Students choose to budget their refunds

Breyanna Tripp

Freshman English major, Teresa Jones said, she saves her refund money because she feels the cost of her education is too much.

 “It’s pretty much all of the money I have,” Jones said. “If it’s something really important, I’ll spend it, but if not, I kind of leave it alone in case of emergencies.”  

The Kent State Bursar’s Office issued over $145 million in refunds to students in 2013. Out of the 46,229 students in the Kent campus system, many students use their refund for books and other miscellaneous expenses but still remain frugal when spending the money they get back from the university.

Kristina Olafsdottir, manager of student accounts receivable at the Bursar’s Office, said students receive refunds for various reasons such as excess financial aid, overpayment or adding or dropping a course.

“Refunds are issued on the student account and are delivered to the student per their refund preference,” Olafsdottir said. “Students can select to have their refunds issued to them three ways: via direct deposit, paper check or directly using the OneAccount offered by HigherOne.”

Olafsdottir said HigherOne is the company Kent State has contracted to deliver refunds to students. Thirty-nine percent of students choose HigherOne, 45 percent choose direct deposit and 16 percent chose paper check.

Tricia Norris, sophomore criminal justice major, said she chose the direct deposit option for her refund because she thinks it is more convenient.

“I actually have a different savings account for my refund,” Norris said. “My mom and I split the rent and if I can’t pay it, I take it from my school refund.”

Olafsdottir said the Bursar’s Office issues refunds everyday.

Devin Hayes, junior mechatronics major, said he receives about $1,200 in refund money.

“All of that money immediately goes to whatever books I have to get and that can range from $1,000 or so,” Hayes said. “If I get lucky, the books are only about $600 and that leaves me with $600, which I leave in my savings.”

Olafsdottir recommends student set up a budget to ensure their refund will last the entire semester.

“There are many good tools available to students to help them budget their funds,” said Olafsdottir. “Kent State University has teamed up with CashCourse to offer students the tools necessary to help them make informed financial choices, including valuable information about budgeting.”

Contact Breyanna Tripp at [email protected].