1. When Are Refunds Available?
Your refunds will be available approximately three business days after you see the Refund of Financial Aid or Refund transaction posted to your student account. If you see a negative balance on your student account, that means you have a credit balance and a refund will be issued to you. You will know that your refund has been generated when the negative credit balance goes to a zero balance.

2. I’m not expecting a refund, should I still sign up for electronic payment methods?
Yes, it is recommended that students enroll in an electronic payment method. During your stay at CUNY a refund may be generated for you because of a scholarship, an excess of financial aid received, a loan, or due to an overpayment of your tuition and fees.

3. Is there a waiting period for receiving refunds?
Most refunds will be processed in the upcoming weekly cycle that the University runs; however, the following types of payments are subject to a waiting period before CUNYfirst is able to release refunds back to students:
1) Checks: 21 days
2) 529 Plan Payments: 21 days

4. Why am I unable to enroll in the Scholar Card?
The CUNY Scholar Card is open to students who have authorized Financial Aid, have active enrollment with CUNY and are not enrolled in Direct Deposit. Eligible students will receive an email notification confirming their eligibility.

5. I received an email inviting me to enroll in the CUNY Scholar Card, what are the next steps?
In order to enroll in the Scholar Card, follow the link to the Money Network enrollment site and enter the required information to verify your identity.

  • Student ID: CUNYfirst EMPLID
  • School Email Address: CUNYfirst preferred email address
  • Date of Birth

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6. What are the fees associated with the CUNY Scholar Card?
The fees associated with the CUNY Scholar Card are located in the Mastercard Fee Schedule.

7. Where can I find more information about the CUNY Scholar Card?
Visit www.cunyscholarcard.com.

8. I do not want to opt for an electronic payment method, how can I update my address to receive refund checks?
Refund checks for students who have not signed up for electronic payment methods are sent to the student’s mailing address. To verify this address, students should log in to CUNYfirst Self -Service > Personal Information:

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9. How do refunds of PLUS Loans work?
If your parents are borrowing through the PLUS Loan program, any excess funds will be refunded to them directly. Refund of PLUS Loans will be issued by paper check.

10. Can I cancel my loan by not cashing my refund check?
Not cashing a refund check does not cancel any loans that have been disbursed to your student account. To cancel a loan, you must return the check to the Bursar’s Office with an explanation that you do not want it. Make sure to also consult with your college Financial Aid Office.

11. Why did I receive a check when I have an outstanding balance?
There are several reasons why students may be issued a check and owe a balance on their student account. You are responsible for paying the balance on your account if one remains even after you receive a Refund of Financial Aid:

  • Some types of aid can only be used to pay for certain types of charges. Therefore, you could receive a refund even if you have outstanding charges on your student account from the current term or previous terms.
  • Subsequent activity after your refund was generated by CUNYfirst may be the reason for having an outstanding balance on your account. Such activity could be registering for additional classes, newly incurred fees, or loss of certain aid.

12. Why does CUNYfirst show my Financial Aid awards but has not issued me a refund yet?
You may be viewing your pending aid which is aid that you have been awarded but has not yet been released to pay your tuition and fees.

13. What type of account can be used for direct deposit?
CUNYfirst Self-Service provides the option of enrolling with a savings or checking account.

14. What should I do if my banking information changes? How can I change my Direct Deposit Enrollment information?
It is important to keep your direct deposit information up to date. You can change your Direct Deposit information in CUNYfirst Self-Service.

15. Where do I find my bank’s Routing Number?
The Routing Number is sometimes referred to as the Transit Number or the ABA (American Banker’s Association) Number.  The Routing Number is used to identify the particular financial institution that you bank with and it can be found:

  • Checking Accounts – The routing number is found at the bottom of your personal check.
  • Savings and Other Types of “Savings” Accounts – Deposit slips may not include the correct routing number. For accounts other than checking accounts, contact your financial institution to obtain the correct routing number to use.

Warning: A bank may have several routing numbers associated with it. Be mindful to enter the specific routing number listed on your check or provided by your bank to prevent delays in processing your refunds.

16. How many accounts can I have my student refund deposited to?
You may only specify one account at any given time.

17. How will I know when my refund is posted to my bank or Scholar Card account?

  • Direct Deposit: You may verify your deposit by calling your bank, checking your balance through your bank’s ATM or web banking service.
  • CUNY Scholar Card: You may verify the account details by using the free Money Network Mobile App or using the nearest Allpoint Network ATM. You may also set account alerts for email or text message notifications by logging into your online account.

18. What happens to my refund if I had direct deposit and closed my account, but didn’t update the information on CUNYfirst Self Service?

Most likely, the refund will be returned to CUNY from your bank as a direct deposit rejection. We will update CUNYfirst by reversing the refund.

19. What will happen if a refund is rejected by my financial institution due to a problem with the account?
Most likely, the refund will be returned to CUNY from your bank as a direct deposit rejection. We will update CUNYfirst by reversing the refund.

The next time CUNY creates refunds, a new refund will be generated to you. This process takes about two weeks. We will inactivate your invalid direct deposit account so make sure to update CUNYfirst with your new bank account information. Checks will be issued to your mailing address if new bank account information is not entered.

Contact your Bursar’s Office of your bank if you have specific questions about a direct deposit rejection.

20. Who should I contact for further questions about my refund?
Students may contact their campus Bursar’s Office for additional questions.

21. Are refund checks mailed to international addresses?
No. Students must enter a United States mailing address to be issued a check. Checks are not mailed to international addresses.

22. When should I cash my refund check?
Checks expire 5 months or 150 days from the check date. Students should cash their refund check promptly by depositing it into their bank account or cashing it for free at any Citibank branch.

23. What if I have misplaced/damaged my check?
Reach out to the office of the Bursars to inquire about a replacement check.