Student Accounts

Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid Refunds

When will I receive my refund?

We start to receive financial aid funds approximately six weeks into the term, although it can be longer for summer terms. Students are sent an email when their loan funds arrive. If a credit balance remains on your account after your tuition, fees and other authorized charges are paid, a refund will be issued to you within seven days. When you see your refund processed on your ESC account, your funds will be sent to Higher One on the next business day. If you have not selected a refund choice at with the information on your Higher One card, your refund will be delayed. For more detailed information, please see our Anticipated Financial Aid Refund Dates page.

Why do I need a Higher One card?

You will use the information on the Higher One card to register your refund choice at All financial aid refunds are processed through Higher One, so you must select one of the following refund methods: a direct deposit into your own bank account, open a Higher One account, or receive a Higher One paper check. If you decide to open a Higher One account, your card will serve as your debit card; otherwise, your card only serves as the means to make changes to your refund preference.

How do I choose my refund preference?

Your Higher One card is your key for entry into the Higher One system, where you choose how you want your refunds delivered. Information is contained in the system to authenticate you as a user, making it is easy to select your refund preference. Upon receiving your card, simply go to and enter your 16-digit number to begin the activation process.

Do I have to open a bank account with Higher One in order to receive my refund?

No, for no additional fees or charges, you may choose to have your refund direct deposited into your own bank account, or to receive a Higher One paper check. 

I have withdrawn from my classes. Can I keep my refund?

The number of credits for which you are registered is one of the eligibility requirements for financial aid. If you withdraw from any or all of your classes, it is possible that your financial aid eligibility for the current and future terms will be affected. You are ultimately responsible for maintaining eligibility for your financial aid and if you receive a refund from financial aid for which you are not eligible, the funds must be returned and you may owe a balance due. Please read The Impact of Withdrawing on Financial Aid for more information.

Make your refund selection at

Higher One, Inc. FAQ

Higher One, Inc.'s FAQ web page.


Contact the Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.