Office of Business Operations

Student Accounts FAQ

Where is Student Accounts?

Student Accounts is located in the Office of Business Operations in Gilchrist Hall on the upper level, room 103. Staff is available to help students with their questions Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30 p.m.. They can also be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (319) 273-2164. Mailed correspondence can be sent to: University of Northern Iowa Attn: Student Accounts, 103 Gilchrist Hall, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0008.

When and where are the u-bills sent each month?

An electronic university bill (u-bill) is generated on the 1st of every month and due on the 20th (If the due date falls on a weekend, the due date will be the first business day following). An email notification is sent to each student’s UNI email address when the u-bill is available. Paper u-bills are NOT sent.

What happens if I don't receive my u-bill?

Each student is responsible for monitoring their u-bill. U-bills need to be paid by the due date even if an email notification has not been received. Students can view their u-bill, pay their u-bill, or enroll in a payment plan online at via MyUNIverse on the Student Center tab.

Can I get my u-bill sent to my parents?

No. We do not send paper u-bills. Students can allow access to their u-bill by creating a username and password for parents or other third parties. Go to MyUNIverse –My Page tab-Third Party Accounts to grant access. 

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Student education records are confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student. Additional details can be found here.

Can I pay my u-bill with a credit/debit card?

Yes, credit/debit card payments are accepted online only. An applicable convenience fee depending on the type of card used will be assessed at the time of payment.

Can I cash personal/UNI checks?

Yes, within the following limits. Personal checks up to $50.00 per day (could include a two-party check from parents, grand-parents, friend, etc.) and UNI checks (paychecks, student refund checks, etc.) up to $100.00 per day may be cashed. A photo ID is required.

What payment plan options are available?

The University offers a Deferred Payment Plan option for tuition, mandatory fees, and contracted room and meal plan charges. This plan allows students to make payments in installments each semester. Plan options:

UNI Self-Service Plan

The UNI Self-Service plan allows students to select a 5 month plan. All enrolled students are eligible to participate but the student MUST ENROLL prior to the first billing due date. To enroll, students need to visit and log in to MyUNIverse-Student Center tab to complete the online payment plan agreement. There is a $20 deferred billing fee, per semester, that will be assessed to the student’s first u-bill after enrolling in a plan. It is in the student’s best interest to enroll in a plan prior to the first billing due date, i.e. before August 20 or January 20, to ensure the greatest options.

Additional information regarding payment plans can be found

How is the late fee calculated?

The late fee is charged to students who are past due.  The rate is 1% of the amount past due and will be charged each month the u-bill has a past due balance.  For example, a past due bill of $1500.00 will be assessed a late fee of $15.

Can I defer my payments in the summer?

Yes. A three month payment plan is available for tuition, mandatory fees, and contracted room and meal plan charges .The first summer billing will be created May 1 and the due dates will be May 20th, June 20th, and July 20th.

What happens if a check/e-check is returned from my bank?

If a check/e-check is returned for Insufficient Funds, Account Closed, or Stop Payment, it will be charged back to the student's u-bill with an additional fee of $30.00. The student is responsible for bringing their u-bill current, even if the payment was initiated by a parent or other third party.

How does Financial Aid pay my u-bill?

All financial aid is disbursed to the student via the u-bill.  Once the student has accepted their financial aid and all the necessary forms have been completed and approved, the aid will be automatically credited to the u-bill. To expedite the process, students must complete the Authorization to Apply Federal Financial Aid checklist via MyUNIverse-Student’s Center tab. This will allow Federal aid to pay all charges on the current year u-bill. It will also allow the application of current year Federal aid up to $200 in miscellaneous charges on a prior year u-bill.

What happens if my financial aid does not credit by the u-bill due date?

If you have accepted your awards online and have completed all promissory notes provided by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the loans still have not credited, contact Financial Aid at (319) 273-2700 or A payment is necessary by the due date to avoid a late fee of up to 1% and other restrictions. When the loans are applied to the u-bill and the account is brought current, all restrictions will be lifted and the status will return to normal.

How often are refunds issued?

The University will initiate direct deposit refunds daily beginning the first week prior to classes starting through the second week of classes to accommodate increased financial aid disbursements.  Beginning the 3rd week of each semester, direct deposits will be initiated on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.

How can I get refunds sent directly to my bank account?

It is the procedure of the University that all student refunds be sent to the student by direct deposit into a bank account of their choice.  It is the responsibility of each student to enter and maintain their bank information in MyUNIverse - Finances tab - Direct Deposit Sign-Up.  Student Accounts staff can answer questions, provide assistance, or demonstrate but cannot enter the information for the student.

If I’m already signed up for direct deposit for payroll, do I need to enroll again for my student refund?

Yes. Direct deposit (non-payroll) needs to be set up for financial aid refunds even if direct deposit has been established for payroll.

What if I don’t sign up for direct deposit?

If a student has not set up direct deposit, a paper refund will be issued. Paper refunds are printed weekly on Friday and held for pick up at the Cashier’s window in Gilchrist 103. Students are required to provide valid identification when picking up their check. Checks not picked up within 14 days will be mailed to the student’s local address. As a result, the receipt of funds will be significantly delayed compared to direct deposit.

Can a Parent PLUS loan be refunded by direct deposit?

Yes, if during the application process the parent indicates that any overpayment should be sent to the parent instead of the student, the parent can complete the Parent Plus Loan Direct Deposit Authorization form. This form can be found at If the form is not completed, a paper check will be issued in the parent’s name.

I don’t need all my loan money. Can I return the financial aid refund?

Yes.  If a university refund includes loan funds, the student has the option to return the entire refund or a portion, to the Cashiers window in Gilchrist 103.  The cashiers will work with the Office of Student Financial Aid to reduce the loan for the current semester.  UNI will return the funds to the appropriate lender thereby lowering the student’s total loan indebtedness.  Not cashing a refund does not negate the indebtedness.

I’ve already received my refund check. Why do I have unpaid tuition on my u-bill?

Refunds and monthly u-bills are a snapshot in time. The Office of Business Operations calculates each u-bill and refund based on the most current charges, credits and adjustments posted to the u-bill; however there are a number of adjustments that could occur throughout a semester that may change an account balance. If a student's enrollment status changes within the semester, their financial aid may be adjusted. Additionally, billing adjustments may occur, such as rent, course materials, tuition adjustments, and other misc charges. Therefore, any charges or financial aid adjustments that occur after the refund is processed and that subsequently generate a balance due are the responsibility of the student to pay.  Students should monitor their u-bills monthly.

What do I do if I lose a refund check?

After all avenues have been explored in efforts of locating the check contact Student Accounts 319-273-2164 or stop by Gilchrist 103 to have the check reissued. A stop-payment form will need to be completed and a signature is required by the student. There is a 16 day waiting period (from the date of the check) that must expire before a stop payment will be placed with the bank. After this has been done, a replacement check will be issued. There is a $30 replacement fee charged at the time of reissuance.

Will my Graduate Scholarship cover all tuition and fee expenses?

No, as explained in the letter sent to each grad student by the Graduate College. Currently the Grad College pays all tuition but not the following mandatory fees: Health Fee, Computer Fee, Health Facility Fee, Student Services Fee, and Building Fee.

What are collection costs?

An account is placed with an outside agency when all collection efforts made by Student Accounts staff have failed.  University policy is to pass the costs of placement with an outside agency on to the student who incurred the fee.  These costs will be added to the amount owed on the u-bill.  Additional details can be viewed in the Terms and Conditions Statement found at

What is a 1098-T?

The 1098-T form is a tuition statement that assists students in determining whether or not they qualify for certain education related tax credits under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. The IRS requires eligible educational institutions to submit the student's name, address, and taxpayer’s identification number (TIN), enrollment and academic status for each student enrolled during the calendar year. Beginning with 2003, educational institutions must also report amounts to the IRS pertaining to qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as scholarships and/or grants, taxable or not. Qualified tuition and related expenses include: undergraduate and graduate tuition, student fees, and assessment fees. The 1098-T form will be available electronically in MyUNIverse - Student Center by January 15 of each year. Students will be notified via their UNI student email account when the form is available.