Student Account Refunds

When the amount of funds applied to a student account are more than the total charges for the semester, a refund is processed. 

Before a refund can be processed, the funding must be secured by the student, and funding must be received and applied to the student account by Columbia Central. Refunds are issued either through direct deposit or mailed to the mailing address on file. 

Student Account Refund FAQs

  • Who receives the refund?

    The student receives part or all of the credit balance to the student account.

    If a student's parent borrows a Parent PLUS Loan, and a credit balance exists after the student has been provided all refunds to which he or she is entitled, Columbia Central will refund the credit balance from the PLUS Loan as appropriate:

    • If the Parent PLUS Loan borrower elects for his or her student to receive the refund, the credit balance will be refunded directly to the student.
    • If the Parent PLUS Loan borrower elects to receive the refund, any credit balance resulting from the disbursement of Columbia scholarships and a Parent PLUS loan will be refunded to the parent borrower.
    • Credits balances resulting from the disbursement of two or more Parent PLUS Loans from different borrowers will be refunded to both parent borrowers proportionally, based on the amount borrowed for the term.

    Refunds are issued to the student when at least one parent borrower authorizes refunds released to the student. Upon receipt of this request, all subsequent PLUS loan refunds for the academic year will be issued to the student regardless of subsequent Parent PLUS Loan applications received.

    If the parent borrower(s) want to change to whom the refund is issued (parent/student) after an application has been processed, they must complete a Refund Release Form and change the refund recipient. Refund Release Forms are available by contacting Columbia Central and are processed within 10 business days of receipt. The Refund Release Form must be reviewed and approved by Columbia Central prior to the issuance of a subsequent refund for which the parent borrower is requesting the change.

  • Why did I get a refund if I still have a balance?
    Federal Financial Aid from the current academic year cannot be used to pay an unpaid balance from a prior academic year. You may have been issued a Federal Loan refund for the current academic year but may still owe a past due balance for charges incurred prior to the current semester. Registration for future semesters, as well as the release of transcripts, will be restricted until your account balance is current.
  • When will I receive my refund?
    A student is entitled to a refund once he or she has a credit balance. Columbia scholarships, federal student loans, and private loans disburse to student accounts the week before classes begin. Federal Pell Grant and State of Illinois MAP Grant disburse to student accounts at approximately week 6 of the term.
  • Will my student account reflect the processing of a refund?

    You will be able to view your refunds on CCCPay when it is processed on your student account. Select the "Manage Refunds" link on the CCCPay home page.

    We strongly recommend that you sign up for direct deposit. If you have signed up for direct deposit, you can expect to receive your refund approximately 3-5 business days after it has posted to your student account.

    If you are not signed up for direct deposit, you will receive your refund check in the mail within three weeks. 

Academic Dates and Deadlines