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Western Kentucky University

Refund Process - FAQ

Provided below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the refund process:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you define Higher One, the WKU Debit Card, Easy Refund, and the OneAccount?

What are my options for receiving financial aid or other refunds?

How are WKU refunds delivered to students?   

How do I get my WKU Debit Card?

Is this my Student ID card? 

What do I do when I receive the WKU Debit Card?

Does activating mean I open a bank account with Higher One?  

How do I choose a refund preference?

Can I have my refund deposited to another bank account?

When will the university disburse the funds to Higher One?

When will I get a refund?

How long does it take to receive my refund?

I don't think I will ever get a refund.  Why should I activate the card?

How can I check my account information? 

What is the OneAccount?   

What are the advantages of having my refunds deposited directly to my OneAccount?

Are there any fees for the OneAccount?

What is an ACH Transfer?             

When will I know when my refund has been processed?   

  Can you define Higher One, the WKU Debit Card, Easy Refund, and the OneAccount?

Higher One:  A financial services company that specializes in student refund payment services.

WKU Debit Card:  The card used to access the Higher One website and to select an option for receiving refunds from the university.

Easy Refund:  A refund method that opens a bank account with Higher One and deposits disbursements into the OneAccount.

OneAccount:  An FDIC insured bank account offered by Higher One.  If the account is opened, then the WKU Debit Card also functions as a debit card.  More information on the OneAccount is listed below.

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What are my options for receiving financial aid or other refunds?

The WKU Debit Card provides two options:

Option 1:  Easy Refund to the OneAccount (fastest option available).

Option 2:  ACH transfer to a bank account of your choice (2-3 business days).

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How are WKU refunds delivered to students?

Refunds are delivered to students by the option that they choose when activating the WKU Debit Card:

Option 1:  Easy Refund to the optional OneAccount – More information on the OneAccount below.

Option 2:  ACH Transfer (Direct Deposit) to your current bank account – Deposit funds to a bank of your choice.  Selecting this method will allow funds to be available in 2-3 business days.

NOTE:  The university does NOT issue refund checks, so you MUST choose an option for receiving any refund due to you. The funds are sent from the university to Higher One who then disburses the refunds according to the choice a student has made during the selection process.

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How do I get my WKU Debit Card?

Each registered WKU student will receive a WKU Debit Card from Higher One.  Your card will arrive in the mail at your current address on file with the university.

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Is this my Student ID card?

No.  You still need your student WKU ID – the Big Red Card to use on campus.  Your Big Red Card is used for library services, printing services, meal plan purchases, and is your personal identification for all university related activities.

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What do I do when I receive the WKU Debit Card?

The card is required in the selection process to determine how you receive future refunds from WKU for residual amounts or any other reason.  To avoid delay in receiving any money due you, please use your 16 digit card number to access the Higher One website.  During the selection process you will choose how to receive your refund money.  Even if you do not receive financial aid, you may be eligible to receive a refund from WKU in the future.  For example, if you drop a class during the drop/add period, or if you withdraw, you may be eligible for a refund so don’t throw the card away.  Keep your WKU Debit Card somewhere safe in case you need to access future funds owed to you.

You will receive a WKU Debit Card shortly after you enroll.  The card will be mailed to your current address on file with the university.  If your initial card is mailed to the wrong address, please contact the WKU Debit Card Office at 270-745-5551 or in Potter Hall, room 208.

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Does activating mean I open a bank account with Higher One?

No, activating the card means selecting a refund preference.  You do not have to use the card or open another bank account.  You have the option of having any refund sent to your existing bank account (ACH).  If you choose Easy Refund, then you have opened a bank account with Higher One.

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How do I choose a refund preference?

Go to the Higher One website.  Enter your 16 digit card number in the section labeled “Get Started”, click “Go” and follow the instructions to set up your refund preference.

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Can I have my refund deposited to another bank account?

If you prefer, you may have your financial aid refund or other refunds deposited to the bank of your choice.  In order to have your refund deposited to your bank, you must first use your WKU Debit Card to access the Higher One website and select ACH transfer.  For this option, you will need to complete, print and mail or fax the third party form to Higher One.  The form is available during the refund selection process.

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When will the university disburse the funds to Higher One?

The disbursement of refunds is a two step process.  First, the Financial Aid and Bursar’s Offices create a refund file to send to Higher One.  This is a list of all students that will receive refunds.  Second, a wire transfer is sent to Higher One so the actual funds can be disbursed.  This is typically a two day process.  For example, if the refund list is created on Monday, the wire transfers are generally sent on Tuesday.

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When will I get a refund?

Should the student have a negative balance after Financial Aid is applied to the account, a refund will be generated for the student.  Title IV regulations state that in most cases refunds should be processed for students within 14 days of being applied to the student’s University account.  An exception is when financial aid is applied prior to the start of classes for that term; then it is 14 days after the first day of class.  In most cases, students at WKU receive their refunds faster than this time frame.

WKU begins processing financial aid refunds for current semesters on Mondays.  The file will typically be sent to Higher One for processing on Tuesdays.

Please note your account will show a “Refund” or “Residual” and dollar amount in TopNet before funds will be released to you through Higher One.  Should your account show a negative balance this does not mean that WKU has processed a refund for you.  Your account balance will have to show a zero before funds will be released.

Even if a student receives a refund from WKU, this does not mean that their University Account is paid in full.  Student must check their Topnet account to verify that their account is paid.  It is the student’s responsibility to pay any outstanding balances with the University.

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How long does it take to receive my refund?

Funds are sent from the university to Higher One who then disburses the refunds according to the choice a student has made. Refunds to be disbursed into the OneAccount are available immediately after processing.  Refunds disbursed by ACH transfer (direct deposit) can take 2 to 3 business days for the recipient bank to process.

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I don’t think I will ever get a refund.  Why should I activate the card?

Even if you do not think you will be getting a refund from the university, you never know what may happen.  It may be necessary for you to drop a class, a class may be cancelled, or you may receive a scholarship or other assistance that you were not anticipating.  If you have activated the card and chosen your preferred method, your refund will be delivered to you in a timely manner.  Remember, the university does not issue refund checks, so it is important that you make a choice for your refund preference.

Additionally, the university utilizes Higher One to process student payroll – allowing students to receive payroll directly to the OneAccount or directly to another bank account.

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How can I check my account information?

The OneAccount is not associated with WKU.

Questions regarding the OneAccount should be directed to 1-800-815-5448 or www.wkudebitcard.com

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What is the OneAccount?

The OneAccount is a full functioning FDIC insured free checking account that allows you to access your refunds quicker and easier.  The OneAccount has no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and internet banking features.  With it, you can use your WKU Debit Card to make purchases anywhere MasterCard Debit is accepted.  You can also get cash with no fees at Higher One ATMs located on campus.

Your WKU Debit Card is used to access your OneAccount.  During activation, students have the option of selecting the OneAccount.  If you would like to change your refund preference to the OneAccount you may do so at any time.  Once you have activated the OneAccount and you have available funds, the debit card functions will be activated and you may use your WKU Debit Card as a debit card anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

MasterCard Zero Liability - If you have activated the OneAccount, have peace of mind knowing your card issuer won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized purchases.

As a MasterCard cardholder your card issuer won’t hold you liable in the event of an unauthorized use of your U.S.-issued MasterCard card. This coverage extends to purchases made in a store, over the telephone, or online.

Zero Liability is provided under the following conditions:

Your account is in good standing.

You have exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your card.

You have not reported two or more unauthorized events in the past 12 months.

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What are the advantages of having my refunds deposited directly to my OneAccount?

Depositing your refund to your OneAccount is the quickest way to gain access to your money.  To have your refund directly deposited to the OneAccount, activate and choose Easy Refund to open your OneAccount.  After your WKU charges have been paid, remaining funds (financial aid or other credits) will be released by the university and directly deposited to your OneAccount.

You can use the WKU Debit Card (NOT A CREDIT CARD) to make purchases at all participating merchants that accept MasterCard including the bookstore on campus, access cash at an ATM, pay bills, and so much more.

Your parents and friends can easily send you money online with the “Send Money” feature.

There is no charge to you for receiving your refund directly in your OneAccount.  There is no monthly fee or minimum balance.

You can stay informed about the status of your refund or changes to your account balance with mobile alerts to your cell phone.

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Are there any fees for the OneAccount?

The OneAccount offers free checking with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.  However, some banking services may result in a fee, such as overdrafts or non Higher One ATM transactions.  Please visit the Higher One website for a complete list of fees and for information on how to use the OneAccount for free.

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What is an ACH Transfer?

An ACH or Automated Clearing House transaction is an electronic funds transfer.  This option allows for your refund to be directly deposited to an existing bank account.  To setup your direct deposit you will complete an ACH form and submit it to Higher One. You can mail or fax the completed form to Higher One or drop it in the Higher One communication box located on the 2nd floor of Potter Hall on the main campus, near the bookstore entrance at the Glasgow campus or near the food court on the South Campus.

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How will I know when my refund has been processed?

You will receive an e-mail from Higher One to your WKU email address when your refund has been processed indicating the option by which you chose to receive your reimbursement.  Additionally, you will be able to see details of your OneAccount by accessing your statement on the website or you may opt-in to receive a text message directly to your cell phone with mobile alerts.

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 Last Modified 9/25/14