1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements and procedures for unclaimed student refund warrants from tuition and fees at CU Boulder.

This procedure applies to the Bursar’s Office who issues batch refunds, on-demand warrants and Parent PLUS loan refund warrants to students and parents.

2. Reference

Colorado Department of Higher Education, State Funded Student Assistance Programs Guidelines (§901.04) https://highered.colorado.gov/Finance/FinancialAid/Policy/State-Funded-Student-Assistance-Programs-Guidelines-FY1718.pdf

Title IV Federal Aid Regulations (34 CFR §668.164) https://ifap.ed.gov/fsahandbook/attachments/1718FSAHbkVol4Ch1.pdf

3. Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the CU Boulder Offices of the Bursar and Financial Aid to ensure compliance with this procedure.

4. Procedure

A. General

Student refund warrants on the tuition and fee account resulting from an overpayment (resulting from e.g a general payment, financial aid, or a refund) are considered unclaimed property if they are over 120 days old, the student is no longer enrolled, and sufficient attempts have been made to contact the student and deliver the warrant. Unclaimed refunds are held in the General Fund Miscellaneous Revenue account and student accounts are reconciled individually.

B. Financial aid refund warrants

If the original refund was due to Title IV funds, then federal regulations (34 CFR § 668.164(l)) state that Title IV funds can never escheat to a state or revert to the school or another third party. When financial aid refund warrants become stale dated, are returned in the mail, or if a direct deposit refund is rejected by the bank, the Office of Financial Aid returns the funds to the Department of Education. This occurs no later than 240 days after the check was first issued or within 45 days of receipt of the returned refund.

Refunds are considered Title IV funds only if Title IV aid is greater than allowable institutional charges and any direct payments to the student account for the term the refund was issued.

If the original refund was due to Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) financial, then CDHE Official Guidelines state that the institution must return the excess funds to CDHE if the dollars cannot be re-awarded to another student with the current fiscal year.  If this is not possible, the funds must be return the funds to CDHE by July 15.  These funds cannot be expended by the institution or expended in the following fiscal year. Refunds are considered state financial aid only if the aid is greater than allowable institutional charges and any direct payments to the student account for the term the refund was issued.

Policy Profile

  • Source: Steve McNally, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance
  • New Source: Laura Ragin, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Controller
  • Approved by: Senior Vice Chancellor & Chief Financial Officer
  • Effective Date: February 21, 2011