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 7250: Refunds

Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Revised: 12-15-1992, 12-06-1993, 01-22-2014

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

1. General

A payment submitted to the University by an individual may be subsequently refunded, based on a variety of circumstances. A refund is issued to the individual by the office or department where the original payment was accepted. The method of the original payment determines the method used in processing each refund.

2. Refunds of Tuition and Related Fees

2.1. Financial Aid Recipients

If a student received financial aid and subsequently dropped credit hours, the Student Financial Aid Office will determine what portion of any refund of tuition or fees will be returned to the financial aid program or student, in accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1992.

2.2. Payment Made by a Third Party

If a student's tuition or any other fee was paid by another source, such as a tuition waiver or an outside agency, any refund is applied back to the account or entity that made the original payment.

3. Refund Applied to Outstanding Account Receivable

If an individual owes any accounts receivable to the University and is eligible to receive a refund, the refund is not issued to the individual, but instead is applied to the account receivable. When the amount of the refund is less than the total account receivable, the refund is applied to the outstanding accounts in the following priority order:

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

When the amount of the refund is greater than the account receivable, the difference is refunded to the individual. 

4. Refund Processing

All University departments, including the Bursar's Office, issue refunds according to the following policies depending on how the original payment was made. Student refunds are processed weekly.

4.1. Original Student Account Payment Made by Cash or Cash Equivalent

If the original payment was made by cash, money order, cashier's check or traveler's check, and the student is not a financial aid recipient, the refund is normally issued during the week following the add/drop deadline.  Students may request a refund before the add/drop deadline by contacting the Bursar's Office.

4.1.1. Cash Refunds

Some University departments issue refunds in cash, up to a specified dollar amount providing they have a petty cash fund. The Bursar's Office does not issue cash refunds.

4.1.2. Direct Deposit Refunds and Refund Checks

The Bursar's Office processes student direct deposit refunds twice a week and issues refund checks weekly.  Checks are mailed to the student's current mailing address. Other departments request checks to be issued by either the Bursar's Office (student refunds only) or by issuing a check request to the University Accounts Payable Department.

4.2. Original Payment Made by Personal or Business Check

If the original payment was made by a personal or business check, there is a waiting period from the date of the original receipt before a refund is issued. The purpose of this waiting period is to ensure that the check submitted for payment is not returned by the bank. To avoid the waiting period an the individual may present proof that the check has cleared the account, such as a canceled check or bank statement. The refund will be processed as described above.

4.3. Original Payment Made by Credit Card

If the original payment was made by credit card, the refund is credited back to the credit card account. If a credit submitted by the University is returned by the bank because the credit card account has been canceled, a refund check may be issued.