Payment Policy For Tuition, Fees, Room and Meal Plan
When students register for courses, they assume a legal obligation to pay tuition, fees and all related charges. Registration for a given semester is not complete until all charges have been paid by the bill due date or until acceptable payment arrangements have been made with Student Financial Services prior to the due date.
Students must be actively registered to reside in campus housing, receive student meal plan privileges, and receive all other university services and amenities.
Student Financial Services participates in 100% online, real-time billing. EBills are accessible via the Mercyhurst student Hub (mhur.st/sfs). Students are encouraged to grant guest access to any family member who might have an interest in viewing or paying a student’s bill. Full instructions are available on the student Hub page. Summer 2021 bills are available via the eBill the firstweek of June and are due on or before June 25, 2021. Fall semester bills are available the last week of June and are due on or before August 6, 2021. Spring semester bills are available in early December and are due on or before January 7, 2022. All charges assessed after the initial billing due date are due immediately and must be paid within 30 days to avoid any late fees. Students and those who have been granted authorized party access should check the eBill regularly for any updates and changes students have made.
Billing Due Dates for 2021-22
Summer Sessions 2021: June 25, 2021
Fall Semester: August 6, 2021
Spring Semester: January 7, 2022
Traditional undergraduate students must be registered for at least 12 credit hours for each semester to be considered full time and to receive the flat tuition rate and all institutional grants and scholarships. If a student is registered for more than 18 credits, additional tuition charges apply. If a student is registered for fewer than 12 credits per semester, financial aid offers will be adjusted accordingly. Other student types should check with SFS to see how enrollment impacts tuition and fees.
ROTC scholarship recipients must be registered for at least 12 credit hours in their program to be eligible for ROTC Scholarships.
In addition to charges for tuition, fees, room, meal plans, and other expenses, the bill reflects any scholarships, grants, and loans as pending financial aid. Financial aid listed is pending until a student’s eligibility is confirmed, verification is completed, and a student’s enrollment is verified on the census date. The census date is the morning after drop/add, as published in the official academic calendar.
To receive pending credit on bills for federal student loans, students must have a FAFSA on file and have completed both the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling online for Federal Direct Loans by July 21, 2021, for Fall bills or December 8, 2021, for Spring bills. This is a one-time requirement at Mercyhurst. Federal Direct PLUS Loans are not credited to a student’s account until a Promissory Note is signed. Some PLUS borrowers might also be required to participate in PLUS Counseling. Those borrowers will be contacted directly by the U.S. Department of Education. Private Alternative Education Loan proceeds are not credited until the loan proceeds are received by Mercyhurst.
If payment is not made by the bill due date, or satisfactory payment arrangements are not made with Student Financial Services by the bill due date, a late-payment fee will be applied to students’ accounts, their accounts will be placed on business office hold, and they might be deregistered from their courses. They will not be able to make changes to their registration, register for any additional courses, or receive grades/transcripts. Their balances must be paid in full by the specified semester due date.
Overdue accounts are placed with a collection agency. If an account is placed with a collection agency, a student is responsible for the balance, plus any collection fees, which might be based on a percentage up to a maximum of 33% of the debt, and all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees that are incurred by Mercyhurst University in such collection efforts. This might negatively impact a student’s credit rating. To register for future semesters, receive transcripts or a diploma, the balance and any collection fees must be paid in full.
The balance can be paid via eBill, which is accessible from the student Hub (mhur.st/sfs). Payment can be made by credit card (convenience fees apply) or electronic funds transfer from a U.S. checking or savings account (no convenience fees apply). The bill can also be printed and mailed with a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order to the address on the bill. Cash payments can be made in person by visiting the Student Financial Services office. International students amy pay via Flywire on their eBill. For more information, visit the Student Financial Services page on the student Hub or contact Student Financial Services at 814-824-2288. All payments, including those from a third party, such as a 529 Savings Plan, must be received by the bill due date. Plan accordingly to allow for mailing and processing time.
In lieu of paying the student bill in full, a student or family can sign up for a payment plan (partial payments made in intervals) through our partner, Nelnet Campus Commerce, prior to a bill due date. The Nelnet Campus Commerce Payment Plan divides a student’s financial obligation into interest-free installments over a semester, making financial obligations easier to manage. Options include a five-, four-, or three-month plan. The Payment Plan is available to all qualified undergraduate students for fall and spring semesters. There is a nonrefundable fee for participating in the Payment Plan, regardless of the balance. Nelnet Campus Commerce provides monthly billing, with payment auto-deducted on the 10th of each month. Failure to pay by monthly due dates will result in late fees, business office holds, and possible deregistration. Repeated delinquent payments will result in a cancellation of the Payment Plan, and payment of any outstanding balance will be due immediately to Mercyhurst. Failure to resolve an outstanding balance might result in deregistration and placing an outstanding account with a collection agency.
Students receiving financial aid might also participate in the Payment Plan. To determine the minimum monthly payment, deduct the amount of financial aid (not including work-study offers) from semester charges, and divide the balance by the number of payments in the plan chosen. It is important for students to review their budgets each semester to ensure the scheduled monthly payment plan reflects actual charges at Mercyhurst. Be sure to use “net” loan proceeds in calculations for federal loans. (Origination fees are deducted before funds are sent to Mercyhurst.)
For more information about the plan or how to calculate monthly payments, contact Nelnet Campus Commerce at 800-609-8056 or visit online.campuscommerce.com. If a student’s projected budget at Nelnet Campus Commerce is less than the actual balance at Mercyhurst, a student might incur late fees at Mercyhurst, and a business office hold might be placed on a student’s account, preventing future registration. If payment is made by paper check, Mercyhurst will credit the funds but will not remove any business office holds for at least seven calendar days, to allow time for the check to clear with a bank. If funds do not clear, a student might be charged a late fee, in addition to a $75 returned check fee. In this instance, the student would be contacted and given one week to make payment to Mercyhurst in the form of a certified check or money order. Legal action might be taken against any person who has repeatedly submitted checks with insufficient funds, and Mercyhurst reserves the right to reject future check payments.
Tuition and Fee Refund Policy Due to Total Withdrawal
Students who wish to withdraw from the university must complete a Cease Enrollment form, available in the Office of Academic Affairs, and obtain the required authorizations and signatures. Students who officially withdraw after drop/add but before the end of the academic semester will receive a grade of W for the course. Students who experience a medical, military, or serious emergency can file a letter with the Office of Academic Affairs, explaining and documenting the special circumstances. Students who have officially withdrawn from the university and do notreturn within one academic year must apply for readmission.
When students officially withdraw from all courses (cease enrollment), they might receive a prorated refund of tuition. Refer to the Tuition Refund Chart that follows. Fees are not refundable when withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period for that semester (usually the eighth day of the semester).
Period of Withdrawal During Semester
Percentage of Tuition Refund
On or before the last day to drop/add each term (Up to and including calendar day 8)
Calendar days 9 - 15
Not Including Fees
Calendar days 16 - 22
Not Including Fees
Calendar days 23 - 29
Not Including Fees
Calendar days 30 and beyond
Not Including Fees
Refunds for room and meal plans will be prorated for number of days of usage between the 1st and 29th days of the semester (an exception is granted for students who never moved into campus housing; these students are eligible for 100% refund provided they withdraw by calendar day 8 of the semester). There are no refunds for tuition, room, or meal plans after the 29th day of the semester. The tuition refund policy for the summer session follows the same schedule as spring.
Treatment of Financial Aid for Total Withdrawal (Cease Enrollment)
If a student withdraws from all courses (ceases to be enrolled), Student Financial Services must review the student’s financial aid to determine if financial aid funds must be adjusted in accordance with federal, state, and institutional policies governing total withdrawal from the university.
Student Financial Services calculates refunds for tuition, room, and meal plans according to university policy. However, the policies for financial aid for total withdrawals (cease enrollments) are specific to each designated financial aid program and are applicable only if a student was awarded that particular type of fund. If a student is awarded various types of financial aid, more than one policy might apply in determining the student’s revised financial aid eligibility.
Federal (Title IV) Financial Aid Refund Policy (Cease Enrollment)
The federal policy for return of Title IV funds maintains that a student can retain only that portion of federal aid that the student earned based on time in attendance before withdrawal prior to completing 60% of a payment period or semester. The percentage of time that the student attended an academic semester determines the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal government. This federally mandated policy is independent of the Mercyhurst institutional refund policy for tuition, room, and meal plans.
The schedules vary by start and end dates of each semester and each academic program. There are no unearned funds for a student who withdraws after the 60% point. However, a school must still complete a return calculation to determine if a student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
The calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:
Percentage of payment period or semester completed is the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total days in the payment period or semester. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of days in the semester.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
Aid to be returned (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) is multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or semester.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, Mercyhurst would be required to return a portion of the funds, and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. When Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a balance to Mercyhurst, which must be paid within 30 days of notification.
If students earn more aid than was disbursed to them, Mercyhurst might owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement, which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal. Mercyhurst must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the student’s withdrawal.
Refunds to aid programs are returned in the following order:
Students who receive all F’s for a semester who did not formally withdraw will be considered unofficial withdrawals and will be reviewed by OAA to establish the students’ last date of attendance. If a student ceased attendance for all classes before 60% of the semester was over, that last date of attendance will be used. If the last date of attendance in an academically related activity cannot be determined, the “unofficial” withdrawal date will be the mid-point of the semester to calculate unearned federal funds that must be returned to the appropriate federal aid program.
Although students can withdraw from a semester with W grades, federal aid disbursements must be reviewed based on their last date of attendance or unofficial withdrawal date.
Students are responsible for any returned federal funds that result in a balance due on their student accounts. If payment is not made within 60 days, a student will be liable for all collection fees and costs as described earlier, in the Payment Policy section. Institutional and State Grant/Scholarship Financial Aid Refund Policy (Cease Enrollment)
Adjustments to institutional and/or state grant/scholarships follow the university’s policy on refunds for tuition (refer to the Tuition Refund Policy Due to Total Withdrawal section). For example, if a student’s tuition is refunded 70%, the student’s institutional and/or State Grants/scholarships will be refunded 70%, meaning the student might retain 30% of each of the institutional and/or state grant/scholarship awards. However, for the State Grant/scholarship, where, in accordance with the aforementioned policy, the amount of State Grant funds to be retained by the university is small, and the amount to refund to the state is large, Student Financial Services might advise a student to forfeit the State Grant altogether when it appears that it will benefit the student.
If a student forfeits the State Grant, it will enable Mercyhurst to refund the entire semester’s State Grant disbursement to Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), thereby saving a semester of State Grant eligibility for the student and possibly avoiding a state aid academic program problem in the future.
For example, if a student withdraws from the university during the second week of classes, the student will get an 80% tuition refund, and, following PHEAA regulations, 80% of the State Grant will have to be refunded to the state. If the PA State Grant is $1,000, $800 would be returned to the state, and the student would be able to retain $200 to pay for any educational charges for the two weeks in attendance. In this instance, it is strongly recommended that the entire $1,000 be sent back to the state so the student can receive a PA State Grant for a future semester and nothave this semester of attendance count against the student when calculating satisfactory academic progress for PHEAA State Student Aid Programs.
Course Withdrawal Policy
Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the drop/add period for a semester must complete a Class Schedule Form, which is available on the Registrar's Office Hub page. After the student obtains the advisor’s signature, the form is emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. Course withdrawals after drop/add will result in a W grade for the course and will not change financial aid or tuition charges for that semester because they are based on the enrollment status on the census date, which is usually day eight of the fall or spring semester.
Students registered for Mini 2 or Mini 4 courses will have a secondary census date after the drop/add period for those terms. If changes to enrollment result in a student being less than full time for the semester, aid for the entire semester will be recalculated and rebilled (only for Mini 2 or 4 changes). If there is an increase related to Mini 2 or Mini 4 sessions, the student will be rebilled for any credit overloads or tuition increases. Students should always consult with Student Financial Services prior to withdrawing from any course to determine impacts on financial aid andbilling.
Withdrawing from courses might prevent a student from making satisfactory academic progress, and that might impact eligibility for future financial aid assistance. Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress section for details. Whether a student chooses to withdraw from one course or withdraw from the university completely, it is important that the student contact Student Financial Services for advice regarding financial aid and billing.
Refund Policy In The Event Of University-Wide Residential Disruption
If the university were compelled to cease residential operations during a semester due to circumstances beyond its control (e.g., public health mandate, natural disaster), the university will offer prorated refunds based on the general framework below. The university reserves the right to modify these terms based on the nature of the disruption and surrounding circumstances, including the ability to offer refunds as credits toward future semester costs for those continuing their enrollment.
Tuition. Our students’ successful academic progress remains the university’s highest priority in the event of an emergency or critical incident. In most circumstances, the university’s critical incident response plans ensure that instruction continues remotely through a variety of technologies, sometimes on a compressed or modified calendar. In such circumstances, no refunds of tuition will be issued.
Fees. Standard fees, program fees, lab fees, music fees, and other participation fees are used to support the preparation, maintenance, and operations of specific components of the university; therefore, fees are generally nonrefundable. Refunds for fees related to cancellation of specific study abroad programs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis; the university cannot guarantee a full return of these funds for expenses incurred by the university in preparation for travel (e.g., the purchase of nonrefundable travel tickets, etc.).
Housing. Room charges will be refunded on a prorated basis based on the housing rate assessed a student, less a $500 room reclamation allocation (the portion of housing charges used to clean and maintain housing in preparation for students’ arrivals). In calculating any proration, the start date of housing is equal to the first day all students are permitted to move on campus. The end date is the last date of classes, excluding final exams. The date of determination is the day following the last date students are permitted to remain in campus housing (i.e., the date students are required to exit campus following a public health order). Due to family or travel circumstances, some students may be unable to exit by the stated deadline. For students that request an extension due to extenuating circumstances, they will be permitted to remain on campus for up to seven additional days, in which case their proration shall be based on the original date of determination plus seven days. For students who must remain in emergency housing beyond that point, no housing refund will be provided.
Meal plans. Board refunds for block meal plans and unlimited meal plans will be prorated. For students enrolled in block meal plans, the proration will be based on the number of meals used, less any spent bonus bucks. Proration for students enrolled in unlimited plans will be based on the number of meal plan service days provided as of the date of determination (as outlined above). As dining dollars do not expire, students on dining dollar-only plans or with dining dollar credits balances will have their balances rolled to future semesters.
Adjustments to institutional financial aid. At the point of admission, residential students are provided with an institutional financial aid package that considers the costs of campus housing and meal plans. In the event of a residential disruption under this policy, the university may reduce the amount of institutional aid provided based on the reduced costs associated with the disruption. Students with institutional need-based aid (e.g., Mercy Scholarship, Presidential Scholarships, etc.), students with scholarships specific to support housing costs (e.g., Erie Housing Grant, Resident Assistant Scholarship, etc.), or students whose total grant and scholarship aid exceeds the costs of tuition and standard fees will have their aid adjusted. These reductions in financial aid are only for the semester in which the disruption occurred; aid will be fully restored in subsequent semesters, provided students continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Adjustments to financial aid may reduce, in whole or in part, any refund of housing or meal plan costs.
Refund Policy Due to Suspension or Expulsion
Students who are suspended or expelled from the university for a violation of the Student Conduct Code are ineligible for any refund of tuition, fees, room, or board charges for the semester in which the suspension or expulsion is imposed. The Vice President for Student Life and the Vice President for Enrollment may waive this policy in whole or in part at their mutual discretion. Under no circumstances will this policy be waived for violations related to physical violence, threat of violence, sexual violence or harassment, or reckless endangerment (including endangerment related to the violation of a required quarantine or isolation period in the context of a public health emergency).
Financial Aid Policies
Students have the following rights and responsibilities:
Financial Aid Application Procedures and Deadlines
To apply for federal, state, and institutional (Mercyhurst) financial aid, a student must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.
Students can submit the FAFSA electronically via studentaid.gov. To file electronically, a student (and parent if student is a dependent) will need a U.S. Department of Education FSA ID. The FSA ID serves as a student’s and/or parent’s electronic signature. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 for additional information about the FAFSA or visit studentaid.gov.
Although students can file the FAFSA anytime after Oct. 1 for the following academic year in which they plan to attend, the priority deadline to file the FAFSA is March 15 of that year to ensure full consideration for federal, state, and institutional scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study offers. Mercyhurst’s institutional code, 003297, should be included in the university choice section of the FAFSA.
Students may still file the FAFSA after the deadline of March 15; however, they risk not receiving aid from some programs. In addition to the processed FAFSA, Student Financial Services must receive all requested documentation within 30 days of the request but no later than 30 days before the end of the semester or award period. This deadline allows processing and authorization of disbursements within time frames defined by regulations pertaining to federal and state aid programs. Failure to apply or to submit required documentation by the indicated deadlines may result in a loss of financial aid eligibility for all student aid programs.
Students should be familiar with the Student Financial Services processing schedule and adhere to the deadlines that follow.
Student Financial Services Processing Schedule and Deadlines
Financial Aid Packaging
Helping students afford a Mercyhurst education is important to the university. Although the primary responsibility for a university education rests with a student’s family, there are several sourcesthat can help reduce the expense of an education at Mercyhurst. The federal government, state government, and Mercyhurst all provide various forms of assistance to help a student and familyfinance the student’s education at Mercyhurst. Details on specific student aid programs are available in the Financial Aid Awarding Policies section that follows. The student’s Cost of Attendance (COA), Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Financial Need (FN) are the components used to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility and to create a student’s financial aid package.
Cost of Attendance
Mercyhurst determines the Cost of Attendance, or budget, which is an estimate of the educational expenses a student will incur during the academic year. These costs include tuition, fees, room, meal plan, transportation allowance, books and supplies allowance, and miscellaneous educational expenses.
Expected Family Contribution
Expected Family Contribution is an estimate of the family’s financial strength and the ability to contribute, and it is measured by applying the official needs analysis formula to the data submitted on the student’s FAFSA.
Financial Need refers to the Cost of Attendance minus the Expected Family Contribution. Demonstrated Financial Need (COA-EFC=FN) determines a student’s eligibility for need-based financial assistance.
Although the formula to determine financial aid eligibility is standard for all applicants, there is some flexibility in recalculating eligibility in special circumstances. For example, if a student or a student’s family has experienced an income reduction due to unemployment, disability, divorce, or death, the student can submit an appeal to potentially have financial aid eligibility recalculated using updated information. Contact Student Financial Services at 814-824-2288 for more information or to schedule an appointment with a Student Financial Services counselor.
Other special circumstances include loss of nontaxable income (e.g., child support, Social Security benefits, and so on). In all cases, special circumstances must be fully documented with tax returns, death certificates, court documentation, or letters from appropriate agencies, individuals, or employers. If there are other circumstances that affect the amount that a student and family can contribute toward a student’s education, contact Student Financial Services as soon as possible, but keep in mind that the reasons must be sound, and the student will have to provideadequate proof to support any adjustments.
Verification and Eligibility Confirmation
Verification is the process by which Student Financial Services — as dictated by federal regulations — compares the information reported on a FAFSA with a student’s (and student’s parents’) prior-prior-year tax returns and other financial documentation. If a student’s application is selected for verification, the student will be contacted by letter and e-mail requesting the information required. Student Financial Services must receive all requested documentation before federal aid can be disbursed. If there are differences between the data supplied on the FAFSA and the verification documentation, corrections might be needed, and the student’s FAFSA will be reprocessed. This might result in a revision of the financial aid package. Failure to submit documents within the requested time frame will result in cancellation of aid.
If a student is a Pennsylvania resident receiving state aid, PHEAA might select the student file for state validation. If a student receives an Applicant Information Request from PHEAA, the student must forward all requested information and financial documents directly to PHEAA in Harrisburg. In some cases, PHEAA might request the same information that was requested by Student Financial Services. The student must forward this same information and documentation to PHEAA to avoid a delay in disbursement of funds or loss of state aid altogether.
It is extremely important that students (and parents) respond to requests for information promptly, because finalized financial aid packages are processed in the order of file completion dates. To ensure a student’s financial aid funds disburse as scheduled at the start of the fall semester, the student must be registered for classes, make Satisfactory Academic Progress, and submit all required documentation by July 20 prior to the academic year. Failure to reply to requests for information will result in cancellation of any financial aid offers. Students may still submit late documents, but aid is not guaranteed. The absolute deadline for submittal of all documents is 30 days before the end of the semester or award period in which the student is enrolled for the academic year. The designated deadlines allow Student Financial Services to process and authorize disbursements within the time frames permitted under federal regulations and university policies.
As indicated in the Financial Aid Awarding Policy section that follows, each financial aid program has specific requirements regarding enrollment status. In general, Student Financial Services uses the following undergraduate enrollment criteria each semester to determine eligibility for the financial aid programs it administers.
|Credits||Enrollment Status Classification|
|9-11||Three Quarter Time|
|1-5||Less than Half Time|
Students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program are considered undergraduate students for financial aid purposes.
A student’s financial aid package is based on full-time enrollment as determined on the census date (the morning after drop/add). If a student does not have full-time status, financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. Students registered for any Mini 2 or Mini 4 courses will have a secondary census date after the drop/add period for those terms. If changes to enrollment cause thestudent to be less than full time for the semester, aid for the entire semester will be recalculated and, in some cases, canceled. If canceled aid results in a balance owed to the school, the student must pay the balance within 30 days.
Failure to resolve an outstanding balance within that time frame may result in the account being placed on hold, possible deregistration from future registered courses, and a hold on the grades and/or transcripts. Summer enrollment status follows the same enrollment criteria for financial aid eligibility. Students must consult with Student Financial Services if they plan to withdraw from any courses in any term.
Other Eligibility Criteria
Eligibility for federal student aid is determined on the basis of financial need and several other factors. To receive financial aid from federal programs, students must meet the following criteria:
In addition to most of the federal aid criteria detailed earlier, eligibility for Pennsylvania assistance programs requires that the student (and parents if the student is a dependent) meet Pennsylvania residency requirements.
Enrollment at Other Institutions/Study-Abroad
Students cannot receive financial aid at multiple institutions for the same courses. A student must declare which institution is to be considered the “home school” for financial aid eligibility purposes. If students have been approved to study abroad or to attend another institution during a semester to take part or all of their educational requirements, the students might receive some forms of financial aid for that semester, if approved in advance and if a Consortium Agreement is executed between Mercyhurst and the other institution. Not all schools participate in Consortium Agreements, so it is important to confirm this early. Consortium Agreement information is available from Student Financial Services.