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The Financial Aid Office (FAO) is responsible for administering the financial aid programs, determining eligibility, offering financial aid, and transferring/removing offers to/from the Billing/Receivables (B/R) system. The actual disbursement of financial aid to students is a function and responsibility of the Office of the Bursar.  Financial aid is generally disbursed the week prior to the start of classes. You should arrive on campus with sufficient funds to purchase books, supplies, and any other items necessary to begin the semester, even if you are expecting financial aid or plan to work on campus. 

The Office of the Bursar is responsible for the B/R system and notifying recipients of financial aid disbursements. Notification is provided within the prescribed 30 days before and after disbursement via the student's monthly Statement of Account. Notification includes the amount and date of the disbursement and the recipient's rights and procedures to cancel all or a portion of loans within 90 days of notification. Accounts Payable and the Office of the Bursar handle cash payments and check distribution to students.

Federal Direct Loans, grants, scholarships and waivers are directly applied to the student's SIU Carbondale Statement of Account through B/R. These offers/loans are credited to B/R with a disbursement date (effective date) that is no earlier than 10 days prior to the beginning of the enrollment period. Refund checks are first produced beginning one week before the beginning of the enrollment period. Students who drop out/withdraw before the beginning of the enrollment period or who are determined to have never attended, have all their financial aid for the applicable semester removed and returned to the appropriate financial aid program(s).

FAO is is required to monitor and adjust students’ financial aid offers to eliminate overawards and/or overpayments in compliance with federal and state regulations and institutional policy.

An overaward or overpayment exists when any of the situations occur:

  • The student’s financial aid exceeds the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • The student receives multiple tuition specific offers (scholarships, grants, or waivers) that exceed the student’s tuition assessment.
  • The student’s offer in an individual program (e.g., Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loan) exceeds annual or aggregate/lifetime limits.
  • The student is receiving Federal SEOG, Federal Work-study, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan institutional, state, or external need-based scholarship or grant programs and the student’s total gift aid (scholarships and grants) in combination of the aforementioned financial aid programs exceed the student’s demonstrated financial need.  Financial Need is determined by subtracting the student’s Student Aid Index (SAI) from COA. 

Overawards are usually the result of the student receiving aid that the FAO was not aware of when the student’s Financial Aid Package was created.

Overawards may also be created when the student’s SAI increases as a result of verification.  Overawards can result from application errors as well. Regardless of the reason for overaward, the FAO is bound by regulations and policy to correct the overaward.

Resolving the overaward could result in the student owing the University money if the overawarded financial aid funds have already disbursed to the student’s account. 

Following federal and state regulations and institutional policy, the FAO  will resolve the overaward in a way that is most favorable to the student.

Earnings from student employment are not credited directly to a student's University account. The payroll process generates a bi-weekly paycheck from information supplied by the employing departments, the Financial Aid Office and Central Payroll and entered into the Human Resource Management System (HRMS). Student employees are encouraged to participate in Electronic Direct Deposit (EDD). However, student employees who are unable to participate in EDD will receive their paycheck by mail to the mailing address listed in the payroll system.

When is Aid Disbursed?

Aid disbursements begin one week before the first day of classes in an effort to distribute refunds directly in your bank account by the first day of classes. Further crediting of aid and subsequent refunds are generally processed weekly throughout the semester.

Loans cannot be disbursed until all required documents are received and processed by the Financial Aid Office. A valid Promissory Note (agreement to repay the loan) for the specific loan program must be on file. In addition, students borrowing a Federal Direct Loan  for the first time at this campus must complete an online Entrance Counseling session.

How is Aid Disbursed?

Unless otherwise noted, all financial aid offered by SIU Financial Aid Office is disbursed in two installments. One half of the total offer is disbursed each semester and applied toward the charges on your SIU Carbondale Statement of Account (tuition and fees, University Housing charges, and/or other University charges.) Any transaction in which a financial aid credit exceeds the University charges for the term will generate a refund.  To expedite the receipt of this refund, you should establish and maintain direct deposit to your personal checking or savings account.