Frequently Asked Questions
Billing Payment Financial_Aid_and_Scholarships Refund of Credit Books Sponsored_Billing Online_Courses Dropping_Withdrawing Taxes
Questions Regarding University Billing
Will you mail a bill to my home address?
No. West Texas A&M University does not mail any billing statements. Students must login to Buff Advisor using the My Buff Portal link on the WT home page, and click on View Accounts and Make Payments, then click Account Activity and click the "expand all" button to see their itemized bill, applied scholarships, financial aid, emergency tuition and fee loans, payments, and refund of credit.
What charges appear on my university balance?
All students are charged mandatory tuition and fees, which are explained in detail on the tuition and fees page. Students who have signed a contract with Residential Living will see housing and meal plan charges included in the university balance as well.
Where can I find an estimation on the cost of attendance?
As of Fall 2014, all West Texas A&M University students have a guaranteed rate for cost of attendance relative to their residency status and classification. Full information on can be found on the cost of attendance page.
Why do I owe a balance after I paid my account in full?
The most common reason a student owes a balance after their account shows to be paid in full is students adding a class after their account is paid. Classes can be added by the students themselves, or by being added to a class which they are wait listed. Another common cause is students changing their housing building, room type or meal plan after their balance is paid in full. We strongly encourage students to check their account regularly and often throughout the semester even when they believe their account is paid in full.
Can my family members or a spouse call and get information on my account?
Not without a signed waiver by the student. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, West Texas A&M University is required to protect student's information regardless of relation to caller. Students may grant the Business Office permission to give information to specific persons by signing a FERPA waiver at the cashier window located on the first floor of Old Main. Students must show a photo id when they sign the waiver. Waivers are applicable for one year, and the student must sign a new waiver each year, and can only be signed during the cashier window operating hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Questions Regarding Payment on University Balance
When is the payment deadline?
You can find the payment deadlines on the Registrar's calendar, or on Key Dates by semester. You can also find the deadlines on Payment Methods and Deadlines.
How much do I have to pay to prevent my schedule from being deleted?
For fall and spring semesters, a minimum payment of one-fourth, (25%) of tuition and fees, housing and meal plan, must be made by payment due dates, and a payment plan must be submitted using the payment plan link on Buff Advisor.
For January and May Intersessions and Summer 1 and Summer 2 terms, balance must be paid in full by the payment deadline.
Caution! Students adding classes after an initial payment is made must maintain full payment for intersessions and summer terms and at least one-fourth payment of tuition/fees for fall/spring terms.
For further information, please see the Payment Methods and Deadlines page.
Will my schedule be deleted if my payment is postmarked on the payment deadline?
Yes. The schedule deletion process only recognizes payments received on or before the payment deadline.
Can I pay my tuition/fees in installments during the summer or intersession?
No. The payment plan is NOT available for intersessions and summer terms. Tuition and fees must be paid in full either by personal payment or by applying for and being approved for a short-term emergency loan. Check Buff Advisor for information about short term tuition and fee loans using the emergency loan link.
Will I be charged additional fees if my schedule is deleted for non-payment?
Yes, if your priority registration schedule is deleted, you will be charged a $25 reinstatement fee to reenroll for the semester. If your regular registration schedule is deleted, you will be charged a $100 regular registration non-payment enrollment fee to reregister for the semester. If you choose not to reregister for the semester, you will not owe any fees for the semester.
When are additional registration fees assessed?
A priority registered student who changes their schedule after priority registration is closed, (during regular registration period), for the semester will be charged an additional $4 per semester credit hour registration fee.
All students who enroll during the regular registration period are billed $4 more per tuition hour than priority registered students. Please check the dates for priority and regular registration dates on the Registrar's calendar or key dates by term.
When are late payment plan fees assessed?
A one-time $15 late payment fee is assessed for late payment on the payment plan for each payment deadline missed during the fall and spring semesters.
What can I do if my financial aid is not available by the due date?
All students must have their federal aid and scholarships disbursed, (not anticipated), and/or external loans posted as a payment on Accept/Reject My Awards on Buff Advisor for their first payment deadline. Aid cannot be transmitted until beginning 10 days before classes begin for any semester.
If a student's aid will not be disbursed by the deadline due to delay such as verification or error in filing tax return or filling out their FAFSA, they may apply for a short term emergency tuition and fee loan on Buff Advisor, using the emergency loan link. To be eligible, student must not have any account holds, they must not owe for any previous loans, and they must have a social security number on file in the Registrar's Office.
What form of payment will University cashiers accept?
- Personal Check- Check writer's driver's license and phone number must be written on the check, and student's university id number and name written on the check in the memo line.
- Money Order or Cashier's Check- Check must have the student's university id number and name written on the check.
- Cash-Though large sums are accepted, we strong encourage payees to use money order or cashier's check if they do not have a checking account. We also strongly encourage those paying with large amounts of coins to have the coins rolled. Cashiers reserve the right to refuse payment with large amount of loose coins.
- Credit and Debit Cards- American Express, VISA, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. Cashiers reserve the right to request photo identification.
Where can I send my payment?
We can only accept personal or cashier's check, or money order through the mail. Please sent payment to:
WTAMU Accounting and Business Office, WT Box 60999, Canyon, TX 79016.
Be sure to include the check writer's driver's license and phone number, student's university id number and name, and purpose of payment with check, (e.g. Fall 2015 tuition).
Can anyone pay on my account?
Yes! Persons paying on student accounts must have student's University id number and semester that payment is to be made to, so that payment is made to the correct student account and semester. Checks used for payment to a student's account are the responsibility of the student. If a check is returned, the student will receive an account hold until the check amount and return fee are paid to the Business Office.
If I want to send an "express" payment, where would I send it?
Express mailed checks are accepted in order to help our students meet payment deadlines. Please be sure to include check writer's driver's license and phone number, student's university id number and name, and the semester being paid or purpose of payment with check. You may send your payment to:
West Texas A&M University, 2403 Russell Long Blvd., Canyon, TX 79015
Attention: Business Office
What happens if my check is returned for insufficient funds, stopped payment, or closed account?
All returned check writers will be notified that their check has been returned with instructions on how to settle the returned check. Returned checks must be paid in cash, money order, or cashier's check only. A service fee of $30 per check is also assessed. If the returned check was made for payment to a student's account balance, the student will have an immediate account hold until the return check and service fee are paid. Failure to pay the returned check amount within the time given in their letter will be referred for criminal prosecution to the District Attorney's office for Randall County.
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Questions Regarding Financial Aid, Scholarships and University Balance
How can I tell if my financial aid has been applied to my university balance?
Students must login to Buff Advisor and click on View Account and Make Payments. On this screen, students may see a false credit balance due to ANTICIPATED aid. Credit balances are only legitimate if financial aid is DISBURSED. To review financial aid, click on Account Activity, expand the financial aid tab. Aid listed in the anticipated and Currently Ineligible columns has not been transmitted to the student's account yet. Aid listed in the disbursed column has been applied to the student's semester balance.
Students must manage their financial aid using the Accept/Reject My Awards link in Buff Advisor. This link lists required steps to complete financial aid application as well as accepting and rejecting approved financial aid awards. Further information is found on the Financial Aid web page.
Where can I find out if I am getting a refund from my financial aid?
All students can see an itemized statement for every semester that they register for classes including, billing, disbursement of financial aid, scholarships, and other payments, as well as refunds of credit. To do so, the student must login to Buff Advisor and click on the View Account and Make Payments link. Then the student will click on Account Activity, and then select the semester from the drop down box.
To expedite refunds, we strongly encourage all students to set up direct deposit by using Bank Information US on Buff Advisor. Refunds will be sent electronically to the student's bank, which can be 3 to 5 days faster than receiving a paper check through the mail. Student will be notified through their student (Buff) email that the funds have been released to their bank.
Why isn't my scholarship showing on my account?
Both internal and external scholarships are managed through the Scholarship Services office. Each scholarship has specific guidelines regarding how it must be accepted and applied to the student's account. Scholarship Services utilizes the student's Buff email account to communicate with them regarding scholarships awarded. Scholarship Services may be reached at 806-651-3330.
Are financial aid and scholarships applied to intersession semesters to meet payment deadline requirements?
No. Intersession semesters must be paid in full with either a personal payment or approved emergency loan application using the emergency loan link on Buff Advisor. Financial aid and scholarships awarded are posted to the semester following the intersession even if the student is not enrolled for the following semester. Students with a credit balance for the semesters following intersession will be refunded the amount of their credit balance once that semester has begun.
Will a thesis/dissertation waiver hold my schedule?
No! All accounts, regardless of registration type, are required to meet the payment deadlines found on the Registrar's academic calendar.
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Questions Regarding Refund of Credit
When will I get my refund from my grants, direct subsidized loan, unsubsidized loan, and/or internal scholarship(s)?
In order for a student to get a refund, they must first see a credit balance due to disbursed aid showing on View Account and Make Payments. Once a credit balance is generated, regardless of funding source, it must be reviewed by Financial Aid, Student Account Billing, and Emergency Loan Coordinator before it can be vouchered and refunded to the student. Refunds cannot begin to be released until the first class day for each semester.
The timeline for the release of the refund depends heavily on what day the credit balance was generated and what letter the student’s last name begins with. We anticipate, but cannot promise, all credit balances due to disbursed federal aid and scholarships will be released during the first seven working days after classes begin. After this time, the refund time is one to three business days from the day the credit balance was created.
Students with a credit balance the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the week before classes begin do not have to wait for their refund of credit to purchase books. These students may request a book voucher. See the BOOKS section for further information.
Students that are sponsored billing, military sponsorship such as Chapter 31/33, ACE or student athletes have extra criteria that will delay their refund. See below for further explanation.
When will I get my refund from my external loan?
All external loans must be received by Financial Aid first, where they must be reviewed and reported as per federal guidelines. Once these steps are complete, the check will be brought to the Business Office. If the check is made out to WT, the check will be applied to the student account as soon as possible. If the check is made out to the student, the student will be contacted to come in and sign the check over.
Students that do not come to sign their checks in a timely manner may be deleted for nonpayment and/or will have a delayed refund of credit.
When will I get my refund for my external scholarship(s)?
External scholarships must be received by Scholarship Services, who must report the scholarship in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office. Once this process is complete, the scholarship check will be brought to the Business Office. If the check is made out to WT, the check will be applied to the student account as soon as possible. If the check is made out to the student, the student will be contacted to come in and sign the check over.
Students that do not come to sign their checks in a timely manner may be deleted for nonpayment and/or will have a delayed refund of credit.
I’m a sponsored billing student, when will I get my refund?
Students attending WT through sponsored billing will not receive their refunds in the first seven days of the semester because they require extra review by the Bursar to be sure that the student is not receiving a refund they are not permitted to have from their sponsored billing. Each sponsored billing agency has rules specific to their payment of student bills that must be strictly adhered to or the student is at risk for losing their sponsorship.
I’m an ACE student, when will I get my refund?
ACE students do not have their ACE sponsorship applied until after the semester census date. ACE students are permitted to charge their books to their university balance at the University Book Store. The refund process is begun after the 13th class day in the long semester, 5th class day in the summer semesters, and 3rd class day in intersession semesters.
I’m a student athlete, when will I get my refund?
NCAA regulation requires that refunds be reviewed by the NCAA Compliance Coordinator after the census date for the semester. This process begins on the 13th class day, and can take a few days due to the steps required for review. Student athletes with a credit balance may request a book voucher. Please see the BOOKS section.
I dropped a class before the census date, or had my housing and/or meal charges removed from my bill, or submitted a distance fee waiver form after I paid my bill, when will I get my refund?
Changes to billing that result in a credit balance are a registration based refund. Because students can continue to change their bill through the census date, we cannot release these credits prior to the census date. If the account was paid in full with a card online, the credit will be applied back to the card, otherwise the refund will be send by e-check if the student has set themselves up for direct deposit, or by paper check if they have not taken this step.
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Questions Regarding Books
Are books included in the cost of attendance estimation?
No. Book costs are not projected by the Business Office because they vary greatly depending on class type, hours enrolled, and text requirements for each course the student enrolls in each semester.
How do I order my books?
You may order your books through the University Bookstore website. You will build your schedule and order your books on the Textbooks tab. Books may be purchased or rented through the University Bookstore website.
Can I charge my books to my university balance?
No. At this time, WTAMU does not have a way for students to charge their books to their university balance unless they are an ACE sponsored student. Students should plan to purchase their books independently from their university balance. Please note that refunds of credit can take more than a week to be disbursed to students, therefore we recommend that students who anticipate using their credit balance to purchase books utilize the book voucher option. For further information, please see below.
Can I use my financial aid and scholarship credit balance to purchase my books?
Yes, eligible students may request part of their credit balance, (up to $600.00), be moved to their Buff Gold Card as a book voucher. Book voucher funds cannot be disbursed to students in any other way than to be put on their Buff Gold Card. Please note that students with an account hold are ineligible for a book voucher until their hold(s) is/are removed.
How much can I request for a book voucher?
Depending on the student's credit balance amount, students can request a maximum of $600.00 for each book voucher. Students with a credit balance amount less than $600.00 may request their total balance in a book voucher.
When can I get a book voucher?
Book vouchers are available the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by 4 p.m. of the week before classes begin for Fall and Spring, and Monday and Tuesday by 4 p.m. of the week before classes begin for Summer 1 and Summer 2. Book vouchers are not available for Intersession semesters because financial aid and scholarships cannot be posted to these semesters.
Only students with a credit balance showing due to disbursed aid are eligible for book vouchers.
Book Voucher Dates:
Fall 2015- Monday, August 17 through Wednesday, August 19 at 4pm
Spring 2016- Monday, January 11 through Wednesday, January 13 at 4pm
Summer 1 2016- Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1 at 4pm, (Monday, May 30 is Memorial Day and the University is closed)
Summer 2 2016- Tuesday, July 5 and Wednesday, July 6 at 4pm, (Monday, July 4 is Independence Day and the University is closed)
Book vouchers are not available for intersession semesters.
How do I get a book voucher?
- Easiest- Bring your Buff Gold Card to the Cashier window during the days that book vouchers are open and make your request. Funds will be available on your card immediately.
- Easier- You may make your request during the days that book vouchers are open by clicking on the Book Voucher link on the Business Office Forms page. The form must be printed off in order to be submitted. Students must follow the instructions on the form to receive a book voucher. Funds will be available within 24 working hours of the Business Office receiving your request form if you are eligible.
Caution! Book Vouchers are only appropriate for online students if they choose to order their books through the University Bookstore. If on online student intends to purchase their books through a different method, they will not be able to utilize a book voucher.
To help our online students, the Business Office works to get out refunds of credit as quickly as possible, beginning the first class day. To expedite refunds, we encourage all students to use the Bank Information US link on Buff Advisor to receive their refunds electronically and directly to their bank. These refunds can come 3 to 5 days faster than a paper check going through the United States Postal Service.
How do I get my books if I don't have a credit balance available for a book voucher?
You may apply for an emergency book loan if you meet eligiblity requirements listed below. Emergency book loans are open on the web beginning the Monday of the week before classes begin for Fall, Spring, Summer 1 and Summer 2 and close at 4 p.m. on the following regular payment deadline date. Students that want to apply for a book loan for Intersession semesters must come to the Business Office to fill out an emergency book loan application by the fourth class day of the semester.
To be eligible for an emergency book loan, students must:
- Have a social security number on file with the Registrar's Office
- Have a balance due for tuition and fees
- Not have a credit balance or refund of credit for the semester
- Not have any holds on their account with any University departments
- Not owe any other book loans, whether or not they have reached maturity
To apply for an emergency book loan, students will click on the Emergency Loan link on Buff Advisor and follow the screens to the final screen to receive a confirmation number. If the student did not get a confirmation number, they did not complete the application process. Students may only apply for an emergency book loan one time each semester.
All applicants will receive an email to their Buff Email account 24 to 48 working hours after applying giving the status of their loan application. Students will use the Buff Gold Card link in My Buff Portal to check their card account balance for distribution of book loan funds.
How much can I request for an emergency book loan?
The maximum amount a student may request for a book loan is $600.00 for Fall and Spring, $300.00 for Summer 1 and Summer 2, and $200.00 for Intersession.
Will financial aid repay my emergency book loan?
There is never a guarantee that the student will be awarded enough financial aid to pay their emergency book loan. Financial aid and scholarships must pay the student's university balance in full first. Any funds left over after this balance is paid in full will be applied to the emergency book loan balance on the student's behalf. If the funds do not materialize, or are not enough to pay the emergency loan in full, the student will be held responsible for repayment of the emergency book loan.
What will happen if I don't repay my emergency book loan?
The student will have a student account hold that will prevent them from adding or dropping classes for the semesters the student is enrolled in. This hold will also prevent students from registering for future semesters, accessing transcripts and diplomas, and applying for future emergency loans. If the loans are not repaid on the specified timeline given on the Emergency Loan link, the loans could be turned over to collections.
Can I see my emergency book loan on Buff Advisor?
No. The emergency book loan is not associated with tuition and fees and is not visible on Buff Advisor. To view the emergency loan, the student must use the Buff Gold Card link in My Buff Portal, or use the student access from the Buff Gold Student Account webpage.
Questions Regarding Sponsored Billing
Does the Hazlewood Act cover full tuition/fees?
No. The Hazelwood Act is a waiver that covers all fees charged at WTAMU with the exception of the mandatory student services fee. Hazlewood students must have their student service fee paid by the payment deadlines found on the Registrar's calendar or risk having their scheduled deleted for non-payment. Hazlewood students must be registered with WTAMU Veteran's Services office in order to be eligible for Hazlewood benefits. Veterans Services will assist you with any questions you have both for billing and for success as a WTAMU student. Veterans Services can be reached at 806-651-4936. You may also email RoseAnne Platt or Leo Reid.
How do I use my Military Tuition Assistance/Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation)/Chapter 33 (Post 9/11)?
You must notify the Admissions Office, 806-651-2020, once you have been approved through the VA, and submit your documentation to the Business Office prior to the payment deadline. The West Texas A&M Veterans Services Office requires that you register with their office because they must submit documentation to the VA on your behalf. Veterans Services will assist you with any questions you have both for billing and for success as a WTAMU student. Veterans Services can be reached at 806-651-4936. You may also email RoseAnne Platt or Leo Reid.
How do I pay my bill with Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan?
Students on this plan must bring their account card to the Business Office where a copy is made for our files. Every semester, the student must call or come to our office to request that this plan be applied to their University Balance. We are not permitted to use the account without a specific semester by the account holder.
Does sponsored billing pay all of my university balance?
There is never a guarantee that your bill will be paid in full with sponsored billing. Each type of sponsored billing has limits set forth by the agency that provides the sponsorship. We strongly encourage students to check their account through Buff Advisor by clicking on View Account and Make Payments, then clicking on Account Activity regularly and often throughout the semester.
My employer reimburses me for my university billing. Can WTAMU mail my employer a statement?
No. We are not permitted to mail any billing statements. Students can print an itemized statement to submit to their employer by logging into Buff Advisor, then clicking on View Account and Make Payments, then clicking Account Activity. The view statement button is located near the top of the page which takes the student to the screen where the statement can be printed.
My bill was paid in full by sponsored billing, but now it shows I owe a balance. Why do I owe?
Sponsored billing agencies are billed the full amount of the student account, which will show the account as paid in full. If the sponsored billing agency determines that they will not cover the total charges, WTAMU must back off the amount not paid by the sponsored billing agency. We strongly encourage sponsored billing students to check their account regularly and often throughout the semester for changes to their account. Texas Guaranteed Tuition and Texas Tomorrow students must keep track of their account balance as we often have students run out of benefits before they have completed their degree with WTAMU.
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Questions Regarding Online Course Work
Are there additional fees added to online courses?
No. Online courses are billed at the same rate as on-campus courses.
Do I have to pay all of the fees if I am an online only student?
Online students, (students registered in all section 70 courses), may submit a Distance Education Fee Waiver Form that will waive some fees on their university balance associated with campus facilities use that does not apply to distance students. Once these fees are waived, the student will not have access to the areas funded by the waived fees. Waiver must be submitted every semester that the student is enrolled by the deadlines listed on the form.
Questions Regarding Dropping a Course and Withdrawing
What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing?
'Dropping' refers to deleting a class from a remaining schedule that will be completed for the semester. 'Withdrawing' refers to deleting all classes and not completing the semester. Students may drop courses on Buff Advisor, but are strongly encouraged to fill out a Withdrawal form in the Registrar's Office to complete the withdrawal process.
CAUTION! Students who are enrolled in only one class for any semester, and drop their class are actually withdrawing. Because the system software does not recognize a drop as a withdrawal, potential refunds may be delayed due to lack of proper notification with the Registrar's Office. Students are strongly encouraged to file a withdrawal if they are enrolled in one course and drop it online.
Will I owe a balance if I drop a class during the semester?
If you drop a class, but continue to be enrolled in other classes, you will have 100% of your charges for the dropped class removed from your bill only if you drop by the semester census date: 12th class day for fall and spring, fourth class day for summer semesters, and second class day for intersessions. If you drop your class after the semester census date, you will owe all of the charges for your dropped class as per the drop/withdrawal policy through the Registrar's Office, which is also found on the tuition and fees refund policy page.
Will I owe a balance if I withdraw from the semester?
If you withdraw from the university for the semester, you may or may not owe a balance depending on the date you file your withdrawal in the Registrar's Office. Withdrawal rates are on a specific time line for each semester as per the drop/withdrawal policy through the Registrar's Office, which is also found on the tuition and fees refund policy page.
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Questions Regarding Enrollment and Taxes
Are there taxes/tax benefits for US students enrolled at WTAMU?
Yes! All resident, (US citizen) students are issued a 1098-T for the calendar year of January 1 through December 31 for all tuition and fees billed, (housing and meal plans are not taxable/tax deductible) and total scholarships awarded for the year. The 1098-T will not list payments made on the student account. Payments are found on the statement for each semester accessible on Buff Advisor by clicking on View Account and Make Payments.
1098-T's will be available to students by January 31 of each year. We strongly encourage students to set up to receive their 1098-T's electronically by using the 1098 Electronic Consent link on Buff Advisor. If a student is not set up to receive their 1098-T through Buff Advisor, we will mail their forms to the preferred mailing address on file with the Registrar's Office. Mailed forms can take several weeks to reach the student.
How do I use my 1098-T? Some of the boxes are blank!
Full information on 1098-T requirements and uses are found on the 1098-T Help form.
Are there taxes/tax benefits for International students enrolled at WTAMU?
All non-resident students, (citizens of other countries) are issued at 1042-S for the calendar year of January 1 through December 31 for all tuition and fees billed, (housing and meal plans are not taxable/tax deductible) and taxed scholarship amounts. 1042-S's are only available to the students electronically and are accessed by logging into their GLACIER account. The student must set up their GLACIER account within the first few weeks of being on campus. Non-resident students can file their US tax returns using GLACIER TAX PREP, which is provided in the International Student Office.
International students of countries with tax treaty benefits may file for exemption using a W-8 BEN in our office only after they have been assigned a social security number. These students will still receive a 1042-S and must file a tax return to complete treaty benefits.
For more information on both resident and international student tax questions, contact Don Adams, 806-651-3351.
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