These financial policies help us contain costs, establish better business practices and respond to audits. Policies have been developed for use College-wide.
Saint Mary's College uses the electronic billing system known as eBill. With eBill, an email notification is sent to your Saint Mary's email account each time a new bill is available. You can also authorize other payers (parents, spouses, etc.) to receive the email notification. We strongly encourage our students to set up Authorize Payer profiles.
Email is SMC's primary method of communication. All students must maintain and manage their SMC email accounts. Accounts with undeliverable email or returned email will be assessed a fee.
All students assume financial responsibility for any charges and/or fees posted to his/her account. All students also assume responsibility for understanding SMC's official policies concerning payment due dates, registration deadlines, unit load, financial policies and satisfactory academic progress.
All charges are due and payable upon receipt of a statement from the Business Office. A student failing to make payment will be denied registration and will be unable to attend class or campus facilities. Participation in commencement exercises will not be allowed, nor will a diploma, transcript of credit, or honorable dismissal be issued until all College bills have been paid in full. Transcripts will not be issued to former (or current) students with past due balances, including past-due balances on National Direct Student or Federal Perkins Loans. Further action may be taken for unpaid balances.
All deposits (admission deposits, housing deposits, etc.) are NON-REFUNDABLE, including travel deposits, unless the course is cancelled. Exceptions due to emergencies must be made, in writing, and submitted to the Business Office. Petitions under these circumstances will be considered after all expenses have been paid. Graduate and professional student deposits are also NON-REFUNDABLE.
Saint Mary's College may impose late fees on any outstanding balances. SMC reserves the right to demand payment, in full, for subsequent terms of enrollment prior to the beginning of each term.
Returned Check Policy
If a payment is returned unpaid for any reason, the check will automatically be re-deposited with a $25 returned check fee. If payment is returned a second time, the face value of the check will be placed back on the student's account with another $25 returned check fee and considered NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds). Any eCheck payment returned for non-sufficient funds will also incur an additional $25 returned check fee on the student's account. A “hold” will be placed on the account and late fees will accrue until payment, in full, is received. Payment in certified funds for the amount of the returned item and any applicable fees will be required. SMC reserves the right to drop unpaid classes resulting from payments made by non-sufficient funds.
Please note: Personal check privileges will be permanently revoked after two payments are considered NSF. Only payments in certified funds will be accepted after two NSF checks.
Past Due Balances
Students who have an unpaid balance with SMC may not register for subsequent terms, receive transcripts or diplomas. A "hold" will be placed on the student's account and monthly late fees will accrue until payment, in full, is received. Students with poor payment histories are required to pay, in full, at the time of registration for any charges related to tuition and fees. Transcripts will not be issued to current or former students with past due balances, including past-due balances on Direct Student Loans or Federal Perkins Loans. Saint Mary's College will assign delinquent accounts to collection agencies. Saint Mary's College further reserves the right to recover all costs involved with collection due to nonpayment of the outstanding balance. Students must agree to reimburse SMC the fees of any collection agency, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 33% of the debt. Monthly interest will also accrue.
Loan Refunds and Overpayments
Loan refunds will be made after crediting financial aid funds students have accepted against initial charges to the student's billing account including, but not limited to, tuition, mandatory fees, payment plans, room and board, course material fees, etc. and the remaining balance (if any) will thereafter be refunded to the student. The credit balance refunded after deduction of the initial charges on a student's billing account may not reflect additional and subsequent charges and fees that may be incurred AFTER receiving a refund of the net balance. The refund of the remaining credit balance is not intended as a final accounting of all charges incurred and any additional charges not deducted from the financial aid funds and not reflected in the balance refunded must be timely paid.
Refunds will only be issued once all payment plan installments are satisfied. Student's receiving financial aid to cover allowable charges for the semester must use their aid to pay off their monthly payment plan *prior* to any refund (if any) being issued.
All non-allowable charges such as late fees, traffic fines, library fines and other miscellaneous fees will also be covered unless the borrower declines this authorization. If the student or borrower declines or chooses not to authorize the College to apply Title IV funds to non-allowable charges, the student borrower must contact the Business Office and complete the Federal Funds Authorization form. The student will be billed separately for any non-allowable charge(s) appearing on his/her student account ONLY if the Federal Funds Authorization Form is completed and submitted to the Business Office.
Refunds will only be issued on credit balances. Refunds of overpayment may be requested in person or in writing to the Business Office. Overpayments are not automatically refunded. Refunds from Federal Loan proceeds (if any) will be issued within 14 days of disbursement. If the disbursement creates a credit, the refund will be issued to the borrower of the loan. Once the academic term begins, refunds will be available on Tuesday or Thursday. Refunds will NOT be processed prior to the beginning of the term or for any pending aid that has not yet disbursed.
Students have the option to pick up their refund, have it mailed to the address on file, or electronically deposited to the bank account of their choice. Refunds will NOT be mailed to campus housing. During the first two weeks of each semester, refunds are held for pick-up in the Business Office unless the student has signed up for eReimbursement. This can be done by logging into GaelXpress and clicking MY BANK ACCT - eREIMBURSEMENT. Any check not picked up within the first two weeks of each semester will automatically be mailed to the permanent address on file. If the student is no longer eligible to receive financial aid or student loans, his/her account will be adjusted accordingly. Any refund received from these funds must be reimbursed to Saint Mary’s IMMEDIATELY.
* Credits resulting from Federal Parent PLUS loans will be issued to the parent borrower. Parents are not eligilbe for eReimbursement
* Refunds will not be processed until a credit appears on the account and all charges, including TMS budgets, are paid in full.
Financial Aid Withdrawal & Refund Policy
In the event that a student drops classes or leaves Saint Mary’s College of California, an on-line formal withdrawal must be processed with the Registrar's Office. The student should also contact the Financial Aid Office to fully understand any ramifications to their student aid.
Return of Title IV Funds is a federally mandated policy that applies only to students who receive federal financial aid and who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a Leave of Absence prior to completing 60% of a term. The Return of Title IV Funds policy does not apply to students who reduce their units and remain enrolled. Return of Title IV Funds will be used to determine how much aid, if any, must be returned to Title IV programs. The Title IV funds considered in the policy are the Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. The policy does not apply to the Federal Work-Study program.
The Return of Title IV funds calculation identifies two types of federal aid, earned and unearned. The earned aid is based on a percentage calculated by dividing the number of days the student completed by the number of days in the payment period. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point earns all disbursed (received) and disbursable aid. Disbursable aid includes aid received and the aid that could have been (but was not) disbursed as of the withdrawal date. If earned aid exceeds disbursed aid, a post-withdrawal disbursement may be made. Saint Mary’s College of California will first credit post-withdrawal disbursement not credited to school charges. Within 30 days of determination that the student withdrew, the student will be provided with a written notification of any post-withdrawal funds that are available to the student. No post-withdrawal disbursement will be made if the student does not respond within 14 days of the notification date.
Unearned aid is any disbursed aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid the student earned. The unearned aid amount is to be returned to the U.S Department of Education, a responsibility shared by Saint Mary’s College of California and the student. This may create a balance owed on a student’s tuition billing account. The student is responsible to pay the amount owing on their billingaccount.
Saint Mary’s College of California will return its share of unearned funds no later than 45 days after it determines that the student withdrew. Students must repay their share according to the terms and conditions stated in their promissory note(s). Funds returned to U.S Department of Education by Saint Mary’s College of California will be distributed first to the Federal Unsubsidized Loan then to the Federal Subsidized Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan and finally to the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), TEACH Grant, and Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grant.
This policy is based on 34 CFR, Section 668.22 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1964, as amended. The formula is prescribed in Section 484(b).
Federal Perkins Loan Borrowers Entrance/Exit Counseling Requirement
Federal law requires that all new Federal Perkins Loan borrowers complete an Entrance Counseling test before the loan is disbursed. The Perkins Entrance counseling can be completed by going to iGrad at https://www.igrad.com/schools/stmarysca?targeturl=%2Fregister.aspx%3FReturnURL=%2FProfile%2FProfile-Courses.aspx%3Fc=entrance
When Federal Perkins Loan borrowers graduate or cease to be enrolled for at least the half-time requirement, they must complete an Exit Counseling session at Saint Mary's College. This Exit counseling can be done in person at the Business Office or by going to one of three sessions set up on-campus during the end of April and early May. Please contact the Federal Perkins Loan Coordinator in the Business Office for details.
Undergraduate Part-Time Enrollment
Saint Mary's College is a full-time school, however, the College will charge approved part-time students course by course for each term (fall, Jan, and spring terms) if enrollment is LESS than 7.0 courses, per academic year. Students who are enrolled in 7.0 to 9.0 courses per academic year will be considered full-time and will not be permitted to change to part-time status. Students will be classified as full-time or part-time for the entire academic year, not term by term.
For students not completing the full academic year with enrollment of one term only, part-time status is permitted for LESS than 3.0 courses in the term.
PLEASE NOTE: Saint Mary's is a full-time school. Students wishing to be classified as "part-time" must complete the Part-Time Petition for EACH YEAR enrollment is less than 7.0 courses (less than 3 courses for one term only). This form must be signed and received by the add/drop deadline of the semester. Approval by the Assistant to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Academics for Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Institutional Compliance is required.
ALSO NOTE: Part-time students are not eligible for SMC's Health Insurance Plan. Students who drop to part-time status after the deadline to waive the medical insurance has passed are liable for the full medical insurance charge. Additionally, Part-time students are not permitted to live on campus and are not eligible for the monthly payment plan with Tuition Management Systems (TMS). Eligibility for financial aid will be affected for part-time students AND GRADUATION FILING WILL ALSO BE AFFECTED.
Undergraduate Additional Course Fee
Each full-time undergraduate student is entitled to take 7.0-9.0 courses per year if paying full-time tuition. Students may spread the courses out over the fall, Jan, and spring terms. If a student attempts to take more than 4.0 in either fall or spring, and more than 1.0 in Jan term, he/she will be charged an additional course fee unless the additional course is a quarter credit. All elective quarter credits are billed at no charge to undergraduate students. Any other additional course (excluding quarter credits) will be billed as an additional course fee. This additional course fee will be reversed during the spring term if the student did not go over 9.0 attempted courses for the entire academic year. If, however, the student takes more than 9.0 total courses for the year, including courses withdrawn from after the add/drop period, the additional course fee must be paid.
SMC students attending Study Abroad Programs and Non-SMC programs will be charged an additional course fee if attempted credits exceed 4.0 for the fall/spring semesters and 1.0 for Jan term. See the below "Study Abroad" section for additional information or contact the Center for International Programs at (925) 631-4352 for full details.
To ensure that all students have health insurance coverage, including basic sickness and accident insurance, the College has instituted a mandatory health insurance requirement for all full-time undergraduate students. Students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the College’s provided plan through Anthem Blue Cross.
Every year, if you have comparable coverage, you must file a waiver with Saint Mary's College by going to www.stmarys-ca.edu/health-wellness-center/insurance-waivers. Be sure to print your confirmation page for your records. Once you have completed the waiver, Saint Mary's will credit your account for the premium. This will occur in 5 business days. The waiver must be completed on or before SEPTEMBER 10, 2014. If you waive prior to receiving your opening eBill in early July, you will not see the charge on your bill at all! If you waive after you receive your opening eBill, the charge will be reversed up until September 10, 2014. No waivers will be accepted after September 10th.
PLEASE NOTE: The waiver opportunity will shut down at the end of the add/drop period, September 10, 2014. If you have NOT completed the waiver by September 10th, you will be insured for the FULL academic year with no other chance to waive. Once a student is enrolled, there are NO premium refunds. The cost of the annual medical insurance policy is estimated at $1,740 ($870 each term). This charge is subject to change. The entire amount of $1,740 will be billed to your student account. A charge of $870 will be on your fall bill and a charge of $870 will be on your spring bill. No refunds will be made after the closure of the waiver process. If you withdraw, file a leave of absence, or cease attending classes without having waived the insurance by the deadline, the insurance coverage will continue to the end of the semester regardless of whether you are enrolled in classes and you will be liable for the insurance fee.
ATTENTION: International students and U.S. citizens whose primary residence is abroad will NOT be able to waive the school insurance. Mandatory enrollment is required if your permanent address is abroad. Graduate and professional students are not eligible for the plan unless they are international students. All international students (graduate and/or undergraduate) and U.S. citizens whose primary residence is abroad are REQUIRED to enroll in the College sponsored plan and should visit the Center for International Programs for additional information.
All study abroad students attending SMC programs are subject to the same policies and procedures as on-campus full-time students who are not traveling. You must be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic and financial standings to be eligible for any study abroad program through SMC. For more details regarding eligibility, please visit or call the Center for International Programs at (925) 631-4352.
An additional course fee will be assessed if attempted credits go above 4.0 course credits in the fall or spring semester(s) and/or 1.0 course in Jan term. For more information regarding the additional course fee or tuition billing, please visit or call the Business Office at (925) 631-4209.
All study abroad students attending non-SMC programs will not receive a bill from SMC for the study abroad term. Payment must be sent directly to the host institution. A consortium agreement must be completed with the Financial Aid Office for those receiving aid through SMC. Please contact the Financial Aid office directly at (925) 631-4370. Please also contact the Center for International Programs at (925) 631-4352 for additional information related to study abroad programs, financial aid, insurance coverage, etc.