Billing, payment and refund policies

2023-24 details

Please read carefully 

The information provided on this page has several purposes:

  • to acquaint you with Bluffton University billing periods and financial policies
  • to help you calculate what your costs will be
  • to help you determine a suitable payment option.

We know that paying for college can be a lot of information at one time and confusing. Bluffton University staff are ready to assist you! If you have questions, please email cashier@bluffton.edu and a team member will respond to you within 24-48 hours. We do try our best to respond in the same business day if possible. 

Financial aid for returning students >


Billing 

We want families to be proactive in their financial commitments. Bluffton University uses electronic billing (e-bill) as its official billing method. The student is responsible for viewing and paying their student account e-bill by the scheduled due date. Students will be sent an e-bill beginning June 30 and the first of every month thereafter if a balance remains. 

Bluffton’s academic year consist of two semesters; fall and spring. The tuition cost per semester is $17,749 (12-17 credit hours). Room/board and fees will vary based on the student’s selection.

Students can view their bill at any time and make a payment by logging into your my.bluffton.edu account (Select Student → Financial Information→ Make a Payment). The first time you log in, you will need to read and accept the terms of service agreement for enrollment at Bluffton University. 

PAYMENT options

The preferred payment option is to pay in full (minus any financial aid) each semester. The fall semester balance is due on or before Aug. 1 and the spring semester balance is due on or before Jan. 2. There is no fee for this payment option. To make a payment, log into your my.bluffton.edu account (Select Student → Financial Information→ Make a Payment)

If not opting to pay in full each semester all other students must sign up for an approved payment plan and be up to date on the plan to move forward in the financial clearance process and obtain move-in ready status. (Payment plan options will be available on July 1).

NOTE: An enrollment fee of $20 is required for each payment plan. To set up a payment plan, go to your my.bluffton.edu account (Select Student → Financial Information→ Make a Payment)

Payment option descriptions
  • Payment-in-full by semester: The fall semester bill is due on or before Aug. 1, and the spring semester bill is due on or before Jan. 2. The bill is calculated on the costs for that semester as of the date the bill was generated. Additional charges that are added to your student account must be paid at the time they are incurred. An example of these charges may include, but are not limited to: Bookstore charges, lab fees, change in tuition hours (e.g. overload), cross-cultural program fees, etc.  Please check your balance regularly.
  • Fall/Spring semester 5-month payment plan: This payment option is divided into five equal installments. There will be a $20 non-refundable enrollment fee each semester. Payments will be August through December (5 months) for fall semester, and January through May (5 months) for spring semester. For the fall payment plan, you must be enrolled by Aug. 1. For the spring payment plan, you must be enrolled by Jan. 2. Payments are due on the 15th of each month. Additional charges that are added to your student account will be added to your payment plan at your approval. If you deny the approval, you must make a separate payment towards the new charges. An example of these charges may include, but are not limited to: Bookstore charges, lab fees, change in tuition hours (e.g. overload), cross-cultural program fees, etc.
  • Annual 10-month payment plan: This payment option is divided into ten equal installments. There will be a $20 non-refundable enrollment fee. Students will input entire year budget of estimated charges and fees. Bluffton University will notify you of incorrect budgeted plans. Payments will be August through May. You must be enrolled by Aug. 1. Payments are due on the on the 15th of each month. Additional charges that are added to your student account will be added to your payment plan at your approval. If you deny the approval, you must make a separate payment towards the new charges. An example of these charges may include, but are not limited to: Bookstore charges, lab fees, change in tuition hours (e.g. overload), cross-cultural program fees, etc.

HOW TO PAY YOUR STUDENT ACCOUNT BALANCE

Payment toward your student account may be paid with the following:

  • Check
    • If mailing a check, please include the students name and ID number and send to:

Bluffton University
Business Office
1 University Drive
Bluffton, OH 45817-2104

  • Credit cards (online only)
    • Students:
      • Sign in to my.bluffton.edu with your username and password. (Select Student → Financial Information→ Make a Payment.) This will take you in to CASHNet
    • Parent/Guardian:
      • Pay online after receiving login information. Go to my.bluffton.edu. Sign in with your username and password. (Select Parent → Financial Information→ Make a Payment. This will take you in to CASHNet. Click Make a Payment.)
    • NOTE: 2.75% convenience fee applies to all domestic debit or credit card transactions. International credit cards are 4.25%.
  • ACH/eCheck
    • This option is FREE! By selecting ACH payment option, your payments can be deducted from your checking or savings account. Make sure that you follow the instructions very carefully and properly input your bank’ s routing number and account number. 
  • 529 Payment
    • Please have the 529 company include the students name and ID number and send checks to:

      Bluffton University
      Business Office
      1 University Drive
      Bluffton, OH 45817-2104
  • VA Payment
    • Notify the business office when a VA payment is being processed and on the way to the university for payment. When submitting payments, identify the student by indicating the student’s name and their Bluffton University ID number.

      Bluffton University in accordance with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover the individual’s inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement of a payment by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This policy is limited to tuition funds paid by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

FINANCIAL AID FOR RETURNING STUDENTS
  • Submit the FASFA every year to renew your financial aid. Bluffton’s priority deadline for filing the FASFA is May 1 of each year. The FAFSA school code for Bluffton University is 003016.
  • Financial aid awards are processed beginning in April after registering for fall classes, as long as all other requirements are met.

UNPAID ACCOUNT POLICIES

Financial Hold: 
If a student fails to pay their account balance or any monies due and owing Bluffton by the scheduled due date, the university will place a registration hold on their student account, preventing them from registering for future classes (cf. terms of service agreement).

Late Payment Charge:  
If students fail to pay their account balance or any monies due and owing Bluffton by the scheduled due date, Bluffton may assess a late payment fee or apply interest charges of 1% of the unpaid balance to the student account until the past due account is paid in full.

FERPA

The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the release of information on a student’s account to anyone other than that student without written permission. The FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act) authorization form is available on my.bluffton.edu. Select Student → Give Permissions to my Data (FERPA).

If students want Bluffton to share information from their education and or associated financial record with someone else, the student must grant FERPA permissions to those whom they wish to have information released. If this FERPA information is not provided, our staff will not be authorized to discuss student information with anyone other than the student. Once a parent/guardian has been given permission to a student account, they will receive their own login for my.bluffton.edu.

COMMUNICATION

All communication from the business office uses the student’s Bluffton email as an official method of communication and therefore students are responsible for reading emails received from the business office. For questions or additional information, contact the business office at cashier@bluffton.edu. 

Refund policy

When a student submits written notice of withdrawal to the office of the registrar prior to the first day of classes, a full refund (100 percent) of institutional charges is made. If a student withdraws from the university on or before the add/drop deadline, as defined in the academic calendar annually, tuition will be refunded according to the schedule below.  

All courses dropped the first two weeks of classes will receive a 100 percent refund. During each consecutive week, the refund is reduced by 25 percent each week. After the fifth full week of classes, no refund is granted. Example:

  • Until the expiration of the add/drop period: 100% of tuition and fees.
  • After the add/drop period, the student refund is reduced by 25% of tuition for each week thereafter.
  • After the 2nd full week of class up to the third full week of class - 75% of tuition
  • After 3rd full week of class and up to the fourth full week of class - 50% of tuition
  • After 4th full week of class and up to the fifth full week of class - 25% of tuition
  • After the 5th full week of class: No refund
Room: Rooms are reserved for each student for an entire semester. After add/drop, no refund of room charges is made except in cases of severe illness or incapacity.

Meal plans: Following the add/drop period, cancellation of a meal plan will result in a $100 charge and the meal plan will be refunded on a prorated weekly basis (Sunday – Saturday) through the 3rd full week of class. Thereafter, no refund will be administered. 

Students with special circumstances who intend to return to the university in the following semester may submit a written appeal to cashier@bluffton.edu. Student refunds for approved student appeals will follow the federal financial aid refund policy.

UNIVERSITY/FEDERAL/STATE FINANCIAL AID REFUND POLICY

Any student who withdraws from Bluffton University prior to completing 60 percent of the enrollment period or semester will have their university/federal/state financial aid returned to the grantees per the schedule below:

  1. Up to and including the first day of classes in the semester 100% refund
  2. From 2nd day to 10% period of time in the semester 90% refund
  3. After 10% and up to 20% period of time in the semester 80% refund
  4. After 20% and up to 30% period of time in the semester 70% refund
  5. After 30% and up to 40% period of time in the semester 60% refund
  6. After 40% and up to 50% period of time in the semester 50% refund
  7. After 50% and up to 60% period of time in the semester 40% refund
  8. After 60% period of time in the semester, no refund. Once a student has completed 60 percent of the period or semester, all financial aid assistance is considered to be 100 percent earned.

CASH CREDIT BALANCES:
FEDERAL TITLE IV FUNDS AVAILABILITY AND USE

(includes federal grants and loans)

The following statements are provided as required by federal regulations for the Title IV Funds. 

Disbursements of financial aid may create credit balances on student accounts. Federal regulations stipulate that if a credit balance is created by Title IV Funds, it can only be kept on the account for future charges upon written authorization from the student or the student's parent. Bluffton University does not pay interest to students/parents on student accounts that have credit balances. Refunds can be issued to the student or parent after the add/drop periods have been completed. If a credit occurs due to a Federal Parent Plus loan, the refund will be issued in accordance with the borrower’s intent as reflected on the PLUS loan application and award. 

Federal regulations require that “a student or student’s parents be notified of the amount of Title IV, HEA (Higher Education Act) program funds the student can expect to receive, and how and when those funds will be paid.” Specific reference to billing and cash management is also outlined in materials sent from the financial aid office, specifically the award letter and the policies brochure. Additional copies are available upon request from the financial aid office. 

STUDENT REFUNDS

The refund process begins the second week of classes. The refund process will close each semester no later than the last day of classes. Refunds will only be processed if the account has been overpaid and is reflecting a credit balance. 

DISTRIBUTION OF CREDIT BALANCES

Credit balances will be reviewed and refunded to the student on a weekly basis. A credit balance will not be refunded if the credit balance was created by work-study pay, an outside scholarship, payment plans, or if the student requests the credit stay on the account by emailing cashier@bluffton.edu. Once the refund process begins, refund batches are processed weekly and paid out on Fridays. Students may sign up for direct deposit by completing the "ACH Invite" sent out by Paymerang via email. Students who do not opt to have direct deposit will have a check mailed home to the address on file. Student may contact Paymerang to verify banking information by emailing support@paymerang or calling 877-680-7332.

***Students may request that no refunds be processed on their account by sending an email to cashier@bluffton.edu. The email will need to be sent from the student's Bluffton University email address. Bluffton University reserves the right to submit or cancel student account refunds at any time and without notice to the student. Additionally, if there is a pending charge that will post to the account while a refund is being processed, the refund may be voided and the credit balance may be placed back on the account in order to be applied towards the pending charge.

EMERGENCY POLICY

The university shall not be liable for any failure, delay or interruption in performing its obligations and duties herein stated due to causes or conditions beyond its control or which could not have been prevented or remedied by reasonable effort at reasonable expense. The university’s inability to perform any term or condition of this contract as a result of force majeure conditions beyond its control such as, but not limited to, strikes, fires, flood, government restrictions, acts of nature, epidemics, damage or destruction shall not be deemed a breach of this contract. In such case, the university’s liability will be limited to a pro-rata credit for non-graduating students or a pro-rata refund for graduating seniors. In addition, neither the university nor its officials, agents and employees are liable for the loss, theft, disappearance, damage or destruction at any time or in any place of any property belonging to, used by, or in custody of any resident no matter where such property may be normally used, kept or stored. Students are strongly encouraged to extend their family’s homeowner’s insurance or purchase specific renter’s insurance to cover personal belongings.

symptomatic students who refuse COVID-19 testing

Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and refuse testing must go home to quarantine until they are symptom-free, following the Allen County Health Department (or their local health department) protocol or they will be administratively withdrawn.

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