Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 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.

Prior to enrolling each semester, students are required to review and agree to a statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities that is comprised of three parts: Financial Rights and Responsibilities, Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct, and Appeals and Complaints. The Student Rights and Responsibilities statement for a term will be available approximately one month before enrollment opens for the term. A printable PDF version of the statement may be found at the Student Rights and Responsibilities website.

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 will become delinquent and financial holds placed, preventing from registering for future terms, obtaining official transcripts or receiving a diploma. 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 the other refundable credits or loans applied to the 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 UG Parent PLUS Loan Refund 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 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 University will charge a $50 collection processing fee (identified as “Recovery Select Fee” on the account), in addition to any other past due fees, to the account at the end of the term for unpaid balances. The unpaid account may be sent to a third party, collection company or an attorney, for collection. The student will be responsible for any costs (including but not limited to collection fees) associated with attempting to collect the monies due and owing. If a lawsuit is filed to recover an outstanding balance, student will be responsible for any costs associated with the lawsuit such as court costs or other applicable costs. A collection fee will be assessed and will be due and owing in full at the time of the referral to the third party. The collection fee may be calculated at the maximum amount permitted by applicable law but not to exceed 50 percent of the amount outstanding. The delinquent account may be reported to one or more of the national credit bureaus. 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 Office of Student Success and Retention for undergraduate students; graduate students go 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. Due to the assessment of student accounts by multiple offices, cancellations and withdrawals can take up to 45 days to be processed.

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/EnrollmentServices/bursar/Payments/PaymentPlanOptions.

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 and August 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 LeaAnn Palya at lpalya@smu.edu.

Student Financial Aid

Scholarships, Grants and Other Aid

SMU strives to provide financial assistance to any admitted student who demonstrates financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA, fafsa.gov) and CSSProfile (cssprofile.collegeboard.org).

Approximately three out of every four students receive aid from one or more federal, state or institutionally based assistance programs. Students seeking federal and state financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.studentaid.gov. Texas residents who do not qualify to file the FAFSA may qualify for assistance through the State of Texas by filing the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). All students are considered for SMU merit-based scholarships at the time of admission. 

In addition to available federal and state aid programs, SMU offers several merit scholarships and grant programs to students who meet the following specific criteria:

  • 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 SMU admission application, with all supporting materials, by January 15.
  2. File the FAFSA (www.studentaid.gov) and the CSSProfile by November 1 for Early Decision/Early Action, or by February 15 for Regular Admission. (The FAFSA is required for federal and state need-based aid consideration; the FAFSA and CSSProfile are both required for consideration for Institutional need-based aid.)
  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 and the CSSProfile by June 1. (The FAFSA is required for consideration for federal need-based aid; the FAFSA and CSSProfile are both required for consideration for Institutional need-based aid).

3. Continuing students who

  1. File the FAFSA or the FAFSA Renewal and the CSSProfile 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/enrollmentservices/financialaid.

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

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, SMU enforces the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for students receiving federal, state, and institutional based financial aid.

Students must meet the following minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress which is measured annually after the spring term grades have been posted. 

  1. Qualitative Measure/Grade Point Average. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 or higher, which is the standard for graduation at SMU. Scholarships may carry a higher GPA requirement. Please refer to your scholarship renewal requirements for more information. 
  2. Quantitative Measure/Completion Rate: Students must maintain a 75 percent completion rate. This measurement is calculated by dividing the total number of hours completed by the total number of hours attempted. 
  3. Program Time and Term Limits: The total number of hours attempted cannot exceed the total number of hours required to earn the degree by more than 150%. In addition, the total number of terms attended cannot exceed the total number of terms required to earn a degree by more than 150%. Students exceeding 150% no longer qualify to receive federal, state or institutional aid.

Students who fail one or more of these measurements are flagged as ineligible for financial aid. Please note, scholarship recipients may be required to maintain a standard of academic progress that exceeds the minimum requirements for other forms of aid. Questions related to specific scholarship requirements can be directed to the Division of Enrollment Services.

Students who fail to meet these minimum requirements and are no longer eligible to receive aid may re-establish eligibility by increasing academic performance to a satisfactory level or by submitting a written appeal to the Office of Student Financial Services.

Financial Aid Appeals

Academic Progress Appeal: A student who does not meet the minimum requirements listed above may submit an appeal to re-establish eligibility on a temporary or probationary basis. To initiate an appeal, the student should contact their Financial Aid Adviser. Additional information can be found online at: https://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/financialaid/TypesOfAid/SatisfactoryAcademicProgressRequirements.

Special Financial Circumstances Appeal: A student who faces unusual circumstances that have a direct impact on their ability to pay for educationally related expenses may submit a Special Financial Circumstances Appeal. The Office of Student Financial Services reviews each appeal case-by-case 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. Additional information can be found online at: https://www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/financialaid/Process/Appeals–Due-to-Special-Circumstances.

Veterans Benefits and Certification

Certifications for veterans’ benefits are managed by the Office of the University Registrar. Information regarding the certification process is available in the Enrollment and Academic Records section of this catalog, as well as the www.smu.edu/EnrollmentServices/Veterans website.