education benefits. We will report changes to the VA, and they will complete a calculation to determine how much of your VA education benefits you can keep towards your tuition and fees costs. Any amount you are not eligible to keep will be requested from the VA via a debt letter to you. If you have specific questions concerning withdrawing from courses, please email us at veterans@american.edu.

I receive VA education benefits and attend semester-based courses. I would like to withdraw from courses after March 20 based on the new last day to withdraw of April 27. Will this affect my VA education benefits?

All changes to our academic calendar must be approved by the VA if the academic calendar is updated after we submit the new catalog each academic year. Therefore, we are currently waiting for approval to change the last day to withdraw while using VA education benefits from March 20 to April 27.

Please note: Withdrawing from courses at any time will affect your VA education benefits. We will report changes to the VA and they will complete a calculation to determine how much of your VA education benefits you can keep towards your tuition and fees costs. Any amount you are not eligible to keep will be requested from the VA via a debt letter to you. If you have specific questions concerning withdrawing from courses, please email us at veterans@american.edu.