Refund Policy

Refund Checks

Direct Deposit

Refund FAQ

Eligible credit balances* are refunded in a weekly payment cycle run by the University and will reach the student within 1-2 weeks. However, checks, eChecks, and 529 Plan payments are subject to a 21-day waiting period before CUNYfirst is able to release refunds back to students.

* Credit balances on your billing statement typically indicate you are due a refund, but that is not always the case.  Credit balances from certain financial aid, scholarships or third-party payments cannot be refunded to a student. Reductions in financial aid or other payments that occur after a refund was released will cause a due balance and must be paid back to the College immediately. It is best to inquire with the for more information.

Refunds are released standard mail to the student’s mailing address on file. Once the check is mailed, it should arrive within 5-7 business days.

  • Checks expire five months or 150-days from the check date. Students should cash their refund check promptly by depositing it into their bank account or cashing it for free at any Citibank branch
  • All refunds, except for those from a Parent-Plus Loan, are made payable to the student. This includes check payments made from an account owned by a parent, guardian, or other relation
  • Students who enroll in direct deposit will no longer receive paper checks by mail

Direct Deposit is a faster and safer alternative to paper checks. Direct deposit is an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction where money is electronically deposited into a checking or savings account. Students who do not have a checking account are strongly encouraged to open one. Several retail banks offer checking account options for college students. Inquire with your bank of choice on how to open up a college account.

To sign up for Direct Deposit, it is recommended that the student:

  • Be the sole owner of the bank account used to receive financial aid funds
  • Never share their CUNYfirst login or password information
  • Check with their financial institution (bank, credit union) before signing up
  • Ensure they are submitting their correct routing and account numbers to prevent any delays in receiving financial aid or a potential loss of financial aid funds if incorrect bank information was provided

Refunds are issued via Direct Deposit for students who have opted-in on CUNYfirst > Self Service > Campus Finances > Enroll in Direct Deposit. Students who enroll in Direct Deposit will no longer receive paper checks by mail, unless consent is revoked in CUNYfirst.

Q. What happens if my refund check is lost or stolen?

A. Stop Payments are placed on paper checks when reported missing for more than 10-business days from the date of issuance. Students must complete the Stop Check Form and e-mail it

Q. I added a checking/savings account in CUNYfirst, but have not received my scheduled direct deposit – what should I do?

A. Direct deposit issues or errors should be reported to Typically, the routing number and/or account number is incorrect. In this case, the transaction will fail. The student should update their checking/savings account by re-enrolling in Direct Deposit. A new refund is issued with 3-5 weeks.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their bank information is correct when they sign up for direct deposit. Funds incorrectly deposited to another account due to incorrect routing and/or account numbers may require the student to work directly with the financial institution to resolve the matter.

Students are financially responsible for courses they cancel as of the first official day of the semester and any day after. Tuition is proportionately charged as of the first official day of the semester and any day after. Prorated tuition charges are established by the Academic Calendar. Non-instructional fees are not prorated or waived.

  • Courses dropped before the official first day of the semester: 100% refund
  • Courses dropped as of the semester’s first official day through the Withdrawal (W) date: 75%, 50%, or 25% refund
  • Courses dropped as of the Withdrawal (W) date: 0% refund