Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

Financial Information

Tuition, Fees and Living Expenses

The Financial Information Bulletin  is issued each academic year. It provides the general authority and reference for SMU financial regulations and obligations, as well as detailed information concerning tuition, fees and living expenses.

Students must ensure that payment for the full amount of charges is posted to their account by the payment due date showing on their bill. The due dates are also published on the Bursar website.

Billing notifications are sent to the student’s SMU email address and to the designated authorized payer(s) email address when a bill is generated. The billing notification will provide instructions on how to view the bill online through SMUpay. If notification is not received two weeks prior to the due date, the student and/or designated authorized payer(s) should contact the Office of the University Bursar.

Payments made in person or mailed must be received by the Office of the University Bursar, located on the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building, no later than 4 p.m. Central Time on the payment due date. Payments made online via electronic check or credit card must be posted no later than 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the payment due date. Students and/or those paying on behalf of students who pay online automatically receive an electronic confirmation of payment; students and/or designated authorized payer(s) paying through other methods can also verify receipt of payment online.

Students enrolling after the payment due date must pay at the time of enrollment. Students whose accounts are not cleared by the payment due date or at the time of enrollment are subject to a late payment fee of $50 for balances between $250 and $999.99, and $150 for balances between $1,000 and $5,000. Balances more than $5,000 are charged 3 percent of the outstanding balance, not to exceed $750. Also, after the monthly payment due date has passed, a 1.5 percent past due fee will be assessed on the unpaid student and/or miscellaneous account each month until the balance is paid. The enrollment of students whose accounts remain unpaid after the payment due date may be canceled at the discretion of the University. Students are individually responsible for their financial obligations to the University.

All refunds except federal parent PLUS loans, prepayment accounts, the SMU Monthly Payment Plan and international wires will be made payable to the student. A credit card payment will only be refunded to the student if federal student loans have been applied to their account. International wires will be refunded by wire to the originating wire account less a $35 wire-processing fee. The parent PLUS loan borrower can request the refund to be processed to the student by submitting a Parent PLUS Release form, located on the Bursar website. If the refund is issued by check, the student may request, in writing, that the refund be sent to another party.

Any outstanding debts to the University will be deducted from the credit balance prior to issuing a refund. Any outstanding debts to the University that include Title IV funds must have an Authorization to Credit Account (ACA) form and/or an Authorization to Credit Account Parent (ACAP) form on file in order to transfer funds to cover current award year debts. Students need to sign the ACA form electronically; both the federal parent PLUS borrower and the student need to sign the ACAP form electronically.

Any outstanding debts to the University that do not include Title IV funds will be deducted from the credit balance prior to issuing a refund. All other debts should be paid directly by the student.

A student whose University account is overdue or who in any other manner has an unpaid financial obligation to the University may be denied the recording and certification services of the Office of the Registrar, including the issuance of a transcript or diploma, and may be denied readmission until all obligations are fulfilled. The Division of Enrollment Services may stop the registration, or may cancel the completed registration, of a student who has a delinquent account or debt. The student may be responsible for paying the collection agency fee, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 50 percent, of the student’s delinquent account, together with all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, necessary for the collection of the delinquent account. Matriculation in the University constitutes an agreement by the student to comply with all University rules, regulations and policies.

Applications for financial assistance should be submitted well in advance of registration in accordance with recommended filing dates set forth by the Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Financial Aid. Applications received after the recommended deadline can expect a delay in application processing time due to the increased volume. This will ultimately delay disbursement of financial aid to the student account. Students and families are expected to clear all billed charged by the published billing due dates regardless of the status of their financial aid application. Any funds that disburse to the student account after the payment due date has passed, will be applied to any outstanding charges first. Remaining financial aid funds will be refunded to the student. 

During the registration process, students will be prompted to read and agree to the Student Rights and Responsibilities, which provides information regarding financial rights and obligations, SMU’s Honor Code, the Code of Conduct, and the student appeals and complaints process.

Students who elect to register for courses outside of their school of record will pay the tuition rate of their school of record.

Tuition Refunds for Withdrawal from the University

No refunds of tuition or fees will be considered without an official withdrawal. Policies for official withdrawal, including medical and mandatory administrative withdrawal, are found under Withdrawal from the University  in the Enrollment and Academic Records section of this catalog.

Medical withdrawals and mandatory administrative withdrawals allow a prorated refund of tuition and fees and must be initiated through the academic adviser or academic Dean’s office.

Reduction of tuition and fees, when applicable, is determined by the effective date of the withdrawal and is based on the schedule listed in the Financial Information Bulletin  and the SMU Bursar website.

Financial aid implications of withdrawing from the University

Federal regulations require schools to adjust financial aid when a student officially withdraws from the University before completing 60% of the term. Financial aid is reduced to a pro-rated amount based on the amount of time the student was enrolled in classes in that specific term, thus “earning” financial aid proportionate to the amount of time enrolled. The “unearned” portion of aid will be returned to the funding source. Students completing 60% or more of a term are considered to have earned 100% of their financial aid for that term. This federally mandated calculation is completely independent of university’s refund policies for withdrawals and may require a reduction in financial aid even if there is no reduction in tuition charges. The end result could create a substantial student account balance after the withdrawal is processed. For this reason, students are strongly encouraged to contact their financial aid adviser, before initiating a withdrawal, to discuss the financial implications of withdrawing. For additional information on the University’s tuition refund policies, see the SMU Financial Information Bulletin  or the University Bursar’s website. Information on the implications of withdrawing on your financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website.

Payment Plan Options

SMU Monthly Payment Plan

SMU offers several payment plan options to assist students and families. Refer to the Bursar’s website for detailed payment plan information: www.smu.edu/paymentplans.

Fall and Spring Term payment plans are available in 6-month and 5-month formats. The summer payment plan is three months. Payment plan options are not available for short terms including JanTerm, May Term, August Term and Winter Term.

SMU Prepayment Plan

The SMU Prepayment Plan (a single payment up front for all terms) allows families to avoid the effects of tuition and fee increases by paying for two, three or four years in one single payment at the current rate of tuition and fees for an undergraduate full-time (12-18 credit hours) student. It covers Fall and Spring terms only. Questions should be addressed to the Division of Enrollment Services, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750181, Dallas TX 75275-0181; phone 214-768-3417.

Student Financial Aid

Scholarships, Grants and Other Aid

SMU strives to provide financial assistance to any student who has been admitted to the University and demonstrates financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS/Profile.

Approximately three out of every four students receive some form of federal, state or SMU funded financial assistance. SMU has several, generous, merit-based scholarship and need-based grant programs. Students seeking federal and state financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov. Texas residents who do not qualify to file the FAFSA may be eligible for assistance through the State of Texas by filing the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).

SMU strives to provide financial assistance to any student who is offered admission and who has been determined to have need for such assistance by the Division of Enrollment Services, Office of Financial Aid.

Certain special SMU scholarship and grant programs are available to students who meet the following specific criteria:

  • Entering first-year, transfer and continuing students with high academic accomplishments or achievement in the arts.
  • National Merit finalists and International Baccalaureate Diploma recipients.
  • Dependent children and spouses of ordained United Methodist ministers engaged in full-time, church-related vocations. (Additional application required.)
  • Texas residents.

Primary consideration for merit scholarships and need-based financial aid will be given to the following:

  1. Entering first-year students who
    1. Complete the admission application, with all supporting materials, by January 15.
    2. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.gov) and the CSS/PROFILE (student.collegeboard.org/profile) by November 1 for Early Decision/Early Action, by February 15 for Regular Admission. (The FAFSA is required for federal need-based aid consideration; the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE are required for consideration for University-funded need-based aid.) SMU’s Title IV school code is 003613; the CSS/PROFILE school code is 6660.
    3. Complete the online SMU Application for Scholarships. Instructions to complete the online application will be emailed to the student after submission of the admission application.
  2. Transfer students who
    1. Complete the admission application, with all supporting materials, by June 1.
    2. File the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov) and the CSS/PROFILE (student.collegeboard.org/profile) by June 1. (The FAFSA is required for consideration for federal need-based aid; the FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE are required for consideration for University-funded need-based aid).
  3. Continuing students who
    1. File the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov) or the FAFSA Renewal and the CSS/PROFILE (student.collegeboard.org/profile) no later than April 15 to receive priority processing. Applications received after April 15 will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Additional information is available from Division of Enrollment Services, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750181, Dallas TX 75275-0181; 214-768-3417; enrol_serv@smu.edu; www.smu.edu/financialaid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Federal, State and Institutional Financial Aid Eligibility

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965 and federal policy, SMU maintains requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress for students receiving federal financial aid. The standards below are also used for state and institutional funds. Students who are enrolling for a fifth year of undergraduate studies and are seeking institutional financial assistance must provide a written appeal to the financial aid office and, as appropriate, must file financial aid applications (FAFSA and CSS/PROFILE) as well as obtain degree completion plans from their academic adviser.

Satisfactory academic progress is measured annually, at the end of spring term. Undergraduate students must meet three measures:

  1. Qualitative Measure: At the end of spring term, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress measured by the student’s cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better, which is the standard for graduation at SMU.
  2. Quantitative Measure: At the end of spring term, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress measured by determining if the student has passed 75 percent of the classes he/she attempted during the academic year.
  3. Program Time and Term Limits: Attempted hours cannot exceed the number of hours required to earn the degree by more than 150%. The same measurement applies to the number of terms attended. The number of terms attended cannot exceed the number of terms required to earn a degree by more than 150%. Students exceeding 150% are not eligible to receive federal, state or institutional aid.

A student that fails one or more of these measurements does not meet the minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress and is, therefore, ineligible for financial aid funding. Eligibility may be re-established by increasing academic performance back to a satisfactory level or by submitting an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Appeals

Financial Aid Appeal Due to Academic Progress: A student who does not meet the renewal requirements for scholarships, grants, or other aid may appeal to regain eligibility on a temporary or probationary basis by submitting an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for review. To initiate an appeal, the student should contact their Financial Aid Adviser for more information or read more online at https://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/financialaid/TypesOfAid/SatisfactoryAcademicProgressRequirements.

Financial Aid Appeal Due to Special Circumstances: A student who faces unexpected circumstances that impact their overall cost of attendance or their ability to cover those costs may submit an appeal. The Office of Financial Aid reviews each student’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education. To initiate such an appeal, the student should contact their Financial Aid Adviser or read more online at https://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/financialaid/Process/Appeals–Due-to-Special-Circumstances.

Veterans Certification

The University Registrar’s Office certifies veterans each term for their benefits under federal programs. More information regarding the certification process is available from the University Registrar’s Office at www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Veterans and under Veterans in the Enrollment and Academic Records section of this catalog.