Frequently Asked Questions

Southern Methodist University’s distinguished faculty will deliver instruction utilizing online, in person, and hybrid formats. The academic experience will be challenging and rigorous, consistent with the high academic standards of Southern Methodist University regardless of the delivery mode. As a result, the University’s tuition and fees for the fall semester will not change or be reduced. If your family is experiencing a loss of income, or change in financial circumstances we encourage you to reach out to our Financial Aid office to request a review of your financial aid package. 
Due to the length of services provided, and costs associated with delivering these services, there will not be a reduction in room and board charges this fall. The residence halls and dining facilities will be available to all students from August 17th thru the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, and after Thanksgiving depending on student circumstances. The room and board availability is similar to prior years with meal availability on Labor Day and Fall Break. In addition, Southern Methodist University has incurred added costs related to the COVID-19 health and safety measures necessary to deliver these services following the advice of our health professionals as well as local, state and CDC guidelines.

How did SMU calculate the credit adjustments?

The credit adjustment for housing, dining and parking expense varies by student, as charges are dependent upon individual room and board plans, financial aid packages, dining options and other variables. The credit applied to these expenses takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance. As a result, the credit will range from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges for housing, dining meal plans and student parking.

 

Will I get any refund or credit for tuition because classes moved online?

SMU’s online courses still reflect the same academic rigor and objectives as when they are delivered on campus. The effort and resources required are, and in some cases are greater, than when the coursework is delivered in person. As academic instruction is continuing, instructional costs such as tuition, lab or technology fees will not be credited to the student account.

 

Will I get a refund or credit for general student fees?

No, services covered by general student fees remain available, including SMU libraries, and both telemedicine and in-person appointments at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center. 

 

Since the move to online classes happened at mid-semester, why isn’t the credit adjustment nearer to 50 percent?

The credit applied to these expenses takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance. The credit ranges from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges for housing, dining meal plans and student parking. This outcome was a collaboration between the staff and leadership of Student Affairs and Business and Finance in an effort to arrive at credit adjustments that are fair and equitable.

 

Can I contest the amount of the credit if I do not believe it is correct?

If you feel a charge to your account is incorrect, please contact SMU’s Enrollment Services at 214-768-3417. However, the amount calculated as a credit adjustment is non-negotiable and is based on a formula the university used systemwide that ranges from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges for housing, dining and parking and takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance. It reflects thoughtful and careful consideration to be in the best interest of our students and the university. There is no appeal process to adjust the credit amounts that were posted to your account.

 

Why aren’t general student fees being credited since students are not there to use many of the on-campus services these are meant to cover?

While classes have moved online, many services and resources are still being offered, and in some cases, expanded, This includes SMU libraries, and both telemedicine and in-person appointments at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center as well as COVID-19 testing.

 

Will I get a refund?

It’s important to understand that all credit adjustments will be applied first to outstanding balances on student accounts, including registration for May, summer or fall terms if already registered.

For graduating seniors with no outstanding balances on student accounts, any credit balance will be automatically refunded.

 

If I am due a refund, when will I receive it?

Given the number of students and the complexity of these plans, packages and options, please allow time for accounts to be individually reviewed to make sure they are accurate and reflect your financial situation. Any credit balance that remains after all unpaid charges are satisfied may be refunded based on federal, state and University guidelines. All refunds should be processed by May 15.

 

What is the fastest way to get my refund?

The fastest way to get your refund is to sign up for direct deposit.  Contact Heartland ECSI at 1-855-250-3230 for instructions on how to sign up.  Let them know you are an SMU student and they will provide you with a required key code.  This is needed to sign up online for direct deposit.

 

If I don’t want to sign up for direct deposit, to where will a paper check be sent?

If you do not sign up for direct deposit your check will be mailed to the home address (NOT mailing address) we have for you in our system.  Please be sure that this information is updated in my.smu.

 

I was hoping for a refund because I am having financial difficulties because of the changes I’ve had to make during this COVID-19 pandemic, what do I do?

This is a difficult time, and we understand that financial issues are sensitive and deeply personal. For those who may be struggling to cover unexpected costs in these unforeseen circumstances, we have an SMU Student Emergency Fund. Students may complete a Caring Community Connections (CCC) form and check “Economic Hardship” to apply for assistance.

 

 

DINING

 

How did you arrive at the amount of the credit adjustment for meal plans?

The credit adjustment varies by student, as charges are dependent upon individual dining options, flex funds purchased and other variables.

The credit applied to these expenses takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance, and ranges from about 36% to 37.5 percent of the total semester’s charges.

 

My math shows my son/daughter only had access to the dining hall for 50% of the semester.  Why aren’t we receiving a 50% refund? 

The credit applied to these expenses takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance. The credit ranges from about 36% to 37.5% of the total semester’s charges. This outcome was a collaboration between the staff and leadership of Student Affairs and Business and Finance in an effort to arrive at credit adjustments that are fair and equitable.

 

I had 100 meals left under my block plan, why am I only being refunded for a percentage and not the number of meals"  

We are using a consistent approach to all adjustments regardless of how many times the service was utilized. The credit applied takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance.

 

Are flex dollars being refunded?

The credit adjustment for flex dollars that were purchased as part of a meal plan is 37.5% regardless of how much flex was spent. However, 100% of the unused balance of any additional flex funds purchased during the spring semester will be included in the credit adjustment.

 

Can the flex dollars roll over to the summer/fall semester?  

Flex dollars expire at the end of the spring semester and do not roll over to summer or fall.

 

I am a commuter and not required to have the meal plan. Why am I not being refunded for the meals left over?

We are using a consistent approach to all adjustments, regardless of how many times the service was utilized. The credit applied takes into consideration costs that the University incurs regardless of occupancy, such as year-round staff, utilities, building operations and maintenance.


Dining Service Meal Plans Adjustments for Spring '20 -Spring Term


Meal Plan

Price Student Pays

Adjustment Amount Final

 Works + 200

$3,100.00

$1,162.50

 Works + 300

$3,170.00

$1,188.75

 Works + 500

$3,340.00

$1,252.50

 Block 150 + 200

$1,896.00

$711.00

 Block 150 + 300

$1,966.00

$737.25

 Block 150 + 500

$2,136.00

$801.00

 Block 50 + 200

$769.50

$288.56

 Block 50 + 300

$839.50

$314.81

 Block 50 + 500

$1,009.50

$378.56

 

 

PARKING

 

Is the credit adjustment for parking calculated according to when I moved my car off campus?

No. All parking expenses will be calculated at the same rate regardless of whether a vehicle remained on campus beyond March 23 when all spring classes shifted online. However, students must arrange to move their vehicles from campus before May 18.

 

Will faculty and staff be charged the normal payroll deduction for parking during the stay at home order?   

We are not refunding parking because some staff and faculty are continuing to come to campus as essential personnel to work or teach.


Parking Adjustments

Full Time/Full Year Permit $330
$330 / 2 (fall and spring semesters) = $165
37.5% of $165 (spring semester) = $61.88

Part Time/Full Year Permit $180
$180 / 2 (fall and spring semester) = $90
37.5% of $90 (spring semester) = $33.75

Full Time/Fall Only $180 – No Refund

Part Time/Fall Only $90 – No Refund

Full Time/Spring Only $180
37.5% of $180 ( spring semester) = $67.50

Part Time/Spring Semester Only $90
37.5% of $90 (spring semester) = $33.75

 

 

HOUSING

 


 Room Rate

Room Rate Credit Adjustment

Residential Commons double

 $ 5,455.00

 $ 1,990.31

Residential Commons single

 $ 6,800.00

 $ 2,494.69

Dyer House double

 $ 4,235.00

 $ 1,532.81

Grad House

 $ 5,192.00

 $ 1,891.69

Martin double

 $ 4,014.00

 $ 1,449.94

Moore double

 $ 4,379.00

 $ 1,586.81

Perkins/Smith double

 $ 3,650.00

 $ 1,313.44

Perkins/Smith single

 $ 4,530.00

 $ 1,643.44

Service House double

 $ 4,235.00

 $ 1,532.81


For university-wide information regarding COVID-19, please visit the SMU COVID-19 Updates page.

Online we accept check and credit card payments. Electronic check payments can be made from your personal bank checking or savings account without charge. We accept credit card payments using MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. VISA is now accepted for payments made to the Student Account for tuition and fees and for NelNet payment plans ONLY. A different payment profile that does not use VISA can be used for payments made to the Miscellaneous Account. Please note that there is a 2.75% service charge assessed to all credit card payments imposed by our third party service. We also accept paper checks, money orders, cashier's checks, and direct wiring of funds without additional charges.

We also offer a number of payment plans. For more information, see our Payment Methods page. Please note: you will get a late payment fee if you have not signed up for your payment plan by payment due date.

NOTICE: Due to the situation with COVID-19, the SMU campus remains closed to the public.  However, our staff is working and is accessible to assist students, their families and the rest of the SMU community by email and/or telephone. For fastest assistance, please call (214) 768-3417.  In addition to taking phone calls, our specialists are offering virtual appointments through Zoom.  To schedule your virtual appointment click here and select any specialist listed.

Payments can be made online by electronic check or credit card:

  • Students can log into my.SMU then click on the link to SMUpay.
  • Parents and other authorized payers log into SMUpay to view bills and make payments.

There is no fee charged for making an e-check payment online. Electronic credit card payments are processed by a Third party and are charged a non-refundable convenience fee of 2.75%. Payments made online will post immediately in most cases.

Payments can be mailed to:

Postal Address

Southern Methodist University
Attn: University Bursar
P.O. Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181
Overnight Address

Southern Methodist University
Attn: University Bursar
Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building
6185 Airline Road
Dallas, TX 75205

Payments can be wired using:

  • Western Union (domestic and international)
  • Flywire (international only)

Students will need to login into SMUpay to initiate the wire transfer process.

Payments can be made in person:

Payments can be made in person at the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building on the First Floor. Office hours are 9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10am- 4pm on Wednesday.

We issue tuition bills only once each term. If the invoice amount isn't current, please click on the View Accounts tab and check the current balance line. If further information is needed, use the Select Action Drop Down to view further details.

If you are reviewing a summer balance you may also see your fall charges posted. In this case please reference your 'current account balance' on my.SMU. Regardless of the "suggested amount" in the payment box you can enter any dollar amount when you pay.

Payment due dates for each term are on our websites's Payment Due Dates page.

Balances on the Student account are billed according to the term while Miscellaneous account charges are billed monthly if applicable.

Invoice and statement notifications are sent via email to each student's SMU e-mail account and to all others whom the student has set up as an Authorized Payer on their account. There are several options available to students who need to provide billing information to parents or others: students are able to print their bill in PDF format, forward to whomever they like, or set others up an Authorized Payer on their account.

Only accepted loans, grants and scholarships are listed on the invoice. If your aid is not all listed you need to first check your Pony Tracks to make sure you have accepted all the aid. If you have and you still do not see it on your invoice you may then contact your financial aid counselor to make sure your processing is complete. You can find the name and contact information to your financial aid counselor at the bottom of the main financial aid webpage.

Refunds are processed continuously throughout the year. Students do not initiate their refunds.

If the proceeds from student loans have been received by SMU prior to the first day of class and the student is eligible for a refund, the Office of the University Bursar will automatically begin processing refunds at the time the proceeds are posted to the student's tuition account. Federal regulations state that the earliest date a refund can be processed, if the funds are on the tuition account, is 10 days prior to the first day of class. Additionally, federal regulations require SMU to process refunds within 14 days from the first day of class of a student's primary academic career. If loans are received after the first day of class, students need to allow 14 days from the date the proceeds are applied to the tuition account for a refund to be processed.

Refunds for students with Payment Plans or PLUS loans will be made payable to the bill payer or parent and mailed to the address on record. PLUS loan refunds may be made payable to the student if the borrower submits the PLUS Loan Release Form obtained from the Bursar's Office.

Refunds are processed via credit card, direct deposit to the student's bank account, or mailed. If mailed, refunds are sent to the home address in my.SMU

Refunds for students with a Payment Plan or PLUS loan will be made payable to the bill payer or parent. Plus loan refunds can be made payable to the student if the borrower submits a PLUS loan release form to the Bursar's office.

Personal Payments: refunds from personal payments (e-checks or check payments mailed in) are processed two weeks after the date the payment was applied to the account by direct deposit or paper check.

Any credit on a student account that results from a student loan will be refunded to the student.

If you have a financial hold, the only way to clear it is to pay it. This can be done by viewing your account at my.SMU and paying online. If you have questions regarding your hold, please contact us.

Questions can be directed to 214-768-3417 or e-mailed to enrol_serv@smu.edu.

Please note that some holds are placed by other departments and will need to be cleared through that specific department.

All payments and financial aid are due in our offices by the payment due date. This includes all charges on the student's account (tuition, fees, room board, optional fees).

If financial aid cannot be disbursed until after the due date, students having aid will not be charged the late fee until after the disbursement as long as they have paid any amount not covered by aid by the payment due date and the student applied for aid in a timely manner.

The student is responsible for reviewing their financial aid prior to each payment due date and ensuring that the personal payment portion of the balance is paid on or before payment due date.

Please note: if you are using a payment plan for a portion or all of your payment you must sign up for the payment plan by the term payment due date regardless of the date the first payment is due. Otherwise, you may incur the late payment fee.

Questions and clarifications about this can be directed to 214-768-3417 or emailed to enrol_serv@smu.edu.

Late fees are assessed based on the balance due.

Balances from $250-$999.99 are charged $50.

Balances from $1000-$5000 are charged $150.

Balances over $5000, are charged 3% of the outstanding balance, up to a maximum of $750 per term.

Also, after the monthly payment due date has passed, a 1.5 percent past due fee on the unpaid balance will be assessed to both the student and miscellaneous accounts.

SMU permits students to have purchases from the SMU Bookstore charged directly to their miscellaneous student accounts. Charges are billed monthly and are due on the date provided on the bill. Students with outstanding balances on their miscellaneous student account will be charged 1.5 percent monthly on the past due balance. Students who have an outstanding balance during their tenure at SMU may lose their privilege to make direct charges from the SMU Bookstore. Repeated delinquencies on the account and/or returned checks will remove the privilege for the student for the remainder of his/her matriculation at SMU.

1098T forms are mailed in January to all student's home address. Please make sure your home address and mail address are current. The information on this form reflects the amounts posted to the student account including tuition and related fees, scholarships, grants, and Third Party Billing credits that were posted in the tax year (January 1 through December 31 of that year). Please note that the 1098-T form will not include your personal payments. You will need to reference your personal financial records to review your personal payments to SMU.

Information regarding this form or for another copy of this form, please go to https://heartland.ecsi.net.  ECSI is our current servicer as of 2014. 

Prior year tax forms [2013 and back] provided by TCRS are no longer available.

Why does the amount on my 1098-T seem less than the charges from last year?

Please also note that Jan Term and Spring Term charges are reported on the tax form in the tax year when students charges are posted.  Only items posted to the student account from January 1 through December 31 of that year are on that tax year form.