North Texas Daily

Student Financial Services to introduce new refund process on Nov. 11

Student Financial Services to introduce new refund process on Nov. 11

Student Financial Services to introduce new refund process on Nov. 11
November 05
15:23 2019

A new refund process will be introduced to UNT on Nov. 11 which will give students the ability to choose how they would like to receive their refunds by accessing this choice in myUNT.

The choices available for students receiving a refund include direct deposit or any reloadable debit card, Director of Student Financial Services Chris Foster said. If a student does not choose one of those two options, a check will be sent from SFS with the student’s refund money. A student’s refund preference can be changed at any time.

“I think in general this process is going to be more streamlined for students,” Division Communications Strategist Margarita Venegas said. “They are going to find that it’s going to be easier to navigate, instead of having to go through this whole BankMobile process, which was just not as integrated into the myUNT which is something that students use every day, so it comes more intuitive to them.”

Previously, to set up a refund preference, UNT used BankMobile where students had to maintain separate login credentials, maintain their address information within the BankMobile system that was separate from what was in myUNT and there was a refund preference option that marketed BankMobile’s own checking account, Foster said. 

There was a problem with BankMobile emails being marked as junk mail, Foster said, and difficulties in communicating to students and parents that the check sent in a green envelope was not junk mail but their refund. 

“It is the biggest complaint that we have had over the course of multiple years that there’s confusion, and this is not just from students,” Foster said. “So if you think about it, that green envelope for a brand new student is probably going to the parents’ address. So, one of the things that we’ve had to work around with is when we’re talking to parents say, ‘OK, remember it’s going to be a green envelope. It’s not junk mail,’ it is something that’s important that they need to open.”

Foster said students commonly reported to SFS that they were unsure of how to set up their refund process in BankMobile and did not know whether they were waiting on a green envelope with their refund money or if they were being issued an instant personal code, which is being fixed with the new refund process with how Nelnet is being used and linked to myUNT.

“It is removing a third party,” Foster said. “We had multiple third parties involved in the student account process, so we had BankMobile for refunds, we have Nelnet for payments. We understand that students don’t want to go to three different places to conduct their business that should be simple.”

An email will be sent from SFS to students to let them know when choosing a refund preference will be available, Foster said. Nelnet will be sending emails when the students’ refund preference goes through, and it will be branded as a UNT email.

SFS plans to go live on Nov. 23 for any processed refunds. The bulk of the refunds that will be processed through the Nelnet system will be spring disbursements which will be disbursed in early January, Foster said.

“Personally, I think that more flexibility is always great, so giving students more options on how to receive their refunds is always a plus,” accounting sophomore Cole Atkins said. “I don’t find it necessary, but it’s definitely a nice convenience for students or parents. It’s always nice to have options.”

To decide on what to replace the BankMobile refund process with, after the BankMobile process expired, Foster said SFS researched and talked with other universities like Blinn College, University of Colorado Boulder, University at Buffalo and others about their refund processes and decided on the Nelnet system.

The new format of myUNT was created for students to be able to access the website on any device, which is why the new refund process will be linked to myUNT, Foster said.

“I think it simplifies the message,” Associate Vice President for SFS Joey Saxon said. “Go to myUNT to set up your refund preference. That’s all we really need to say. Students are smart enough to figure it out, not with the current process where you’ll receive a code, and then you have to log into their system. So, it’s confusing.”

Foster said for the new refund process to transition smoothly, SFS is working with University Relations, Communications and Marketing and the Division of Student Affairs to communicate the changing process effectively to students.

For more information, SFS has a Facebook and Twitter account to keep students updated with current information. Foster said after the new refund process goes online, the SFS Frequently Asked Questions will be updated as well.

“We have a viewpoint in our office where we consistently try to reevaluate and engage students so every decision that we make, whether it’s this, whether it’s a tuition plan, we try to make sure that we’re taking into consideration what the student viewpoint is,” Foster said. “If we experience situations where students aren’t satisfied with this, we will certainly take their feedback and do what we can to try to improve that.”

Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias

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Rebekah Schulte

Rebekah Schulte

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