Financial Information

Ed Kerestly, 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
Email: depot@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/sfs/

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 director of student financial services 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 director of student financial services.

A schedule of charges detailing current tuition, fees, meal plan costs and residence hall room rent may be found at www.acu.edu/campusoffices/sfs.finance/cost/breakdown.html.

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Financial Aid   

Abilene Christian University maintains a comprehensive program of financial aid, including financial planning and consultation to help students and their families meet the expenses of a college.  Appointments with our financial aid counselors are made through the Depot.

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 students' needs by planning a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study for 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 submitted 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, the student is required to file an appeal for aid at the point of readmission. Only those appeals approved by the Student Financial Services Office will be deemed eligible for financial aid.

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Work Study/Student Employment

Students who desire a part-time job to assist in meeting their financial obligations are encouraged to check the job postings at myACU.edu classified ads, and also inquire at area businesses.  Work-study awards are not required for on campus employment, nor is the award a guarantee of a job.  See acu.edu/campusoffices/sfs/finance/work.html for more information.

Student Loan Program  

ACU participates in the following student loan programs: www.acu.edu/campusoffices/sfs/loans/index.html.
     • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)*
     • Federal Perkins Loans*
     • College Access Loans(Texas residents only)
     • Federal PLUS Loans (for parents of dependent undergraduate students)
     • Alternative Loans
     • Grad PLUS Loans*

Grants
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 - Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education*

*indicates a Federal Title IV program

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
Need-based grant assistance through the ACU Grant and other programs is available on a limited basis for students with established financial need remaining after consideration of all other sources of financial support.  Preference is given to those who apply early.

Scholarships
Scholarships based on academic merit as determined in the admission application process as well as scholarships awarded through other departments are available based on the specific criteria established for each program.  Information is available on the Student Financial Services website.  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 qualified 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 Options  
1) The first statement of your fall semester will be emailed to you at your ACU email address the first week of June.  The statement is provided in electronic format; no paper statements are mailed.  It will include the fall charges (tuition, fees, housing and meal plans) and financial aid awarded. The fall financial settlement date is August 15, 2011 (the Monday two weeks prior to the first day of class). The spring financial settlement date is the Monday prior to the first day of class.  Pay the “Total Amount Due”
Pay the current total balance by the due date given on the first billing statement for a new semester.  Please be aware that this may not be the final bill for the semester. A second bill may be necessary for additional charges such as: adding or dropping classes, charging books, difference between actual and estimated financial aid awarded, etc. (Estimated financial aid is aid that will pay to your account after you have completed all necessary requirements.)  No late fees will be charged if payment is received in full by the first of the month following the statement date.  Late fees equal to 1.242 percent will be charged on unpaid balances.  If the total amount due on the statement is not paid by the financial settlement date (August 15, 2011), a payment plan must be in place to begin attending classes.

2) Wildcat Pay Plan
By going to acu.edu/payingyourbill, you may set up a payment plan.  You may pay the net balance in full by the financial settlement date (August 15 for the fall term) or take advantage of the 6, 5, or 4 month payment plan for the semester by using the Wildcat Pay Plan. Each semester an enrollment fee is charged to set up the plan. You may also call the Depot at 888-588-6083 for payment plan assistance. If you are enrolled in the Wildcat Pay Plan and are current on your payments, no late fees are charged.

Prepaid Tuition Plan
This plan allows the purchase of future tuition hours at the current tuition rate, mitigating the cost of attending ACU by locking in the tuition rate for the hours you prepay. Students or parents of students may purchase between 10 and 128 hours.  This plan guarantees to cover the same number of credit hours when it is redeemed as the number of credit hours purchased with prepaid tuition.  Contact the Student Financial Services office for more details.

Billing Statement
You can always access your bill through acu.edu/payingyourbill. A link to the monthly statement is emailed to you at your ACU email address each month.  By completing the form on the website, you may also designate an authorized user to receive the emails, access your statement, and make payments on your account.

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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Course Fees  

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.  A WiFi system provides access to the Internet throughout most of the campus.  In addition, the AT&T Learning Studio offers students and faculty $1.8 million dollars of revolutionary technology, and a friendly staff and spacious work areas found in no other location on campus.  Student computers are available for checkout in the library. ACU’s advanced computing and networking capabilities improve the learning experience for all students.

Exceptions:
     • Band fees
     • Audit fees
     • 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, etc.
        - 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 restaurants in the student center Food Court.  Most meal plan options include Bean Bucks, which may be used to purchase food at all Food Court venues as well as at the Campus Store.  See http://www.acu.edu/campusoffices/sfs/finance/cost/breakdown.html for more information.

Meal Plan Options
Plan A7 day all day access pass plus 200 Bean Bucks
Plan B5 day all access pass plus 400 Bean Bucks
Plan C120 meals per semester + 275 Bean Bucks
Plan D90 meals per semester + 500 Bean Bucks
Plan E600 Bean Bucks
Plan F400 Bean Bucks

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

     • Freshman and Sophomores must have Plan A or B     
     • 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. 

Meal Plans and Bean Bucks are non-refundable and expire at the end of the semester.

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Campus Cash   

Campus Cash provides students the convenience of making 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 may be used anywhere on the ACU campus.

To purchase Campus Cash, a student should complete a Campus Cash Purchase Agreement form in The Depot or follow the link at acu.edu/depot. Students must have a credit balance on their account or use a credit card for the purchase.  Campus Cash is usually credited to the card within 15 minutes.

The balance does carry over from fall to spring and expires at the end of the summer. A refund of Campus Cash in excess of $5 will be made upon request in The Depot and is issued as a credit back to your ACU account. 

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Refund Policy 

Tuition Refund 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

 

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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Withdrawing from a Course 

     • 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 Tuition Refund Schedule (above).

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

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


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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Withdrawing from the University

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Return of Federal Title IV and Institutional Funds
Abilene Christian University calculates and returns Federal 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 Federal 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 Federal IV Funds
If the withdrawal date results in a percentage of Federal Title IV aid not earned by the student, then return of Federal Title IV aid will occur in the following order:

     1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

     2. Subsidized Federal Direct 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.

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