Financial Aid Disbursements
- When your awards are disbursed to your CUNYfirst account, they will be applied to
any unpaid tuition and fee charges. If you have a financial aid credit balance after
the payment of your tuition and fees, you will receive a refund that will be electronically
deposited to your personal bank account or sent to your home address in the form of
a paper check.
- Please note the difference between a
disbursement and a
refund: your financial aid is disbursed to your CUNYfirst account, not to you personally.
Only after all charges on your account are satisfied will you see your refund. Refunds
are processed 3-5 days after a financial aid payment appears on your CUNYfirst account.
Keep this timeframe in mind when doing your financial planning. Learn more at CUNY's
Financial Aid and Tuition Refunds page.
- Before your financial aid can be disbursed, all financial aid related items on your
CUNYfirst "To Do List" must be resolved and you must be enrolled in your classes.
Awards that have been authorized for payment will appear as "Anticipated Aid" on your
CUNYfirst Student Center page and will have a scheduled disbursement date.
- Financial aid is not disbursed all at once, but in stages. Your tuition account will
continue to show a balance until enough financial aid has been released to satisfy
the charges. The college knows if you have anticipated aid and will not require that
you pay your tuition before all the anticipated aid is disbursed.
- There is a difference between the "scheduled" disbursement date and the actual date
an award is released. The "scheduled" disbursement date is the earliest date in the
term CUNY may release the indicated award. The "actual" disbursement date may be different.
- View the "scheduled" disbursement dates for your financial aid awards on your CUNYfirst
account by logging on to your Student Center, clicking on "View Financial Aid" and
selecting "View Scheduled Disbursement Dates."
- View the "actual" disbursement date by clicking on "Account Inquiry" in your Student
Center. An actual disbursement date will not appear until the disbursement has occurred.
Keep in mind that the disbursement date is the date the funds post to your CUNYfirst
account, not the date you can expect to receive your funds in hand.
- Students who are eligible for a
Federal Pell Grant, and whose Pell Grant exceeds tuition charges, may be eligible to receive an advance
of their financial aid to purchase books and supplies.
- If you are a Federal Work-Study student, you can go to the FWS Time Sheet Deadlines page for information on the FWS payment dates.
CUNY offers two different ways you may receive your financial aid payments. Choose
the payment method most convenient to you.
Option #1: Electronic Payment
CUNY offers an electronic payment method:
Contact the Bursar's Office for more information on this payment option.
Note: after you have set up direct deposit in CUNYfirst, remember to keep your account
information updated. Changes, such as opening or closing bank accounts, or changing
banks, do not get updated automatically in CUNYfirst. You are responsible for updating
your personal bank account information in CUNYfirst. Failure to keep your account
information up to date may cause refunds to be transferred to an inactive account
and delay your receipt of the funds.
Option #2: Check
If you do not choose option #1, your refunds will be made in the form of a check mailed
to your home address. If at all possible, we recommend direct deposit over checks
for receiving your financial aid payments for both greater convenience and security.
Protecting Your Check
- Be sure to keep your mailing address current in your CUNYfirst account.
- If you don't receive an expected check within 10 days of the scheduled disbursement
date, or if your check is lost or stolen, contact the Bursar's Office immediately.
- Deposit or cash your check as soon as possible after you receive it. Stale checks
may not be able to be replaced and you risk losing those funds.
- Do not endorse your check until you are ready to cash or deposit it. If an endorsed
check is lost and then cashed, CUNY will not cover the loss.
- Report any lost or stolen check to the Bursar' Office immediately.