Financial Aid Disbursements & Refunds


Disbursement means paying the funds from your financial aid grants or loans to your Madison College account for charges of tuition, fees and books (if you charged them during the Book Charge process). If you want to use financial aid funds to pay for past due tuition or fees, you must grant student permission.


If there is any money left over once your disbursement pays your balance due, you will receive the remainder of that money in the form of a refund.

  • Disbursement Eligibility

    Listed below are general requirements that must be met before funds can be disbursed to Madison College. Some specific types of financial aid may have more requirements.

      • You must be admitted into a financial aid eligible program of study.
      • You must meet funding-specific enrollment status requirements.
      • For most type of aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time.
      • You must meet all satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards.
      • You cannot have any outstanding To Do List items in myMadisonCollege.
      • You must have received your Financial Aid Offer Notification (see application process step 6) in your student email and accepted all funds you wish to receive.
      • You must have completed Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note at if you are receiving a Federal Direct Loan.


  • Disbursement Time Frame

    The first disbursement of financial aid begins after the Pell Recalculation Date if you have met all the requirements. After the first disbursement, available financial aid funding is released once a week. To see your estimated disbursement date:

    • Log into your myMadisonCollege account.
    • Under the Finances heading, click on "View Financial Aid."
    • Choose the appropriate Aid Year (e.g. 2021 for the 2020-21 academic year).
    • Under the appropriate term, view Scheduled/Expected Disbursement Dates.
    • The Scheduled Disbursement Date will list the anticipated disbursement date for the specific awards. 

    Students in the following situations may have later disbursement dates due to Federal regulations:

    • If you have classes that do not begin prior to the Pell Recalculation Date, funds will begin disbursing on the next scheduled disbursement date after your classes have begun.
    • If you are a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, your first loan disbursement cannot be released until 30 days after your classes begin.
    • If your Federal Direct Loan is awarded for a single semester, your loan will disburse in two payments. The second payment will occur at the mid-point of the semester.
  • Refunds

    Refund Time Frame

    If you are eligible for a refund after your aid disburses, it will be generated within 14-calendar days of when your funds disburse. To view actual disbursements to your financial aid account, access your Account Activity on your myMadisonCollege Student Center.

    Receiving Your Refund

    Refunds are sent to your mailing address on record. Be sure your address information is up to date in myMadisonCollege so that you can receive it promptly. If you want a refund deposited directly into your bank account, you will need to sign up for e-refunding.

    Once a refund is generated, please allow time for processing and delivery. For mail delivery, please note that the USPS processing is now being routed through Milwaukee instead of Madison, which could lengthen delivery time. For e-refunding, it may take up to five business days for the funds to be deposited into your account.

    Return Refund

    You have the right to cancel/reduce your Federal Direct Loans and may do so by returning your check along with a statement to the Madison College Payment Center within 14 days of payment. Include your full name, student ID number, and signature.

  • 14 Day Loan Return Option

    Student loan borrowers who receive Federal Direct Student Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, or Parent PLUS) have the right to return all or a portion of their loan disbursements to Madison College within 14 calendar days of disbursement: subsequently reducing their loan debt.

    If you wish to return any of your loan funds to Madison College after a refund is issued, you must do the following:

    • Return your uncashed check and provide a signed and dated written statement regarding the request to return the applicable loan funds specifying which loan(s) and amount(s) you want returned. Note: please contact the Financial Aid Office if you need help determining this.
    • If you have cashed your refund check or received a direct deposit, provide your signed and dated written statement that the loan be reduced for the desired amount. This can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to us. Once the loan is removed from your Student Account, you can then make an ePayment through myMadisonCollege, or write a personal check payable to "Madison College" with “14 Day Loan Return” and your Student ID number on the memo line

    Submit your documents by visiting the Madison College Payment Center (Truax Campus, Main Building, A1000B), mailing them directly to Madison College Financial Operations (Madison College Attn: Student Financials P.O. Box 7906 Madison, WI 53707), emailing us at, or faxing to (608) 243-4245.


    The Financial Aid Office will ensure the requested return can be processed. If approved, your loan servicer will send an updated statement showing the reduction. The National Students Loan Data System (NSLDS) will also reflect this change. Allow 90 days for the returned amount(s) to be reflected. You may find your loan servicer information on NSLDS.

Disbursements are based on your financial aid award. Once your funds disburse, they will go toward your balance owed to Madison College. You will receive any remaining amount in the form of a refund. Your refund may therefore be lower than your disbursement amount because of the balance(s) paid. In addition:

  • Student loans are subject to origination fees.
  • Work study funds require you to apply for an on or off-campus job and earn up to the amount listed on your award. Earned funds are then paid directly to you in a bi-weekly paycheck. These are not disbursed to your student account like grants or loans.
  • Some funds are required to be listed on your award letter as count against your COA and may disburse through the Financial Aid Office. These include Tribal/BIA awards, DVR, Alternative loans or Nursing Loans.
  • Some funds are required to be listed on your award letter as count against our COA, but may not disburse to your account through the Financial Aid Office. These include Foundation Scholarships, state Veterans Education Benefits, and Other Aid (which are generally third party payments).