When a refund check arrives
each semester, it’s a time of celebration for some students;
however, some students know the disappointment of
not receiving a refund check, either on time or at all.
Most students do not understand how refund checks work. Becky
Hammett, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the University
of Arkansas at Monticello, said she does get
questions from students who do not qualify for a credit balance
refund or think they should get a refund check.
“Occasionally, (Financial Aid) does get questions, even from
students in the application process,” Hammett said. “Sometimes,
a student thinks they should receive a refund, but they don’t
realize that their charges on their bill exceed how much aid
Students who do not receive a refund check when they expect one
might not take into account when the aid has to be applied to
“In most cases, for a refund to be given, a student has to have a
credit balance the Friday before a Wednesday refund day,”
Hammett said. “Whatever aid is applied to a student account,
less charges, is what aid a student is eligible to receive.”
Hammett said students also do not realize that refunds can still be
given even after the dates that are posted at the Cashier’s
Office. If refund checks will not be given out on a Wednesday,
the email informing the student they received a credit balance
refund check will include what day the check will be available.
Jason Cooper, Accounting Tech 2 in the Cashier’s Office, said that
someone besides the student can pick up the refund check.
“As long as (the student) sends a note, with their identification
number and their signature, with the person that is picking up
the refund check, its fine,” Cooper said. “The person picking up
the refund check must also bring the student’s identification
card and a form of identification for themselves.”
Another aspect of refund checks students do not think about
includes the return of Title IV funds. If students do not attend
60 percent of class or withdraw, officially or unofficially,
before 60 percent of the semester is over. Official withdrawal
from UAM involves the student withdrawing themselves. Unofficial
withdrawal can occur when a professor drops a student due to a
violation of an attendance policy. Some of the programs on the
technical campuses require attendance to complete the program.
If the student quits attending the class, the professor can
withdraw them. Another example of unofficial withdrawal would be
a student failing a class due to not attending a class.
The 60 percent mark of the semester includes weekends. Hammett said
a return of Title IV funds calculation is done to determine the
amount of federal aid a student has earned. Any unearned federal
aid must be returned.
The Financial Aid office determines what students have not attended
classes by emailing the professors. Hammett said that starting
this semester, the Registrar’s office will distribute an
enrollment roster to the faculty for the purpose of reporting
students who are enrolled but never attended a single class
period or the date they last attended if they are no longer
UAM returns the money not earned to the student’s lender or the
federal government, then the student must repay any resulting
student account balance to UAM. Students receive notification by
letter of an outstanding balance.