Billing & Student Accounts

Refund Information

How to Request a Refund

Any student with an actual credit balance/overpayment on his or her student account is eligible to request a refund. First, check your current account balance on eCommon. If you are showing a credit balance on your student account in eCommon, you may then choose "Request a Refund."

When & Where to Pick Up Your Refund

  • Refunds for all Boston campus students are available for pick-up only at the Office of Student Accounts. 
  • Refunds for a semester will be available AFTER the add/drop period. Refund checks will be available two Fridays after the request is made.
  • Emerson will no longer accept emailed refund requests.

Please note: Students have the ability to request refunds without the consent of the primary bill payer.

Refund FAQs

When am I eligible to request a refund for my overpayment?

Students who overpay their accounts may apply to have the overpayment amount refunded to them. Refunds are granted to students only when a credit balance exists on the account. Refunds are not granted for anticipated payments, i.e., financial aid not yet disbursed.

In general, students must actually request a refund check in order to receive their funds. The exception to this rule applies to students who receive Federal Financial Aid and/or Federal Loans. Per federal regulations, Emerson will automatically refund credit balances caused specifically by Federal financial aid payments after the add/drop period ends, or as the funds are disbursed, whichever is later.

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What about disbursed loans for living expenses?

Student Accounts and Financial Aid are aware many students rely on loan money to pay for off-campus living expenses, such as food and rent. Students should understand, however, that refunds—including from loans—are not available at the very beginning of the semester.

In general, you should not rely on refunds for living expenses until first week of October at the earliest for the fall semester, and second week of February for the spring semester.

Learn more about assistance with living expenses »

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How will I be notified I'm eligible to request a refund?

Emerson will not notify you when you are eligible for a refund. You can determine if you're eligible by reviewing your account on eCommon.

When a refund check has been processed for you, you will receive an email to notify you the check is ready for pickup at the Office of Student Accounts.

If you fail to request a refund during the academic year, the credit on your account will carry forward into the next academic year. If you graduate or withdraw from Emerson with a credit balance on your student account, the Office of Student Accounts will send a refund check to the last address you provided the College usually within 60 days from the end of your last semester/term.

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When and how do I receive my refund check?

If you are making a refund request, checks are typically available for pickup at the Office of Student Accounts two Fridays after your request is received. The first refund process of each semester begins after add/drop period. Therefore, you can not receive a refund until the add/drop and then the two-Friday rule is in effect.

If you are a student who receives federal financial aid and that aid causes a credit balance that exceeds the minimum amount as defined by the College, an automatic refund check will be processed for you. Federal financial aid refunds are processed a week after the add/drop period ends or a week after your aid is disbursed, whichever is later. You will receive an email to your Emerson email account informing you that an automatic refund has been processed.

All checks are processed in the student’s name and held at the Office of Student Accounts for pickup unless:

  • the overpayment is due to a Federal Parent PLUS Loan (see below)
  • the student is studying at a campus other than Boston. If you are at a campus other than Boston, you must indicate in your request where you would like the check mailed.

What if I can't pick up my refund check at the Office of Student Accounts?

If you are enrolled in the Kasteel Well program, the LA program, or another non-Boston campus program, your check will be mailed to you. Please allow additional time for mailing to Europe and Los Angeles. All other students should make arrangements to pick up their checks at the Office of Student Accounts during normal business hours.

Any unclaimed refund checks after 21 days are mailed to students' local addresses as listed in eCommon. It is the student's responsibility to keep information on eCommon up to date.

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If I overpay using a credit card, will you refund my credit card?

As of January 1, 2010, Emerson will no longer refund credit cards. If your account is showing a credit balance, you will follow the directions to request a refund and a check will be generated for you.

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What happens if there are charges that don't appear on my bill at the time of the refund?

There are times when not all charges appear on the bill at the time a student refund is issued. For example, students who use the taxi voucher system through the Emerson Police Department don't see the charges for taxi rides until the following month. Please be aware that you are responsible for paying the balance due on your bill.

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Are there special rules for students with Federal Aid/Loans or parent who borrowed Federal PLUS Loans?

Yes, in compliance with federal regulations, all federal financial aid recipients whose federal funds exceed total tuition, room and board, and fees are automatically issued a federal refund within 14 days after the credit balance occurs or after the add/drop period ends, whichever is latest.

If a dependent student’s parent borrows through the Federal Parent PLUS Loan program, and the PLUS Loan creates the overpayment on the student account, federal regulations require the school to send the refund directly to the parent borrower of the PLUS Loan.

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What happens if the College determines a refund was issued in error?

The College has the right to reclaim refunds issued in error. Should this occur, a stop payment order is placed on the check and the student is notified of the reason. If the check has been cashed, a written request for return of funds is provided for the student. Normal collection procedures apply.

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