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Bursar's Office


In addition to collecting payment, the Bursar's Office is also responsible for processing tuition and fee refunds.  

PLEASE NOTE:  Allow 2 – 3 weeks for the processing of refunds.  Paper or electronic check payments will delay the processing of refunds by 14 days.

Tuition and Course Refunds

There are a variety of reasons that you may be eligible for a refund including:

  • excess of financial aid
  • change in residency status
  • dropping courses
  • changing to part-time status or hour reduction
  • withdrawing from the university

Withdrawal Dates and Deadlines

Withdrawing from class can have both an academic and financial impact. For information regarding academic withdrawal, please review the withdrawal information provided by the University Registrar. You can also view the Parts of Term Dates and Deadlines located in the Academics section of

Review important payment dates and deadlines »

Calculating Your Refund

Student refunds for tuition are calculated based on total hours you're taking plus the liable portion of your dropped or withdrawn courses. 

  • Liable hours are calculated as the total hours a student is still registered plus the liable portion of the dropped/withdrawn course(s).
  • The liable portion is calculated by multiplying the number of dropped hours by the liability rate (100% minus the refund percentage).
  • If you are liable for 12 or more hours, you are not eligible for a refund.


You were originally registered for 16 hours, but dropped six hours so that you are now enrolled in 10 hours.

liable hours = 10 hours + liable portion of six hours

  • If your liable hours (10 hours + liable portion) are 12 or more, then no refund is issued.
  • If your liable hours (10 hours + liable portion) are less than 12, then you are eligible for a refund.


Receiving Your Refund

Direct deposit to your bank account is the most convenient way to receive your student account refunds. Set up direct deposit through Self Service Carolina in the account information tab. Otherwise, a paper check will be issued. If the student’s address is incorrect, you may make the change on SSC.

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) has issued a rule requiring that all ACH web debits are validated before they are used to make a payment or receive a refund. To ensure that the University of South Carolina is following the new rule that was effective March 19, 2021, we are using prenoting to validate accounts.  During the prenoting process, we will send a zero-dollar transaction file to the bank to validate if your account is active. 

The validation process can take 3-5 business days. You will not be able to make payments or receive a refund using your checking account until your account has been validated. The prenote process will notify you if your payment method cannot be validated. Sign up 5 -7 days ahead of the time you expect to receive a refund by following instructions on our SSC Tutorials page under Signing Up for Direct Deposit.

If you are expecting a refund from a Parent PLUS loan, the refund will go to the parent unless otherwise specified on the Parent PLUS application.

Parents now have the option to receive their refund electronically.  When a refund to a parent is processed, the parent may receive several automated emails requesting missing information, such as a missing SSN, Date of Birth or refund account.  The user has until approximately noon the day after the email was sent to set up their eRefund information or the refund will be issued as a paper check. The email address, SSN and Date of Birth must match the borrower’s information on the PLUS loan application. Parents that are not authorized users on a student’s account must sign in using the Authorized User link at using an initial password that is provided in a separate email.

If the refund is issued by paper check, it will be issued to the parent’s permanent address indicated on the PLUS loan application. If the address for the parent is incorrect, the parent must submit a signed, written statement to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to the attention of the PLUS program coordinator with the student’s name, ID and the correct address.

Stop Payments

You may request a stop payment on your refund check and begin the process of reissuing another check if:

  • it never arrived after 14 days
  • was lost or stolen
  • was completely destroyed
  • has an expired/stale date

When you submit a stop payment request to the Bursar's Office, the process may take 10 to 14 days and there may be a $30 processing fee for all reissued checks. Reissued checks are posted to your student account and will pay any current and prior semester charges prior to being refunded.  Please verify and update your addresses in Self Service Carolina.

Declining Your Financial Aid

Never write “VOID” across the face of the check if you no longer want to accept your financial aid. Please contact the Bursar’s Office for instructions on returning a refund check. If you wish to decline your financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 803-777-8134.

Cash Checks in a Timely Manner

Federal regulations require you to cash a federally funded (Title IV) refund check within a timely manner and all refund checks expire 180 days (six months) from the issue date of the check. The Bursar’s Office will attempt to notify you beginning at 90 days of any uncashed refund checks. If your refund check expires with no action from you, the refund check will be cancelled and the funds returned to the appropriate loan or grant programs.

Undeliverable Checks

  • Financial aid and regular student refunds are issued to the address on your student record. You are responsible for keeping your personal contact information up to date in Self Service Carolina
  • If your refund check is deemed undeliverable by the post office, we will contact you by email asking you update your address.
  • Unclaimed non-Title IV student refunds will be forwarded to the State Treasurer’s Office Unclaimed Property Program.

Other Refunds

Fees are not refundable after the 100% refund period. This includes lab fees, technology fees, enrichment fees, tuition for 17+ credit hours, etc.)

Housing and meal plan charges are not automatically refunded by the Bursar's office. Please contact the department directly for refunds:

  • Housing Refunds: 803-777-4283
  • Meal Plan Refunds (Carolina Card office): 803-777-1708

Title IV Funds are awarded with the expectation that students will complete the entire period of enrollment. These funds include:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford
  • Subsidized Federal Stafford
  • Federal Perkins
  • Federal PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Federal Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant

Students "earn" a percentage of the funds that are disbursed with each day of class attendance and must complete more than 60% of the enrollment period to earn all funding received. Students who withdraw before this timeframe may have to repay funds and credit that they have already received for tuition, fees, housing and/or meals. 

Please refer to the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.

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