Carnegie Mellon University

Student Account Refunds

Refunds are based on a student's current account balance and are distributed electronically by direct deposit or by paper check.

For the fastest service, students should enroll in electronic refunding when registering a bank account in Student Information Online (SIO). Multiple U.S. bank accounts may be registered to one student's account and refunds are automatically deposited into a designated account within 3 business days. When refunds are deposited electronically, an email notification is sent to the student's CMU email address.

In the event a student is not registered for electronic refunding, the Student Accounts Office will send notification via email when a refund check is generated and to what address the check has been sent. In instances where the student has not recently updated their on-campus or local address in SIO, the check will be held by the Student Accounts Office until an address is confirmed by the student. Please note that during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the processing of paper checks may be delayed by up to a week. Refund checks should be cashed promptly as checks over 120 days may be voided. Please check with Student Accounts before attempting to deposit or cash any refund check older than 120 days.

Electronic Refund Steps

  1. Log in to Student Information Online (SIO)
  2. Choose 'Bank Account List' under the 'Finances' tab
  3. Click '+ add account', provide the required information and check the box next to 'Refund account'

You may also edit an existing bank account in SIO to receive refunds. On the Bank Account List page, simply click the 'Edit' button next to the account you wish to update and check the box next to 'Refund account.'

Refunds Requiring Manual Review

Refunds over $10,000 for undergraduate students and $20,000 for graduate students require a manual review.

In situations where the student is not the payer, the payer will need to provide authorization prior to release of the refund. Refunds for sponsored students, employees receiving tuition remission and students receiving payroll deduction are also manually reviewed.

Refunding Policy/Inactive Account Maintenance Fee

  • The Student Accounts Office does not release refunds under $25, unless mandated by federal regulations.
  • During the fall and spring semesters, refunds are released automatically. During the summer semester, refunds are processed only at the request of the student or when required by the federal government. 
  • Refunds for an upcoming semester are not released until after the first day of class.
  • Students with a Monthly Payment Plan administered by Nelnet and a resulting student account credit balance will not receive a refund from the university until their Nelnet contract is paid in full. The Student Accounts Office recommends that students in this situation contact Nelnet for a budget adjustment.
  • An inactive account maintenance fee, not to exceed $25, will be assessed against a student account when that student account has no activity for 120 days and the student is no longer enrolled at Carnegie Mellon. In the event that the student subsequently re-enrolls at Carnegie Mellon, the maintenance fee previously assessed against the student account will be credited to the student account at the student's request.

Title IV Authorizations & Excess Funds

Title IV funding is federal aid for eligible students who have completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Sources of Title IV funding consist of the following:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Direct Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Students who wish to have their financial aid applied toward non-institutional charges must authorize the university to do so. This authorization may be granted by logging in to Student Information Online (SIO) and selecting 'Federal Aid Permissions' under the 'Finances' tab.