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Financial Aid Refunds

How is financial aid refunded to students?

Students are offered financial aid up to the Estimated Cost of Attendance. The Estimated Cost of Attendance provides allowances for the direct educational expenses (tuition, fees, and on-campus housing) and indirect educational expenses (like books, supplies, travel, and off-campus housing).

If students take advantage of all aid offered, including loans, they may have a moderate amount of aid in excess of what is owed to the university to help provide money for off campus housing, books, supplies, or other indirect educational expenses. If the amount of the total aid accepted does not cover the tuition and fees due, the student is responsible for paying the balance due (shown on the electronic fee invoice) by the first day of class.

When will I get refunded?

For those students with enough aid to pay for tuition, fees, and campus housing, the earliest you should expect a financial aid refund for the semester is a few days before classes begin. The timing of the excess aid disbursement also depends on several other factors...

Check Aid status: Several factors prevent aid from crediting the bill, and ultimately may delay the refund.  Look for the following on your account and take the required action to resolve the issue.

  • Holds for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) if the current semester’s status was a warning or probation, or other holds
  • Course enrollment is less than the required number of credit hours for aid eligibility,
    • For undergraduates: full-time = 12+ credits, three-quarter-time = 9-11 credits, half-time = 6-8 credits; less than half-time = 1-5 hours
    • For graduates: full-time = 8+ credits, halftime = 4-7 credits, less than half-time = 1-3 credits.
  • Outstanding requirements, such as promissory notes (Stafford Loans, Purdue/Perkins Loans), loan entrance counseling, verification

Pay Bill:  Common options include student, parent, or private loans.  For balances that are not covered by financial aid (including loans), the Bursar’s Office also offers the Installment Plan through myPurdue, which breaks the remaining balance for the semester into monthly payments.

Confirm Enrollment:  This step is required prior to the start of each semester through myPurdue.  A student is only able to confirm enrollment if the semester bill is paid in full, or the first installment has been paid under the installment plan.  View instructions for confirming enrollment.

Receive Refund:  The earliest a refund can be issued each semester is 10 days before classes begin.  Note that this is the first date that financial aid is released, and additional time is generally required for processing.  The default method for receiving a financial aid refund is a check sent to the student’s local address from the Bursar’s Office.  Students can sign up for direct deposit through myPurdue to receive an expected refund sooner.  Parents who are expecting excess funds from a Parent PLUS Loan are unable to receive the refund through direct deposit and will instead receive a check through the mail to the parent address supplied. 

How do I get my federal work-study funds?

Federal Work-Study program funds must be earned through part-time employment with a work-study eligible employer before they are paid.  Students working under the program receive a regular biweekly paycheck from Purdue University for all hours worked during the preceding pay period. Federal Work Study funds are not credited to what the student may owe the University, nor or earnings withheld to pay tuition, fees, or housing.

What about private awards?

Funds from private scholarships or other awards should be sent by the donor to the Office of the Bursar. The funds are credited to the student's University account and disbursed in the same way as Purdue scholarships or grants. Private awards are not credited prior to receipt of funds from the donor.