Billing, refunds and financial aid 2020-21
The Billing and Refund Information has several purposes: 1) to acquaint you with Bluffton University billing periods and financial policies; 2) to help you calculate what your costs will be; 3) to help you determine a suitable payment option. Please read this material carefully.
THE BLUFFTON YEAR
Bluffton's academic year has two semesters — fall and spring. The cost for each semester will be approximately the same for full-time students. Each semester will be billed separately.
Bluffton offers two payment options:
- Payment-in-Full by Semester (preferred method)
- Ten-Month Payment Plan
You must select one of these options by indicating your choice on the 2020-21 Payment Information Form. The Payment Information Form needs to be completed, signed and returned to the Business Office no later than August 10, 2020. If you choose the monthly payment plan, your first payment is due by July 15, 2020. SUBSEQUENT PAYMENTS WILL BE DUE ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH.
The following payment options are acceptable:
- Payment-in-Full by Semester option. The Fall Semester bill is due by August 10, 2020 and the Spring Semester bill is due by January 8, 2021 for all students. The bill is calculated on the costs for that semester as of the date the bill was generated. Adjustments to charges during the semester may increase, or decrease, the balance on the account.
- Ten-Month Plan. The student's ESTIMATED yearly costs (assumes 12-17 academic hours per semester) are divided into ten equal installments. Payments begin in July and continue through April. Your first payment is due by July 15, 2020 with subsequent payments due on the first of each month. Additional charges that are added to your student account must be paid at the time they are incurred. An example of these charges may include, but are not limited to: bookstore charges, lab fees, change in tuition hours, Cross Cultural program fees, etc.
Payment toward your student account may be paid with check, cash and credit cards. If you have selected the Monthly Payment Plan option, your payments can also be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account by authorizing an ACH (Automated Clearing House) charge from your account. Please contact the cashier of the Business Office by e-mailing email@example.com with your request for an “ACH Authorization” form. A 3% convenience fee applies to credit card transactions for payment of tuition, room & board and fees on student accounts. When submitting payments, please identify the student by indicating the student’s name and ID number.
BILLING & STATEMENTS
The business office will send a bill in June for the Fall Semester and another bill in December for the Spring Semester. You can view your student account information online by going to https://my.bluffton.edu/ics and logging in with your student username and password.
Throughout the semester, the Business Office will notify students regarding their unpaid balance. If you elect to have paper statements sent to your parents, or to another address, the waiver, with signature, must be completed (see 2020-21 Payment Information Form).
The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the release of information on a student's account to anyone other than that student without written permission. This authorization form (FERPA – Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act) is available on our website at http://www.bluffton.edu/admission/forms/index.html#financial. If this FERPA information is not provided, our staff will not be authorized to discuss student information with anyone other than the student.
FINANCIAL AID FOR RETURNING STUDENTS
- Submit the FASFA every year to renew your financial aid. Bluffton's priority deadline for filing the FASFA is May 1 of each year.
- Bluffton's scholarship and grants renewal policy
- Financial aid awards are processed beginning in April after you register for fall classes, as long as all other requirements are met
- Review your financial aid and business office accounts
- Federal and private loan information
- Satisfactory academic progress
UNPAID ACCOUNT POLICIES
Bluffton expects that all students will follow one of the payment options described above. We treat unpaid accounts as follows:
A. Bluffton will add interest at the rate of one percent per month to accounts not current. This represents an annual interest charge of 12 percent. The interest is charged on the entire unpaid balance or, for students on payment plans, the larger of the delinquent amount or the unpaid balance.
B. Students with unpaid accounts are not allowed to enroll in a subsequent semester. All accounts past due must be paid in full before a student registers.
C. Bluffton will not issue transcripts, diplomas, teaching certificates or records of any kind for students having past-due accounts. Additionally, student paychecks from campus jobs will be held for students with past-due accounts.
2020-21 FEE SCHEDULE
|Yearly billing||Semester billing|
|Tuition (12-17 hours/semester)||$33,952||$16,976|
|Board (15 meal plan **)||5,760||2,880|
|Room damage deposit (new students only||100|
- Charge per semester hour if less than 12 hours: $1,415 per semester hour
- Charge per semester hour over 17 up to and including 20 hours: $999 per semester hour
- Charge per semester hour over 20 hours: $1,415 per semester hour
Residential students are initially billed for the Premier 15-meal plan. Each meal plan includes "Beaver Bucks," dollars that can be used to purchase food items in the snack bar or additional meals in The Commons. Residential students are required to choose one of three meal plans: Full Value 20 plus meal plan, Premier 15 Plus meal plan or Basic 10 Plus meal plan. First-year students must select between the 20 meal plan or the 15 meal plan their first semester, and have the option of selecting the 10 meal plan beginning their second semester. Commuter and apartment meal plans are also available.
** Meal plan per semester
|20 meal plan||$2,999|
|15 meal plan||$2,880|
|10 meal plan||$2,764|
|Apartment 70 block||$1,089|
|Commuter 5 meal plan||$1,089|
Additional special fees:
|* Rooming in Neufeld or Ramseyer, per semester||$100|
|Super single, per semester||$750|
|Riley Court Apartment with 70 Block Meal Plan, per semester||$5,143|
|Private music lessons, per credit hour, in addition to tuition||$185|
|Accompaniment fee, per credit hour
in addition to tuition and private lessons fee
|Audit, per course
There may be additional fees for auditors in courses using special supplies or equipment
|Becoming a Scholar Fee (non-refundable after first day of class)||$115|
|Vehicle registration, per semester||$25|
|Credit by exam||$75|
|Transcripts, per copy||$7.50 electronic/
|Returned payment fee (non-sufficient funds)||$15|
CASH CREDIT BALANCES; TITLE IV FUNDS AVAILABILITY AND USE
The following statements are provided as required by federal regulations.
Payments and disbursements of financial aid sometimes create credit balances on student accounts. Federal regulations stipulate that a credit balance can only be kept on the account for future charges upon written authorization from the student or the student's parent. Bluffton University does not pay interest to students/parents on student accounts that have credit balances.
In addition, if a student/parent wishes to use Title IV funds (Federal Pell/SEOG/Direct Loan and or Parent Plus) to cover any institutional charges above tuition and fees, room and board, (i.e., vehicle registration, etc.) the student/parent must sign an authorization statement each year provided by the business office. The student/parent is not required to sign the authorization statement, but if one is signed, it may be rescinded at any time. See Payment Information Form to sign the authorization to use Title IV funds for items other than tuition and fees, room and board.
Finally, federal regulations require that "a student or student's parents be notified of the amount of Title IV, HEA (Higher Education Act) program funds the student can expect to receive, and how and when those funds will be paid." Much of this information is outlined in the billing and refund information, 2020-21 packet. Specific reference to billing and cash management is also outlined in materials sent from the financial aid office, specifically the award letter, the policies brochure. Additional copies are available upon request from the financial aid office.
Students who withdraw from Bluffton University and follow the approved withdrawal procedures (see University Catalog) will receive refunds for instructional fees, room, and board according to the following schedule:
- Up to and including the first day of classes in the semester 100% refund
- From 2nd day to 10% period of time in the semester 90% refund
- After 10% and up to 20% period of time in the semester 80% refund
- After 20% and up to 30% period of time in the semester 70% refund
- After 30% and up to 40% period of time in the semester 60% refund
- After 40% and up to 50% period of time in the semester 50% refund
- After 50% and up to 60% period of time in the semester 40% refund
- After 60% period of time in the semester No refund
Students who withdraw before the 60% period in time will have a percentage of their aid (including federal Title IV aid) returned to the aid program by the school and possibly by the student. The amount of federal aid (other than work study) to be returned is equal to the total federal aid that was disbursed for the term multiplied by the percentage of the term not attended.
If a refund amount is owed to the student, but the student has outstanding institutional charges, or if the student owes a repayment of a cash disbursement for non-institutional costs, the university will automatically apply the refund amount to those charges or repayment. Bluffton will also notify the student in writing if either situation has occurred.
Students who are Title IV (federal aid) recipients will have the return of those funds and repayments calculated and distributed as prescribed by federal law and regulation. These distribution schedules are available to all prospective and currently enrolled students by contacting the financial aid office.
Bluffton University reserves the right to not provide refunds for tuition, fees, room, board or other services that the University suspends due to an emergency, act of God, force majeure, or other exigency.
The information above is for the 2020-21 academic year and is subject to change for subsequent years
Questions about billing and payment options should be directed to the business office at 419-358-3312. Questions about financial aid should be directed to the financial aid office at 419-358-3266.