Financial Information

Ed Kerestly, Director of Student Financial Services
ACU Box 29007; Abilene, Texas 79699-9007
Zellner Hall, Second Floor

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 to provide services related to the university's educational mission. 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 chief financial officer and his/her designees 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.

A schedule of charges detailing current tuition, fees, meal plan costs and residence hall room rent may be found at acu.edu/costs.

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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 awarding 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. Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at fafsa.gov. ACU forms are at acu.edu/sfs/forms. 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.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

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 acu.edu/campusoffices/hr/employment, myACU.edu classified ads, and also to inquire at area businesses. Work-study awards are not required for on campus employment, nor is a work-study award a guarantee of a job. See acu.edu/work for more information.

Student Loan Program (more information at acu.edu/loans)    

ACU participates in the following student loan programs

  • 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 (more information at acu.edu/sfs)   
ACU participates in the following grant programs:
  • PELL - Federal Pell Grant*
  • SEOG - Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant*
  • ACG - Academic Competitiveness Grant* (currently not funded)
  • NSG - National SMART Grant* (currently not funded)
  • 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 (currently not funded)
  • SLEAP - Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (currently not funded)
  • Others as available

ACU 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 

More information at acu.edu/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 at acu.edu/sfs. Scholarships for costs exceeding tuition, books and required fees (i.e. room and board) may be taxable to the recipient.

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VA Benefits  

ACU is approved by the Veterans Administration to administer educational benefits for eligible veterans, servicepersons, reservists, widows and children of veterans. Eligibility and equivalent educational benefits are determined by the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA Coordinator, located in the ACU's Registrar's Office, coordinates the services to the students receiving veteran's educational benefits. The certifying official collects, completes and processes the required substantiating documentation. The VA Coordinator also serves as a point-of-contact and direct liaison between the veteran, the university and the VA. The certifying official is not part of the VA, but an employee of ACU. Students receiving VA benefits may also be eligible for other financial assistance from federal, state and institutional sources. In some cases, receipt of VA benefits may reduce or eliminate eligibility for other financial assistance in order to comply with federal, state or institutional policies. 

Payment Options    

The first billing statement (eBill) of the fall semester will be emailed to the student's 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 8, 2012. The spring financial settlement date is January 8, 2013.


1) 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. Subsequent monthly eBills will be generated during any month which activity appears on a student's account, including activity for adding or dropping classes, charging books, payments made, financial aid awards granted and the 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 end of the month following the statement date. Late fees, equal to 1.242 percent, will be charged each month on unpaid balances. If the total amount due on the statement is not paid for the financial settlement date, a payment plan or other approved payment arrangement must be in place to begin attending classes.

2) Wildcat Pay Plan
By going to acu.edu/payingyourbill, students may pay the net balance in full by the financial settlement date or they may 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 if you choose to set up a payment plan. 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.

Payment Card Convenience Fee
Card users will be assessed a separate, non-refundable convenience fee - 2.75% of the payment amount ($3 minimum fee) - at the time of each credit or debit card payment on a student account. The convenience fee charged by TouchNet's PayPath Payment Service covers the cost of processing credit and debit card payments. Please note: ACU will not receive any part of the convenience fee.

Prepaid Block 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. Note: There is a three year waiting period before prepaid tuition blocks may be applied to a student's account. Contact the Depot for more details.

Billing Activity
Student can always access their account information through the Wildcat Pay Portal. Students may also designate an authorized user to receive billing emails, access the student information and make payments by completing an on-line authorization form.

Financial Responsibility     
Failure to make proper payment is cause for dismissal at the discretion of the university. Official academic transcripts, participation in graduation or other post-graduation activities may be hindered unless all university-related indebtedness is paid in full.

Fees   

Beginning in the 2013-14 academic year, all general required student fees (technology, safety, student activity, health, etc.) are included in the annual block or per credit hour tuition rate. There may be additional course/activity specific fees in addition to the tuition rate. Some examples include:

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  • Band fees
  • Audit fees
  • JMC course fee
  • Music lesson fees
  • Kinesiology fees
  • Personality and Career Testing fees
  • Nursing fees  
  • Travel class and Study Abroad fees

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 off-campus students as well. Standard meal plans provide daily access to the World Famous Bean. Meal plan options include Bean Bucks, which may be used throughout the day to purchase food at all Food Court venues as well as at the Campus Store. See acu.edu/campusdish for more information.

Meal Plan Options for 2013-14
All Access 77 day all day access pass + 200 Bean Bucks$2,410 per semester
All Access 55 day all access pass + 400 Bean Bucks$2,410 per semester
Lifestyle 120120 meals per semester + 275 Bean Bucks$1,245 per semester
Lifestyle 9090 meals per semester + 500 Bean Bucks$1,245 per semester
Freestyle 800800 Bean Bucks$800
Freestyle 600600 Bean Bucks$600
Freestyle 400400 Bean Bucks$400

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

• Freshman and Sophomores must have an All Access plan.  
• All other residents must have an All Access or Lifestyle plan.

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 spring 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 https://campuscash.acu.edu. Students must have a credit balance on their account or use a credit card for the purchase. The balance carries over as long as the student is enrolled. 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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Tuition Refund Policy for Individual Courses  

Students enrolled in the Annual Block Tuition plan may take up to 36 credit hours per academic year (billed at $14,175 per long semester in the 2013-2014 academic year). Students on this plan must be enrolled full time (12 hours or more) in the fall and spring semesters. After the add/drop period, there is no refund for dropped classes. Students not enrolled full time at the end of the add/drop period for the semester will be billed on a per credit hour basis and will forfeit the ability to take classes under the Annual Block Tuition plan during the academic year.

All on-campus graduate students and undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours are billed at a per credit hour rate of $950 (tuition and general fees). Students paying per credit hour may receive a refund of 100% for the first five days of class, 80% through day 12 and 60% through day 15. No refund will be made after the 15th day of classes. Other students approved to be billed on a per credit basis will follow the same refund schedule. 

For January course and summer sessions, students who are in the Annual Block Tuition do not incur additional expenses as long as the total enrolled hours do not exceed 36 within the same academic year. Students not enrolled in the annual Block Tuition are billed at $950 per credit hour. If paying by credit hour, when a class is dropped on the first day of a short term there is a 90% refund. No refund will be made from the second day to the end of that term.


Add/Drop Period   
During the add/drop period there is no penalty for adding or dropping courses. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the student’s transcript. If enrolled in Block Tuition, classes dropped during the period will not count toward the 36 credit hour total.

Add/Drop Period: 
Fall/Spring - Through the 5th of each semester
Summer sessions - Before the first day of each session
January courses - Before the first day of class
Intensive course - Same 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.

  • For students enrolled in Block Tuition, classes withdrawn from will still count toward the 36 credit hour total for the academic year.

  • For all on-campus graduate students and undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours, refunds of tuition will be made according to the Tuition Refund Policy (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 courses billed by the credit hour in the term in which the course is taught, regardless of the actual date the course begins.

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Tuition Refund Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Students that completely withdraw from the university during the fall or spring semester will receive a tuition refund based on the following schedule:

  • Through the 5th day (the add/drop period) - 100%
  • Through the 12th day - 80%
  • Through the 15th day - 60%
  • After the 15th day - 0%


Financial Aid Return of Funds Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Return of funds to Institutional Financial Aid Programs
Scholarships and grants from the university are reduced by the same percentage of any tuition refund.

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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Surviving Ebola
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Dr. Kent Brantly ('03) and his wife, Amber (Carroll '06), shared their story of faith and hope during ACU's Homecoming. Here, Brantly speaks on Ebola, Liberia and loving our neighbors.
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