Financial Information


Financial AidCampus Cash
Payment PlansRefund Policy
Academic Enrichment and Technology FeeEndowed Scholarships
Meal Plans



Michael Lewis, Director of Student Financial Services
ACU Box 29007; Abilene, Texas 79699-9007
Welcome Center, Zellner Hall, Room 200

Phone: 325-674-2300 (in Abilene) or 888-588-6083 (outside Abilene)
Fax: 325-674-2963

Abilene Christian University is a non-profit institution. All funds from student charges are spent for student services. Other funds for operational expense come from endowments and gifts from concerned individuals and organizations. As a policy, auxiliary operations such as cafeterias, housing and bookstores are self-supporting.

The Board of Trustees has charged the executive vice president with the responsibility of enforcing all regulations for student accounts. If a student is of legal age, he or she is deemed to be the primary party liable for his or her financial obligation. All monies collected from students by any person or organization shall be held under the direction of the executive vice president.

A schedule of charges detailing current tuition, fees, meal plan costs and residence hall room rent may be obtained from either the Admissions Office or the Student Financial Services Office.

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   Financial Aid

Abilene Christian University maintains a comprehensive program of financial aid. Financial planning and consultation to help students and their families meet the expenses of a college education is available at no additional charge.

The primary responsibility of financing a college education rests upon students and their families. Assistance from ACU and other sources should be considered as supplementary to the primary responsibility of the student and the family. ACU strives to supplement student’s needs by planning a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study to eligible students. ACU attempts to distribute all financial aid resources in an equitable manner and following the guidelines established for federal, state, and institutional funds.

Financial aid application forms are available online for students who apply for admission to ACU. These forms should be returned by March 1 for fall enrollment and by November 1 for spring enrollment. Late applicants may find that certain forms of grant and scholarship funds are depleted by the time their applications are submitted to the Student Financial
Services Office.

Students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The minimum acceptable cumulative grade point average requirements are 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students. Additionally, all students must earn a cumulative minimum of 75 percent of the hours attempted. Satisfactory academic progress is generally measured once each year at the end of the spring semester. If a student fails to meet the requirements during the fall and spring semesters, summer courses may be counted in order to determine eligibility for aid.

Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards may file an appeal to the Student Financial Services Office. The appeal must be filed prior to the start of the term for which financial aid has been denied. If a student withdraws from the university after being declared ineligible for aid, they are required to file an appeal for aid at whatever point they are readmitted. Only those appeals that are approved by the Student Financial Services Office will be deemed eligible for financial aid.

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Students may want a part-time job to assist in meeting their financial obligations. Many students find off-campus jobs in Abilene businesses, as well as on-campus jobs.

ACU’s student employment staff assists in bringing on-campus and off-campus employers and prospective student workers together. After enrolling, students can  visit for job postings.

   Student Loan Program
ACU participates in the following student loan programs:
     • Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
     • Federal Perkins Loans
     • College Access Loan (Texas residents only)
     • Federal PLUS Loan (for parents of dependent undergraduate students)
     • Alternative Loans
     • Grad PLUS Loans

ACU participates in the following grant programs:
     • PELL – Federal Pell Grant
     • SEOG – Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant
     • ACG – Academic Competitiveness Grant
     • NSG – National SMART Grant
     • TEACH – Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education

For Texas residents only:
     • TEG – Tuition Equalization Grant
     • LEAP – Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership
     • SLEAP – Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership
     • Others as available

Need-Based Grants
A limited amount of financial aid is available for need-based grants. Preference is given to those who apply early.

NOTE TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS: Scholarships for costs other than tuition, books and required fees (i.e. room and board) may be taxable to the recipient.

   Awarding Philosophy
ACU awards entering freshmen students a specific amount of gift aid based on the student’s ACT or SAT score and the student’s financial need. All federal, state, and institutional sources of aid for which the student may qualify will be used to meet the specific target amount.

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   Payment Plans

There are various plans that may be selected for account payment.

Annual Payment Plan
Pay the current total balance by the due date given on the first billing statement of a new semester. Please be aware that this may not be the final bill for the semester. Following are a few reasons why a second bill may be necessary: adding or dropping classes, charging books, actual and estimated financial aid changes, all estimated financial aid does not pay to your account, incurring traffic/library fines, etc. (Estimated financial aid is aid that will pay to your account after you have completed all necessary requirements.) A late charge will be assessed on all payments not received and processed by ACU on the due date. The charge is 1.242 percent monthly (14.9 percent annually) on the amount past due.

Quarterly Payment Plan
By going to “Wildcat Pay” on my.ACU, during the first month of the semester you may set up a payment plan that will spread your charge over four months. For example, in the fall term, set the plan up in August to pay your charge over August, September, October, and November. Each semester an enrollment fee is charged to set up the plan. (This applies to fall and spring semesters only. Charges for summer classes are due before the student may attend class.) You may also call 800-343-5904 for payment plan assistance. There will not be a late charge if you are on the payment plan and make the agreed payment amount.

   Prepaid Tuition Plan
This plan allows purchase of tuition hours at the existing rate. There is no set limit to the number of prepaid tuition hours to be purchased.

The tuition price for the year in which the plan is initiated (up to December 31 of that year) is the assured rate. The student is assured of this rate regardless of subsequent changes in tuition rates.

If a student does not enroll, the refund amount is the amount of the original payment. No interest is earned. Refund calculations are based upon the assured rate and any remaining hours purchased but not used.

   Billing Statement
A statement of account will be sent monthly.

   Financial Responsibility
Failure to make proper payment is cause for dismissal at the discretion of the university administration.

Official academic transcripts, participation in graduation or other post-graduate activities may be hindered unless all university-related indebtedness is paid in full.

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   Academic Enrichment and Technology Fee

Class, lab and technology fees in all departments have been consolidated into one academic enrichment and technology fee. This fee eliminates individual course fees (exceptions listed below). The academic enrichment and technology fee provides access to world-wide learning resources as well as specified class and lab supplies. All students have access to designated computer labs located in various academic departments and residence halls. Students with their own computers receive increased modem access from their residence (on or off campus). ACU’s advanced computing and networking capabilities improve the learning experience for all students.

     • Band fees
     • Audit fees
     • Focus on the Family Program fee
     • JMC course fee
     • Music lesson fees
     • Exercise Science and Health:
        – Bowling
        – Uniform fees – Red Cross
     • Personality and Career Testing Fees
     • Nursing fees (PHSSN)
     • All travel classes such as:
        – Exercise Science: Skiing, Backpacking, Scuba, Golf and Canoe Camping
        – History Field School
        – Christian Business Leadership Perspectives
        – Marine and Field Biology
        – Au Sable Institute (Biology)
        – Study Abroad Programs

Note: All courses with extra fees may not be listed here. Please check with the department for information concerning individual course fees.  

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   Meal Plans

The university offers several meal plan options for students living in residence halls and for students off-campus as well.

Besides the World Famous Bean, meal plans may also be used during specific hours at Pizza Hut, Grab-N-Go, Java City, Starbucks, and all satellite locations.

Most meal plan options include Bean Bucks, which may be used to purchase food at all locations listed above as well as Energy Zone, Chick-Fil-A, Quiznos and the Campus Store.

Meal Plan Options
Plan A21 meals per week + 120 Bean Bucks
Plan B15 meals per week + 120 Bean Bucks
Plan C10 meals per week + 120 Bean Bucks
Plan D7 meals per week + 100 Bean Bucks
Plan E600 Bean Bucks
Plan F400 Bean Bucks
Plan GAny 30 meals per semester

Minimum meal plan requirements for all residence hall students are as follows:

     • Freshman must have Plan A, B, or C
     • All other residents must have Plan A, B, C, or D

Off-campus students and employees may purchase any meal plan. Students have until the 12th day of class each semester to make plan changes. If a change is made, the student is charged two separate meal plan charges. Both meal plan charges are pro-rated based on the number of days the student uses each plan.

Meal Plans E, F, and G are non-refundable and expire at the end of the semester. These plans can be purchased again once the original meal plan has been depleted. Students on meal plans A-D may not purchase additional Bean Bucks.

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   Campus Cash

Campus Cash provides students the convenience of making non-cash purchases through the use of their ID card. By purchasing Campus Cash, students may limit the amount of cash they carry on campus.

Campus Cash, like Bean Bucks, may be used at any of the dining facilities on campus. Campus Cash may also be used to purchase text books and school supplies at Abilene Educational Supply and the ACU Campus Store.

To purchase Campus Cash, a student should complete a Campus Cash Purchase Agreement form in The Depot or on myACU. Students must have a credit balance on their account before Campus Cash can be charged. If a student is unable to charge Campus Cash it must be purchased. Campus Cash will be activated within 48 hours of purchasing.

Campus Cash may be purchased at any time during the semester. The balance does carry over from fall to spring and expires at the end of the summer. Refunds of Campus Cash in excess of $5 will be made upon request in The Depot. The refund of Campus Cash will be credited back to your ACU account.

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   Refund Policy

   Add/Drop Period
During the add/drop period there is no penalty for adding or dropping courses. Students may adjust their course schedule during the add/drop period with a full refund of tuition and fees. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the student’s transcript.

Add/Drop Period
Fall/Spring termsThrough Friday of the first week of classes
Summer sessionsBefore first day of each session
JanuaryBefore first day of class
Intensive courseSame as add/drop period of term in which course is taught

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   Refunds – Withdrawing from a Course
After the add/drop period:

     • Students must officially withdraw from a course by initiating a withdrawal form.

     • A withdrawal grade for the course will appear on the transcript.

     • Refunds of tuition will be made according to the Refund Tuition Schedule (below).

     • Fees are non-refundable after the add/drop period.

     • No refunds for room and board will be made for absences while enrolled in the

Refund Tuition Schedule
Fall and Spring TermsRefund
Friday of the first week of classes (usually Days 1-5)100%
Through Day 12 of classes80%
Through Day 15 of classes60%
Day 16 - end of termNone
January CoursesRefund
Day 190%
Day 2 - end of termNone
Summer TermRefund
Day 190%
Day 2 - end of termNone

Tuition refunds on intensive courses: Refunds for intensive courses not specifically listed above are subject to the refund schedule for the term in which the course is taught, regardless of the actual date the course begins. For example, an intensive course taught during the fall term must be dropped by Day 5 of the fall term for a 100% refund, by Day 12 for an 80% refund, or by Day 15 for a 60% refund, per the schedule above for Fall and Spring Terms.

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Refunds – Withdrawal From University

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Return of Title IV and Institutional Funds
Abilene Christian University calculates and returns Title IV funds according to Federal Title IV policy 34 CRF 668.22. The amount of Title IV funds (other than Federal Work-Study) that must be returned to the Title IV programs is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled before withdrawing. This policy is effective for complete or full withdrawal from a semester in which the student receives Title IV federal funds.

If the student withdraws before 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, a percentage of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal program based on the length of time the student is enrolled prior to withdrawal. For example, if the student withdraws when 50 percent of the semester has elapsed, 50 percent of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal programs. After 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, the student is considered to have earned all aid received for the semester.

The return of Title IV funds depends upon the date the student withdraws during the semester.

Withdrawal date is defined as one of the following:
     • The date the student began the withdrawal process;

     • The date the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the
        intent to withdraw;

     • For the student who does not begin the university’s withdrawal process or notify
        the school of the intent to withdraw, the mid-point of the payment period or period
        of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless the university can
        document a later date); or

     • The withdrawal date is determined from class attendance records.

     • If a student stops attending class, federal regulations require that ACU consider the
       student withdrawn for financial aid purposes.

Abilene Christian University will:
     1. Determine date of withdrawal.

     2. Calculate the percentage of aid deemed to have been earned by the student.

     3. Calculate the percentage of aid not earned by the student, which must be returned
         to federal programs.

   Return of Title IV Funds
If the withdrawal date results in a percentage of Title IV aid not earned by the student, then return of Title IV aid will occur in the following order:

     1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

     2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

     3. Federal Perkins Loans.

     4. Federal PLUS Loans.

     5. Federal Pell Grants.

     6. Federal SEOG Grants.

     7. Other assistance under the title for which a return of funds is required.

   Room and board will be refunded on a pro rata basis after a student withdraws from the university. No refunds for board will be made for absences while enrolled in the university.

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