The Importance of Having Refund Options
Adding COVID-19 on top of regular withdraw reasons, refund options for students in higher education have never been more important
Having refund options provides flexibility and positively impacts international students
Students and families are allowed to pick different ways to receive their refunds, making it convenient for everyone’s current situations
When students receive government money from FAFSA submissions or student aid, sometimes they receive more than is needed for tuition. At that point, the remainder of that money is owed to the student directly. Both domestic and international students rely on these extra funds to help with ancillary items such as off-campus housing, books, and transportation to and from campus. It’s more important than ever that students have quick access to these funds when they come available and institutions need federally-compliant ways of delivering this to their students. Nelnet Campus Commerce provides convenient and accessible refund options for students, their families, and the institution.
Jennifer Tobey, Nelnet Campus Commerce refund product owner, said schools can select between paper check, direct deposit, or a reloadable debit card to offer to their students as refund options.
Cindy Morehouse, associate bursar at Cornell University, said they have seen positive results since implementing the Nelnet Campus Commerce Refund solution.
“The majority of our students who receive refunds are on direct deposit – and that’s going up every day,” Morehouse said.
Refund options are especially essential during the pandemic, said Jill Rong, Nelnet Campus Commerce product manager.
COVID-19 adds another element that has to be attended to for individuals that have a hand in higher education. The pandemic makes refund options for students more important than ever before. Having quick access to these extra funds is crucial with potential part-time job losses. There may not even be part-time job options or temporary jobs available to students. Unfortunately, many students thought they would have these job options at the start of a term to help pay for their higher education. Institutions have had to shift in ways that have never happened before. A no-contact refund solution is especially important today to ensure our community is safe.
“With the Cares Act and distance learning, allowing students to choose the refund option that works best for them is important for the timely disbursement or funds,” said Rong.
Importance of having options
Tobey and Rong put together a list of three important reasons why refund options are essential for students and their families. Those reasons are:
- Allows flexibility
- Allows students and their parents to receive refund methods differently
- Positively impacts international students
Having multiple refund options gives students flexibility. Each student is unique in regards to their personal needs and what works best for their current situation. Students are able to select an option to receive their funds that is most beneficial and convenient for them, while balancing the busy road to graduation.
“I think it’s important for our students to be in charge of their education, and how they receive funds due to them,” Tobey said.
Parents and students do not have to pick the same type of refund option. A student’s lifestyle is going to be very different than their parents. Keeping this in mind, Nelnet Campus Commerce accommodates by allowing refunds to be sent through different platforms. For example, a parent may want their refund received via a paper check. The student may want their refund through a reloadable debit card. Parents and students have freedom to select what best suites their situation.
International students are greatly impacted by refunds of student aid. International students are able to receive their refund while being in their home country. This is really playing a role in the higher education world today because of the current pandemic and remote learning.
“I enjoy serving our institutions and student population because education is so important in life, and knowing students are working hard to get an education is very rewarding,” Tobey said.
To learn more about the Nelnet Campus Commerce refund options, visit campuscommerce.com.
Author: McKenzie Beach
McKenzie Beach is an Account Manger for Nelnet Campus Commerce. Graduating from Doane University with a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Leadership, she first joined Nelnet Campus Commerce as a content coordinator intern, she researched and communicated what is needed for our clients and the public. McKenzie is now an Account Manager, working directly with clients to further enhance their payments experience. When McKenzie is not working, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.