University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 7230: Financial Aid Disbursement

Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Revised: 02-01-1993, 01-22-2014

Process Owners: University Controller and HSC Senior Executive Officer for Finance and Administration

1. General

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 Bursar's Office 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. Bursar's Office

All financial aid, except payroll checks earned through a student employment program, is disbursed to students by the Bursar's Office. The Bursar's Office deducts charges owed to the University from financial aid prior to releasing any funds to students.

3. Scheduling of Financial Aid Disbursement

Available financial aid is disbursed to students prior to the first day of the semester.  As more aid is awarded throughout the term, the Financial Aid Department disburses this aid to the students' account.  The Bursar's Office will disburse any credit balances weekly throughout the semester.

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 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:

  1. Tuition and student fees
  2. Other enrollment-based fees 
  3. Short-term loans and interest 
  4. University Bookstore 
  5. Housing 
  6. Other accounts

5.2.1. University Bookstore Purchases

The University Bookstore allows students to charge purchases to their student account up to a specified dollar limit if students do not have a past-due hold on their accounts.

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.

6. Methods of Issuing Financial Aid

In most cases, the University issues a direct deposit into the bank account the student has set up on-line.  If a student has not set up a direct deposit account, a check will be sent to the student's mailing address.  A student receiving aid will receive a "net refund" if the amount of the financial aid award is greater than the amount due the University. 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 email on required procedures.