Students who receive Financial Aid often find that the combination of their grants, scholarships, and other aid result in a refund. The intent of this refund is to help you cover your non-UT financial obligations, such as rent, meals, transportation, and entertainment expenses.
In most cases, this refund is issued just before the semester begins or at the beginning of the semester; the key is to make this refund last the semester.
This is tricky in some cases for students living off campus. Rents are typically monthly, and due on the first of the month. Students living off-campus should not expect to use their aid refund for any rents that are due prior to the start of Fall semester, and should also plan to use funds from the fall disbursement to pay the January rent, since the Spring disbursement does not typically happen until about 5 days prior to the start of the Spring semester.
Putting together a spending plan may be helpful!
This will give you a sense of how much you have to work with on a weekly or monthly basis. This “allowance” is meant to cover all of your other financial obligations: Food, transportation (around Austin and to home on breaks), entertainment expenses, and any other ways that you spend money.
Is your “allowance” enough? Congratulations, you have access to enough funds to meet all of your expenses. Can you do with less? Consider sending some money back to your loans, to reduce the debt you have after college. If you would like to send funds back to your loans, you can do so by bringing a check (whole dollars, please) to the Texas One Stop. One Stop counselors can assist you in determining which loan(s) in what order to return funds for the best savings in future payments.
Is your “allowance” too small? First, take a look at our “living like a student” page, perhaps you’ll learn some new tips or creative ways to save some money. Consider cutting back on expenses. If you can’t cut back on expenses, then consider getting a job to help meeting those expenses, or if you declined some of the aid, work with Texas One Stop counselors to request reinstatement of aid that you may have declined.