Financial aid refunds late, but in the mail

Jackie Valley

Financial aid refund checks are en route to students — just a few days later than normal this semester.

The week-long delay follows the transition of the Bursar’s Office to Banner, the new software system that operates FlashLine, Bursar Leslie Carter said.

Even so, Carter said most refund checks have already been mailed to students or delivered to residence halls for on-campus students.

If students receive their refunds via direct deposit, Carter said they should go to FlashFAST on FlashLine to review their student accounts to see if a refund has been processed.

Carter said Kent State typically gets the financial aid refunds to students by Tuesday or Wednesday the week before semester classes begin — earlier than federal law requires. Federal guidelines require refunds to be distributed to students 14 days after financial aid has been deposited into students’ accounts at the university.

David Creamer, senior vice president for administration, said the university received calls beginning last week from concerned students who needed the money to buy books.

“Those are the things (books and living expenses) why we try to get these funds to students as soon as possible,” he said.

Now, Carter said, the Bursar’s Office is processing the financial aid refunds that require individual review to determine if students are eligible for the awarded financial aid based on their registered hours.

Carter said the Bursar’s Office switched to Banner Dec. 7, the time when it begins to assess each student’s tuition for spring semester, send the tuition bills and then begin the financial aid refund process.

Financial aid refunds go to students whose financial aid eligibility is in excess to their cost of attendance.

Carter said the Bursar’s Office distributes 8,650 financial aid refunds to students worth more than $18 million. The average refund is $2,089.

Creamer said Kent State will continue to make an effort in the future to get students the refunds during the week before semester classes begin.

“We are very committed by fall semester to make this work as effectively as possible,” he said.

In the meantime, Carter said he suggests students use direct deposit to receive the financial aid refunds because it is the quickest payment method, eliminating mail time or address issues that also cause check delays.

The Numbers

1 week

Delay following the transition of the Bursar’s Office to Banner

14 days

Period specified by Federal Guidelines in which financial aid refunds must be distirbuted to students


Number of financial aid refunds issued to students


Average value of financial aid refund

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].