Most financial aid funds are credited directly to your student account and are applied first to institutional charges for the current term. Funds are credited no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of the term. Aid that can be credited directly to your account will be credited when you have accepted or declined your awards on access.caltech;
- provided all required documents for the aid programs you have been awarded
- made satisfactory academic progress;
- enrolled in at least the minimum number of credits for the financial aid programs you have been awarded;
- completed all necessary loan documents and, for first-time Direct Stafford Loan borrowers, completed the online Entrance Interview.
If the disbursement of aid results in a credit balance, any aid awarded in excess of institutional charges will be paid to the student as a refund. Refunds must be requested by the account holder. Requests may be made by e-mail, telephone, or in person at the Bursar’s Office. Prior to receiving funds, it may be necessary to fill out and sign a refund form. Refunds can be obtained in cash or by check. A maximum refund of $500 cash per day can be received from the Bursar’s Office cashier. Refund checks are requested by the Bursar’s Office and issued by Accounts Payable. This usually takes five working days from the day of request.
Outside scholarships are usually disbursed in the form of a check and must be handled according to the sponsor’s specifications. If the funds are sent to the Financial Aid Office or the Bursar’s Office, they will be credited to your account. Again, if the crediting of any outside scholarship results in a credit balance on your account, you may request that the credit balance be refunded to you. Federal regulations allow Caltech to credit financial aid funds to your account for payment of tuition, fees, and room and board charges. You must give the Bursar’s Office written authorization to keep a credit balance on your account from one term to the next term during the academic year. Federal guidelines prohibit keeping a credit balance from one academic year to the next. If you complete your financial aid file late in the term, resulting in the late disbursement of your financial aid funds, you may be subject to late fees assessed by the Bursar’s Office.
Cal Grant B stipend payments will be credited to your tuition account unless you contact the Financial Aid Office in person within the first three weeks of the term to make alternate arrangements. Again, if the crediting of any financial aid results in a credit balance on your account, you may request that the credit balance be refunded to you.
In general, loans are disbursed in three installments, one at the beginning each term. For most Caltech students who are enrolled for the full academic year, this means that one-third of their loan(s) will be disbursed at the beginning of the fall term, another at the beginning of the winter term, and the final third at the beginning of the spring term. Students whose loan periods are for one term receive their entire disbursement at the beginning of that term.
If you work through either the Federal Work-Study or the Caltech Work-Study program, you will be paid by check through the biweekly Caltech payroll system. Checks are normally distributed at your actual work site.
Since financial aid is generally awarded on the assumption of full-time enrollment, it is possible that some or all of your aid will need to be adjusted if your enrollment status results in a reduction in your tuition for a term. If you withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment after the last day for adding classes for a term, you may be required to repay all or a portion of the aid that has already been credited to your account. You must inform the Financial Aid Office if you take a leave of absence or change your enrollment subsequent to receiving your financial aid. Cal Grant recipients who take a leave of absence are advised to contact the California Student Aid Commission (csac.ca.gov) and submit a form to remain eligible for the program.
You have the right to cancel your loan(s) any time before disbursement and up to 14 days after disbursement.