What’s Disbursement?: Let’s Talk Financial Aid Disbursement, Refunds & More!

It’s disbursement time, Ospreys! You might be asking yourself, “what in the world is disbursement?” It’s not as scary as it sounds – we promise!

When you secure financial aid funding, whether it is in the form of a grant or a loan, that funding shows as a credit to your bill because it is guaranteed by whoever is giving it to you (the federal or state governments, a private lender, etc). What you might not know is that this funding isn’t actually sent to the school right away. This funding is disbursed (sent) to the school on and continuing after the university’s disbursement date each semester.

This year, disbursement will begin on October 4, 2022 for the fall 2022 semester. This means that the sources of your financial aid will send the funding that you have secured to the school on Oct. 4. The confusing part can be that student’s don’t usually see any changes on their bill when disbursement occurs. Through this process, no changes are made to the student view of the bill because the aid credited to your account looked as though it was there all along. The change happens behind the scenes because the school has now received the money that was credited to your account.

The university will notify you when your federal direct loans (and if you have one, your TEACH Grant) are disbursed. After your loans disburse, you are assigned a loan servicer and the information becomes available on studentaid.gov.

Some students mistake their disbursement notification as an offer for additional loan funding. Please remember that no additional financial aid is being offered to you through this process, rather aid that you have already been offered and accepted is being sent to the university and applied to your bill.

Once you receive your disbursement notification, you have a right to cancel all or part of the disbursement within 14 days. Remember, because this is aid that already looked to you like it was applied to your bill, nothing on your bill actually changed- just behind the scenes. Know that if you reduce or cancel any portion of your loan, you may owe a balance to the Bursar’s Office and payment will be required. It’s always best to check your bill and consult with a financial aid counselor to review your account before making any changes.

Please Note: The only time aid will decrease or be removed from the bill as a result of disbursement is when a Parent or student has not completed the MPN for their PLUS Loan or when a student is not confirmed as attending in the number of credits required for a specific fund (ie. to receive federal direct loans, you need to be enrolled in and attending at least 6 credits).

Now you might be asking, “What does this have to do with my refund?”

The disbursement process is what allows refunds to be processed. Once Stockton receives the funding to pay your bill, the Bursar’s Office will begin to process refunds for anyone who received more than enough aid to cover their bill. You can check to see if you will receive a refund by viewing your bill within the Bursar tab of the goStockton portal. A negative number under your “Account Balance as of Today” indicates that you are receiving a refund.

Students who would like their refund directly deposited into their bank account can set up an appointment to enroll in direct deposit. Visit the Bursar’s webpage to set up an appointment.

Anyone who does not enroll in direct deposit and is entitled to a refund will receive a check in the mail.

Learn more about disbursements at stockton.edu/finaid. Learn more about refunds at stockton.edu/bursars.

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