Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 7230: Financial Aid Disbursement
Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Subject to Change Without Notice
Many types of financial aid are available to qualified students who are pursuing degrees at The University of New Mexico to assist them in meeting educational expenses. There are several general categories of student financial aid, including grants, loans, scholarships, and employment. The University Student Financial Aid Office is the primary source for financial aid awards. Agencies outside the University, particularly lending institutions, are another major source of aid to students.
2. Responsibility and Authority
The Student Financial Aid Office and the University Cashiers Department share responsibility for the disbursement of financial aid to students.
2.1. Student Financial Aid Office
The Student Financial Aid Office's responsibilities and functions within the disbursement process may be summarized as follows:
- Process student applications for financial aid, make awards based on Federal and State law and institutional policy, and generate credits to students' accounts.
- Interpret financial aid regulations and ensure compliance.
- Coordinate and maintain records of all student financial aid activity, regardless of the source of the funds.
- Account for and maintain stewardship of financial aid funds.
- Notify lenders on a timely basis when a student's enrollment status changes and no longer meets the minimum enrollment requirements.
No financial aid may be issued to students without the involvement of the Student Financial Aid Office. All financial aid checks and awards received from outside sources or issued by the University must be routed initially to the Student Financial Aid Office.
2.2. Cashiers Department
All financial aid, except payroll checks earned through a student employment program, is disbursed to students by the Cashiers Department. The Cashiers Department ensures compliance with financial aid regulations and policies and deducts charges owed to the University from financial aid prior to releasing any funds to students.
3. Scheduling of Financial Aid Disbursement
Financial aid is not disbursed to students prior to the first day of the semester. Each semester's disbursement is scheduled, usually over a one (1) week period. Each day's disbursement is confined to a range of student ID numbers (Social Security numbers).
In emergency situations, the Student Financial Aid Office may authorize the release of financial aid to a student prior to the first day of the semester. Disbursements prior to the first day of the semester are made available to handicapped students, student participating in the National and International Student Exchange programs, and workers in student service related departments.
4. Enrollment Requirements at the Time of Disbursement
At the time of disbursement, the financial aid recipient must be enrolled in at least a minimum required number of credit hours. The number of credit hours required is dependent on the type of aid being disbursed and the student's enrollment status, based on Federal and State law and/or institutional policy. If more than one type of aid is being disbursed simultaneously, the highest enrollment load requirement is used as the criterion. Credit hours associated with audited classes are not counted toward meeting minimum enrollment requirements for financial aid disbursement.
5. Accounts Receivable Deducted from Financial Aid
Student financial aid is awarded for the purpose of meeting educational expenses. At the time of disbursement, charges owed to the University are deducted from the financial aid on hand. Outstanding balances are deducted from the first available source and are not deferred until a subsequent financial aid check is received.
5.1. Financial Aid Greater than Accounts Receivable
If the total amount of financial aid on hand is greater than the total accounts receivable, the excess is disbursed to the student.
5.2. Accounts Receivable Greater than Financial Aid
If the total amount of accounts receivable is greater than the total amount of financial aid on hand, outstanding balances are deducted in priority order by account type as follows:
- Tuition and student fees
- Other enrollment-based fees
- Short term loans and interest
- Other accounts
5.2.1. Bookstore Purchases
If accounts (1) through (4) above are fully paid, the student may request a credit (up to $100) be applied to their Bookstore account to enable them to purchase books.
5.2.2. Loans and Deferred Payments Plans
Short term student loans, residence hall contracts, and all other deferred payment plans are due in full upon the receipt of financial aid, regardless of the due date specified in the note or contract. Exceptions may be authorized by the department that issued the note or contract.
6. Methods of Issuing Financial Aid
In most cases, the University issues a check made payable to the student. However, in some cases, the financial aid award is directly applied to the student's accounts receivable. On the designated disbursement date, a student receiving institutionally administered and awarded aid will receive a "net check" if the amount of the financial aid award is greater than the amount due the University. Students whose financial aid award is exactly equal to the amount due the University will be informed in writing that they do not need to report to the Cashiers Department. Students whose financial aid award is less than the amount due the University must pay the balance due or make arrangements for payment prior to the disenrollment deadline. Students will be notified by mail on required procedures. This alternative procedure, called Net Checking, is more efficient for both the student and the University and is used whenever possible.