How to Request a Refund

Any student with an actual credit balance/overpayment on his or her student account is eligible to request a refund. First, students should log into eCommon and click on View Bill. If you are showing a credit balance on your student account in eCommon, you may then choose "Request a Refund." If there is no refund button, then a refund is not available.

When & Where to Pick Up Your Refund

  • If you have an Accounts Payable Direct Deposit account set up, your refund will be deposited directly into your account.
  • If your refund is a paper check, it will be available for pick-up only at the Office of Student Accounts. 
  • Refunds for a semester will be available AFTER the add/drop period. Refund checks will be available two Fridays after the request is made.
  • Emerson will no longer accept emailed refund requests.

Please note: Students have the ability to request refunds without the consent of the primary bill payer. The student account belongs to the student regardless of who makes payments on the bill. The student is the only person authorized to request a refund from his or her student account, regardless of who has made the payment. Students can monitor their accounts while waiting for an actual credit to appear by viewing their bill via eCommon.

Instructions for Setting up Direct Deposit Account

  1. Log into eCommon
  2. Click on the “Student Services” tab
  3. Under the “Personal Information” section, click “Direct Deposit Allocation”
  4. Click “Update Direct Deposit”
  5. Enter the following information:
    • Bank Routing Number – You may get this from your bank
    • Bank Account Number – You may also get this from you bank
    • Account Type – Indicate whether your account is a checking or savings account
    • Remaining Amount – Leave blank
    • Amount or Percent – Type in 100% percent. You are not allowed to set up multiple accounts for Refund checks.
    • Payroll Deposit – Leave blank
    • Accounts Payable Deposit – Check this off
  6. Click “Save.” You should be brought back to the prior page and see your account appear under “Accounts Payable Deposit.”

General Refund FAQs

When am I eligible to request a refund for my overpayment?

Students who overpay their accounts may apply to have the overpayment amount refunded to them. Refunds are granted to students only when a credit balance exists on the account. Refunds are not granted for anticipated payments, i.e., financial aid not yet disbursed.

In general, students must actually request a refund check in order to receive their funds. The exception to this rule applies to students who receive Federal Financial Aid and/or Federal Loans. Per federal regulations, Emerson will automatically refund credit balances caused specifically by Federal financial aid payments after the add/drop period ends, or as the funds are disbursed, whichever is later.

What about disbursed loans for living expenses?

Student Accounts and Financial Aid are aware many students rely on loan money to pay for off-campus living expenses, such as food and rent. Students should understand, however, that refunds—including from loans—are not available at the very beginning of the semester.

Some students may borrow additional educational loans to assist with off-campus living expenses or for indirect expenses, such as books and supplies. As the student’s payments, grants, and loan funds are received by the College, they are credited (or disbursed) to the student’s account. Once all direct costs are paid, any financial aid or payment received over the amount due will create a credit. Once students are showing an actual credit on their account, they may request a refund.

In general, you should not rely on refunds for living expenses until first week of October at the earliest for the fall semester, and second week of February for the spring semester.

How will I be notified I'm eligible to request a refund?

Emerson will not notify you when you are eligible for a refund. You can determine if you're eligible by reviewing your account on eCommon.

When a refund check has been processed for you, you will receive an email to notify you the check is ready for pickup at the Office of Student Accounts.

If you fail to request a refund during the academic year, the credit on your account will carry forward into the next academic year. If you graduate or withdraw from Emerson with a credit balance on your student account, the Office of Student Accounts will send a refund check to the last address you provided the College usually within 60 days from the end of your last semester/term.

When and how do I receive my refund check?

If you are making a refund request, checks are typically available for pickup at the Office of Student Accounts two Fridays after your request is received. The first refund process of each semester begins after add/drop period. Therefore, you can not receive a refund until the add/drop and then the two-Friday rule is in effect.

If you are a student who receives federal financial aid and that aid causes a credit balance that exceeds the minimum amount as defined by the College, an automatic refund check will be processed for you. Federal financial aid refunds are processed a week after the add/drop period ends or a week after your aid is disbursed, whichever is later. You will receive an email to your Emerson email account informing you that an automatic refund has been processed.

All checks are processed in the student’s name and held at the Office of Student Accounts for pickup unless:

  • the overpayment is due to a Federal Parent PLUS Loan (see below)
  • the student is studying at a campus other than Boston. If you are at a campus other than Boston, you must indicate in your request where you would like the check mailed.

What if I can't pick up my refund check at the Office of Student Accounts?

If you are enrolled in the Kasteel Well program, the LA program, or another non-Boston campus program, your check will be mailed to you. Please allow additional time for mailing to Europe and Los Angeles. All other students should make arrangements to pick up their checks at the Office of Student Accounts during normal business hours.

Any unclaimed refund checks after 21 days are mailed to students' local addresses as listed in eCommon. It is the student's responsibility to keep information on eCommon up to date.

What happens if there are charges that don't appear on my bill at the time of the refund?

There are times when not all charges appear on the bill at the time a student refund is issued. For example, students who use the taxi voucher system through the Emerson Police Department don't see the charges for taxi rides until the following month. Please be aware that you are responsible for paying the balance due on your bill.

Are there special rules for students with Federal Aid/Loans or parent who borrowed Federal PLUS Loans?

Yes, in compliance with federal regulations, all federal financial aid recipients whose federal funds exceed total tuition, room and board, and fees are automatically issued a federal refund within 14 days after the credit balance occurs or after the add/drop period ends, whichever is latest.

If a dependent student’s parent borrows through the Federal Parent PLUS Loan program, and the PLUS Loan creates the overpayment on the student account, federal regulations require the school to send the refund directly to the parent borrower of the PLUS Loan.

What happens if the College determines a refund was issued in error?

The College has the right to reclaim refunds issued in error. Should this occur, a stop payment order is placed on the check and the student is notified of the reason. If the check has been cashed, a written request for return of funds is provided for the student. Normal collection procedures apply.

Direct Deposit FAQs

Emerson College now offers Direct Deposit as an option for receiving your refund check.

Why is this change taking place?

Direct Deposit of Student Account refunds is safer, more convenient, and more secure. It improves turnaround time for the refund and reduces the costs of printing, mailing and distributing physical checks.

How long do I have to wait to get my refund?

Refunds received and processed by the Office of Student Accounts by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday will be submitted to your bank for direct deposit by Friday of the same week.

How do I know that a refund has been issued via direct deposit?

Student Account refunds will be deposited every Friday. An email will be sent to your official College email address at 8:00 a.m. on the actual deposit date. A direct deposit advice will be attached to the email. The deposit date appears in the top right corner of the advice.

Can I have more than one account for direct deposit?

You may only use one account for the Direct Deposit of your student refund.  You may access your direct deposit information by logging into eCommon and clicking on the Student Services tab.

What if my direct deposit goes to a closed bank account?

If your refund goes to a closed account, the receiving bank will return the payment to our bank. We will re-issue the refund by check no sooner than 5 business days after notification. This additional time is required to reconcile and ensure we do not duplicate payment. The Office of Student Accounts will notify you of the return and reach out to your Emerson e-mail address with instructions on how to change your account. If you do not change your account, you will receive a paper check the following week. You may collect your check from the Student Financial Services office located on the 4th Floor of the Union Bank building (216 Tremont Street).

Who has access to my banking information?

To ensure confidentiality, only you and Accounts Payable have access to the banking information provided.

What if my bank did not receive my direct deposit or the amount does not agree with the amount indicated on my deposit advice?

This is highly unlikely; however, if it should occur, please contact the Office of Student Accounts at bills [at] (bills[at]emerson[dot]edu) or 617-824-8655. They will initiate the appropriate action to correct the matter.

Whom should I contact if I have questions not addressed by the FAQs?

You should contact the Office of Student Accounts Accounts at bills [at] (bills[at]emerson[dot]edu) or 617-824-8655 regarding the amount of your refund or if your deposit does not appear in your bank account.

I have changed banks. How do I update my direct deposit information?

You may make changes to your direct deposit information at any time via your eCommon portal. You will select the Student Services tab and click the Direct Deposit Allocation link. Changes made after 11:59 p.m. on Sunday will not be reflected in the current week direct deposit cycle.

How soon after I update my Direct Deposit information will it take effect?

Changes to Direct Deposit Information will be updated the following morning. However, if we have already submitted your refund file to the bank for the week, your change will not be reflected. Because of this, changes should be made prior to 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday to ensure that they are deposited to the proper account that week.

I have a Parent PLUS loan, will these refunds be issued via Direct Deposit as well?

Parent PLUS refunds will continue to be paid directly to the borrower by check unless the borrower has indicated that the refund can go to the student.