Student Refund Policy and Process
Students who have a credit balance on their account are eligible to receive a refund. The type of credit on a students' account will determine the method of initiating the refund and the length of time for a student to receive their refund. If a student has a Title IV credit on their account then a refund will automatically be processed within 5 to 7 business days.
Students have the option of receiving their refund via ACH Direct Deposit, which allows American University to electronically transfer funds into the checking or savings account designated by the student, or having a paper check mailed. We encourage all students to sign up for ACH Direct Deposit through the student portal by signing into the Student Portal (myau.american.edu).
- How to Sign up for ACH Direct Deposit
- ACH Direct Deposit Refund Policy
- Types of Credit Balances and Policy
- Parent Plus Authorization Form
- Title IV Authorization Form (For Past Balances)
Once supplied each refund a student requests afterwards will be deposited into the students bank account instead of a paper check being mailed.
ACH Direct Deposit is a means for American University to electronically deposit refunds into the checking or savings account the student designates. Students can sign up for ACH direct deposit by doing the following:
- Log into the Student Portal (myau.american.edu)
- Click on the "Finances" link
- Click on the "ACH Bank Information" link
- Enter your bank account number and routing number
- Click on the "Submit" button
- Students are required to enter bank account information for which they are designated as the primary account holder.
- Students are responsible for updating their bank account information. ACH direct deposit excludes payroll, federal college work study earnings and fellowships.
- Once enrolled in ACH direct deposit, students will continue to receive all refunds via ACH direct deposit up until 6 months after they graduate, withdraw or until a student deletes their bank account information on-line.
- It is the student's responsibility to verify that all ACH direct deposit payments have been credited to their bank account before writing checks against their funds.
- Students cannot have their refund split between ACH direct deposit and a paper check.
- Credit balances that are a result of a Parent Plus Loan can only be directly deposited into a students' bank account if a Parent Plus Authorization Form has been signed and submitted, by the borrowing parent, to the Office of Student Accounts.
- American University reserves the right to initiate credit entries and to initiate, if necessary, debit entries and adjustments for any credit entries in error to a students' account.
- ACH direct deposit can be transmitted to U.S. bank accounts only.
- Students can only have one bank account on file with the University at a time. Any changes made by the student to their bank account information will overwrite the previous information entered.
The type of financial aid funds and/or payments on a students' account will determine the method of initiating the refund and the length of time for a student to receive their refund. Students are encouraged to read the types of credit balances below to familiarize themselves with the type of credits that may exist on their account.
- Title IV - Parent Plus Loan Credit
- Title IV - Other Credit
- Non-Title IV Funds Credit
- Sponsorship Credit
- Payment on Account Credit
- Athletic Stipend Credit
A Title IV Parent Plus Loan credit exists when the total amount of Parent Plus Loan disbursed for the term exceeds the total amount of tuition and fees. If a Parent Plus Loan credit exists on the student's account and the borrowing parent wants the refund to go directly to the student, then the borrowing parent must complete and submit a Parent Plus Authorization form along with a copy of a photo ID. All Parent Plus Authorization forms should be faxed to (202) 885-1139.
A Title IV credit exists when the total amount of Title IV funds disbursed for the term exceeds the total amount of tuition and fees. Below is a list of Title IV Funds:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Direct Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan
- Federal Teach Grant (TEACH)
If a Title IV credit exists on a students' account then a refund will automatically be refunded to the student. If the student has not signed up for ACH direct deposit a paper check will be produced and mailed to the billing address on file for that student.
A Non-Title IV credit balance exists, after applying all TItle IV funds against the terms tuition charges, if the Non-Title IV disbursed funds exceed the remaining unpaid tuition and fees. Examples of Non-Title IV Funds are scholarships, grants, remitted tuition, etc.
A credit from a sponsorship exists, after applying all Title IV and Non-Title IV funds against the terms tuition and fees, if the sponsorship amount on the account exceeds the remaining unpaid tuition and fees. All sponsorships must be paid in full by the sponsor before a refund will be issued.
A credit from a personal payment exists, after applying all Title IV and Non-Title IV funds against the terms tuition charges, if the payment or payments on the account exceed the remaining unpaid tuition and fees. All payments must clear before a refund will be issued. The number of days required to verify check clearances are listed below:
- Online Payments - 21 days
- Check Payments - 21 days
Students who are receiving an Athletic Stipend will automatically receive their stipend on a monthly basis. The Office of Student Accounts processes Athletic Stipend related refunds per a request and schedule from the Athletic Department.