Financial Aid Refunds
If the financial aid applied to your student account exceeds the amount due, you can request a refund of those extra funds at the beginning of the term.
Students with a federal Title IV aid credit balance: the excess funds on your student account must be disbursed within 14 days of that credit balance being generated. It is therefore important to set up your refund preferences prior to the term to ensure the funds are sent via your preferred method, otherwise funds will be sent to you via U.S. mail.
If you forward your refund to a non-US bank:
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment system rules require that refund requests made via direct deposit to a U.S. bank and then have the ENTIRE amount forwarded to a bank in another country must use specific formatting requirements for the transfer which are not currently available. Therefore, if your refund transaction will be forwarded in its entirety to an account outside the U.S., you will need to select a paper check for your refund.
If your intent is to transfer only a portion of the funds from your direct deposit payment but not the entire amount, you can continue to receive your refunds by direct deposit.
Steps to receiving a refund:
Verify that you are eligible for a refundUse CAESAR to check your account (CAESAR > For Students > Financial Services > View My Account). You must have a credit in your Account Balance (not Anticipated Aid) to be eligible for a refund.
If you have not established direct deposit, consider setting it up at this timeThe quickest way to receive your refund is to sign up for direct deposit through CAESAR (CAESAR > For Students > Financial Services > Setup Direct Deposit); see step-by-step instructions: Setting Up Direct Deposit. If you are unable to use CAESAR, you may request a paper Direct Deposit form by contacting the Office of Student Accounts. If you do not have an active direct deposit authorization filed with the Office of Student Accounts, you may choose to have a refund check mailed to one of your active addresses.
Request a refundUnless you are a graduate student in the Law School, Kellogg or Medill, you must request a refund each term; it is not automatically refunded. Use CAESAR (CAESAR > For Students > Financial Services > Request a Refund) to specify the refund amount (if different from your balance) and select a refund format (mail or direct deposit).
Receive your excess fundsWhen your refund has been processed, you will receive a generic e-mail notification at your Northwestern e-mail address. The amount remaining in your account is refunded to you either by a check to you or via direct deposit to your financial institution.
Note: If you request a refund via direct deposit to a U.S. bank and plan to have the ENTIRE amount forwarded to a bank in another country, you will need to select a paper check for your refund as this type of fund transfer cannot be accommodated by the University’s systems.
If your intent is to transfer only a portion of the funds from your direct deposit payment but not the entire amount, you can continue to receive your refunds by direct deposit.Back to top