Financial Aid

Credit Balances

A credit balance occurs when your financial aid and/or payments exceed the charges on your student account.

Refund Methods

There are three types of refund methods. 

  1. Nelnet, our third party vendor who refunds by:
    • Direct Deposit (the fastest method)
    • Deposit to a reloadable credit card
    • Paper Check
  2. Refund to a credit card
  3. Northwest University Check

Refunds are generally calculated on a weekly basis. Friday is the cutoff date.  On Tuesday, refunds to credit cards are processed and non-credit card refunds are sent to Nelnet.

Once Nelnet receives the refund file from the University, an email is sent to the student to confirm their method of refund; direct deposit, reloadable credit card or paper check.  If the student has not chosen a preferred method, the refund will be sent by paper check.  The refund schedule is as follows.

Direct Deposit - available in 2-3 days
Reloadable Debit Card - available in 2-3 days
Paper Check (Default) – delivered in 7-14 days

Signing Up for Nelnet

To sign up for Nelnet and have your refund sent to you by direct deposit, deposit to a reloadable credit card or a paper check, log onto your Eagle Account and click on “Manage Refunds”. From this site, you can enter your preferred method of refund. We encourage you to use direct deposit as that is the quickest way to receive funds.

FAQ’s

  1. How often are refunds issued?
  2. How will I receive my refund?
  3. How long will it take to get my refund?
  4. Who can have their refund processed through Nelnet?
  5. How do I sign up for a refund method with Nelnet (Student Choice Refunds)?
  6. What address will my paper check refund be sent?
  7. I received a notice from Nelnet that a paper check refund is being processed for me, but I forgot to update my permanent address at NU. What do I do?
  8. What if I want to receive paper checks but I don’t want the checks sent to my permanent address?
  9. I am a foreign student and do not have a US Bank account. How can I receive my refund check?
  10. Why did I receive a paper check refund from NU when I have already signed up for direct deposit at Nelnet?
  11. I received an email refund notification from Nelnet, but I want the credit to remain on my account.
  12. I have a credit balance on my account and I have received my refund.

How often are refunds issued?

Refunds are initiated weekly (usually Tuesdays) for accounts with credit balances at noon on Monday. The availability of these refunds depends on the refund method (see below) chosen by the student.

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How will I receive my refund?

NU contracts with a third-party vendor, Nelnet, to process our student refunds. Nelnet offers three Refund choices from which to choose:

Direct Deposit - available in 2-3 days
Reloadable Debit Card - available in 2-3 days
Paper Check mailed to permanent address (Default) – delivered in 7-14 days

However, students whose credit balances are caused from an on-line credit card payment will have their refund processed through their credit card.

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How long will it take to get my refund?

From the time, students receive the email notice from Nelnet that there is a refund being processed:

Direct Deposit - available in 2-3 days
Reloadable Debit Card - available in 2-3 days
Paper Check (Default) – delivered in 7-14 days

Students who receive an email notice from NU that their credit card has been refunded should see the credit on their account within 2-10 days (based on the timing of the credit card processor).

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Who can have their refund processed through Nelnet?

  • Current Students
  • US address (students whose Permanent address is foreign, should request Student Accounts or Accounting to add to the school’s database a special Refund Address for them using NU’s address or another of their choice.)
  • Active Permanent or Student Refund Address type in NU database
  • United States Bank Account (for those that choose ACH)

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How do I sign up for a refund method with Nelnet (Student Choice Refunds)?

Students can securely access the portal to Nelnet’s Student Choice Refunds from their student account page on the Eagle Website by selecting My Profile/My Account and clicking on Manage Refunds.

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What address will my paper check refund be sent?

NU uses the Active Permanent address on file at the point that the refund file is submitted to Nelnet, unless there is an active Student Refund Address.

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I received a notice from Nelnet that a paper check refund is being processed for me, but I forgot to update my permanent address at NU. What do I do?

You have two options within the first 24 hours (approximate) from receiving the Nelnet refund notification:

  1. A student can log into their Refund Choice Account and change their option to ACH or Reloadable Debit Card. Then log into Eagle and submit a permanent address change.
  2. Log into Eagle and submit a permanent address change. Then notify accountsreceivable@northwestu.edu that the address on the Nelnet refund check is incorrect. Unfortunately, at this point the address cannot be changed on the check. However, once Nelnet has issued the check, a stop payment can be placed on the check for a $30 fee. Then the accounting office can resubmit the refund request to Nelnet once Power Campus has been updated with the new address information. This entire process usually takes about a week.

If the 24 hour “change” window has closed, then notify accountsreceivable@northwestu.edu that a stop payment ($30 fee) needs to be issued on the refund check because the check was sent to the incorrect address.

  • A student can log into their Refund Choice Account and change their option to ACH or Reloadable Debit Card. Request that the check be reissued as an ACH.
  • Request that a replacement check be issued through Nelnet once Power Campus has been updated with the new address information. This process may take about a week.
  • Log into Eagle and submit a permanent address change.

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What if I want to receive paper checks but I don’t want the checks sent to my permanent address?

Notify accountsreceivable@northwestu.edu that you would like to add a Student Refund Address. Give us the address and length of time this address should be used for sending refunds. This address will be valid for all future refunds sent to Nelnet within the period given.

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I am a foreign student and do not have a US Bank account. How can I receive my refund check?

Any refund owed to you due to an overpayment that was not a credit card would need to be requested through studentaccounts@northwestu.edu. This refund will be issued by NU during our weekly check run and will be available at the cashier for pick-up. However, if the payment that caused the refund was from a credit card, then the refund will be applied back to the credit card.

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Why did I receive a paper check refund from NU when I have already signed up for direct deposit at Nelnet?

The most common reason for refunds to be rejected by Nelnet is an address problem. If the permanent address at NU is a foreign address, inactive or is missing a zip code, then Nelnet will reject the refund for processing and NU will instead issue a paper check that will be available at the cashier for those attending classes at the NU campus.

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I received an email refund notification from Nelnet, but I want the credit to remain on my account.

If your refund method is:

  1. ACH/Reloadable Debit Card: After funds have been deposited to your bank account or debit card, make a payment on your NU student account and email accountsreceivable@northwestu.edu with directions to hold your credit balance and the length of time (i.e. end of current semester or hold for upcoming term).
  2. Check: Within first 24 hours after Nelnet notification, change refund method to ACH/Reloadable debit card and follow directions in #1 above; or Wait for check to arrive and do one of the following:
    • Deposit check in bank account and make payment on NU student account.
    • Bring or mail (unvoided) check to NU cashier with request to apply as payment to student account.

Notify accountsreceivable@northwestu.edu that you want to hold the credit balance on your account through the end of the term or for the following term. Note this request will need to be renewed each term or school year.

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I have a credit balance on my account and I have not received a refund.

There are several situations that can cause a refund to be delayed including:

  • Financial aid recently applied, but after weekly student refund cutoff (Monday noon).
  • TMS contract (payment plan)
  • Parent Plus Loan (parent may have requested the funds held on the account)
  • VA student credit balances need review by VA Coordinator before refund issued
  • Tuition adjustment due to dropping classes – financial aid office reviews to confirm whether previously disbursed financial aid needs to be adjusted
  • Overpayment by personal check or credit card (assume student had a reason to overpay, wait for student to request refund)

Please contact studentaccounts@northwestu.edu to confirm why a refund has not been issued.

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