2018-2019 Catalog 
    Apr 11, 2021  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Information

Phone: 325-674-2300
Fax: 325-674-6850
Email: wildcatcentral@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/sfs

Abilene Christian University is a non-profit institution. All funds from student charges are spent to provide services related to the university’s educational mission. Other funds for operational expenses come from endowments and gifts from concerned individuals and organizations. As a policy, auxiliary operations such as cafeterias, housing and bookstores are self-supporting.

The Board of Trustees has charged the chief financial officer and his/her designees with the responsibility of enforcing all regulations for student accounts. If a student is of legal age, he or she is deemed to be the primary party liable for his or her financial obligation.

A schedule of costs detailing current tuition, fees, meal plans, and residence halls may be found at: www.acu.edu/costs.

Financial Aid

Abilene Christian University maintains a comprehensive program of financial aid, including financial planning and consultation to help students and their families meet the expenses of a college education. Appointments with our financial aid specialists are made through Wildcat Central.

The primary responsibility of financing a college education rests upon students and their families. Assistance from ACU and other sources should be considered as supplementary to the primary responsibility of the student and the family. ACU strives to supplement students’ needs by awarding a combination of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study for eligible students. ACU attempts to distribute all financial aid resources in an equitable manner and follow the guidelines established for federal, state, and institutional funds.

Financial aid application forms are available online. Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at www.fafsa.gov. ACU forms are at: www.acu.edu/wildcatcentral. These forms should be submitted by March 1 for fall enrollment and by November 1 for spring enrollment. Late applicants may find that certain forms of grant and scholarship funds are depleted by the time their applications are submitted to the Student Financial Services Office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The minimum acceptable cumulative grade point average requirements are 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students. Additionally, all students must earn a cumulative minimum of 75 percent of the hours attempted. Satisfactory academic progress is generally measured once each year at the end of the spring semester. If a student fails to meet the requirements during the fall and spring semesters, summer courses may be counted in order to determine eligibility for aid.

Students who fail to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid may file an appeal at: https://verifymyfafsa.com. The appeal must be filed prior to the start of the term for which financial aid has been denied. If a student withdraws from the university after being declared ineligible for aid, the student is required to file an appeal for aid at the point of readmission. Only approved appeals will be deemed eligible for financial aid.

Work-Study/Student Employment

Students who desire a part-time job to assist in meeting their financial obligations are encouraged to check the job postings at: www.acu.edu/campusoffices/hr/employment, my.ACU.edu classified ads, and also to inquire at area businesses. Work-study awards are not required for on campus employment, nor is a work-study award a guarantee of a job. See acu.edu/work for more information.

Student Loan Programs

(more information at: www.acu.edu/loans)

ACU participates in the following student loan programs:

  • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)*
  • College Access Loans (Texas residents only)
  • Federal PLUS Loans* (for parents of dependent undergraduate students)
  • Alternative Loans
  • Grad PLUS Loans*


(more information at: www.acu.edu/sfs)
ACU participates in the following grant programs:

  • PELL - Federal Pell Grant*
  • SEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant*
  • TEACH - Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education*
    *indicates a Federal Title IV program

For Texas residents only:

  • TEG - Tuition Equalization Grant

ACU Need-Based Grants

Need-based assistance is available on a limited basis for students with established financial need remaining after consideration of all other sources of financial support. Preference is given to those who apply early.


Scholarships based on academic merit as determined in the admission application process as well as scholarships awarded through other departments are available based on the specific criteria established for each program. More information is available here. Scholarships for costs exceeding tuition, books and required fees (i.e. room and board) may be taxable to the recipient.

VA Benefits

ACU is approved by the Veterans Administration to administer educational benefits for eligible veterans, servicepersons, reservists, widows and children of veterans. Eligibility and equivalent educational benefits are determined by the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA Coordinator, located in the ACU’s Registrar’s Office, coordinates the services to the students receiving veteran’s educational benefits. The certifying official collects, completes and processes the required substantiating documentation. The VA Coordinator also serves as a point-of-contact and direct liaison between the veteran, the university and the VA. The certifying official is not part of the VA, but an employee of ACU. Students receiving VA benefits may also be eligible for other financial assistance from federal, state and institutional sources. In some cases, receipt of VA benefits may reduce or eliminate eligibility for other financial assistance in order to comply with federal, state or institutional policies.

Payment Options

The first billing statement (eBill) of the fall semester will be available to the student via the Wildcat Payment Portal the first week of June. Students will receive an email to their ACU email address alerting them when a statement is available to view. The statement is provided in electronic format; no paper statements are mailed. It will include available fall charges (tuition, fees, housing and meal plans) and financial aid awarded at the time of statement processing.

Financial settlement dates are as follows:

  • Fall financial settlement for first stime students - August 8, 2018
  • Fall financial settlement for continuing students - August 15, 2018
  • Spring financial settlement - January 9, 2019.


  1. Pay the “Total Amount Due”
    Pay the current total balance by the due date given on the first billing statement for a new semester. Please be aware that this may not be the final bill for the semester.
    Subsequent monthly eBills will be generated during any month in which activity appears on a student’s account, including activity for adding or dropping classes, charging books, payments made, financial aid awards granted and the difference between actual and estimated financial aid awarded, etc. (Estimated financial aid is aid that will pay to your account after you have completed all necessary requirements). No late fees will be charged if payment is received in full by the end of the month following the statement date. Late fees, equal to 1.242%, will be charged each month on unpaid balances. If the total amount due on the statement is not paid for the financial settlement date, a payment plan or other approved payment arrangement must be in place to begin attending classes.
  2. Wildcat Pay Plan
    By logging into the Wildcat Payment Portal or going to acu.edu/payingyourbill, students may pay the net balance in full by the financial settlement date or they may take advantage of the 6, 5, or 4 month payment plan for the semester by using the Wildcat Pay Plan. Each semester an enrollment fee is charged if you choose to set up a payment plan. Call Wildcat Central at 888-588-6083 for payment plan assistance. If you are enrolled in the Wildcat Pay Plan and are current on your payments, no late fees are charged.

Payment Card Convenience Fee

Card users will be assessed a separate, nonrefundable convenience fee — 2.85% of the payment amount ($3 minimum fee) — at the time of each credit or debit card payment on a student account. The convenience fee charged by TouchNet’s PayPath Payment Service covers the cost of processing credit and debit card payments. Please note: ACU will not receive any part of the convenience fee.

Billing Activity

Students may access their account information through the Wildcat Pay Portal. Students may also designate an authorized user to receive billing emails, access the student account information and make payments by completing an on-line authorization form.

Financial Responsibility

Failure to make proper payment may be cause for dismissal at the discretion of the university. Official academic transcripts and diplomas will not be released unless all university-related indebtedness is paid in full. Students with a financial hold on their account will not be eligible to register for classes in the following semester without clearing the hold or unless an exception is granted by the billing office.


All general required student fees (technology, safety, health, etc.) are included in the annual block or per credit hour tuition rate with the exception of the student activity fee, which is billed separately. There may be additional course/activity specific fees in addition to the tuition rate. Some examples include:

  • Band fees
  • Audit fees
  • JMC course fee
  • Music lesson fees
  • Kinesiology course fees
  • Personality and Career Testing fees
  • Nursing fees
  • Science lab fees
  • Travel class and Study Abroad fees
  • Science lab fees
  • Cornerstone textbook fee

Note: All courses with extra fees may not be listed here. Please check with the department for information concerning individual course fees.

Meal Plans

The university offers several meal plan options for students living in residence halls and for off-campus students as well. Standard meal plans provide daily access to the World Famous Bean. Meal plan options include Bean Bucks, which may be used throughout the day to purchase food at all Food Court venues as well as to purchase food items at the Campus Store. See acu.edu/campusdish for more information.

Meal Plan Options for 2018-2019
All Access 7 7 day all day access pass + 400 Bean Bucks $2,880 per semester
All Access 5 5 day all access pass + 400 Bean Bucks $2,660 per semester
Classic 10 10 meals per week + 400 Bean Bucks $2,060 per semester
Lifestyle 125 125 meals per semester + 50 Bean Bucks $1,108 per semester
Lifestyle 100 100 meals per semester + 100 Bean Bucks $960 per semester
Lifestyle 75 75 meals per semester + 150 Bean Bucks $770 per semester
Lifestyle 50 50 meals per semester + 200 Bean Bucks $629 per semester
Lifestyle 25 25 meals per semester + 250 Bean Bucks $474 per semester
Freestyle 400 400 Bean Bucks $400 per semester
Freestyle 200 200 Bean Bucks $200 per semester

Minimum meal plan requirements for all residence hall students are as follows:

  • First year students must purchase an All Access plan
  • Second year students must purchase an All Access or Classic 10 plan.
  • Third + year students, including RA’s, are required to have a meal plan. They can choose from all of the plans.

Off-campus students and employees may purchase any meal plan. Students have until the 12th day of class each semester to make meal plan changes.

Meal Plans and Bean Bucks are nonrefundable and expire at the end of the spring semester.

Campus Cash

Campus Cash provides students, faculty, and staff the convenience of making purchases through the use of their ID card. By purchasing Campus Cash, students may limit the amount of cash they carry on campus. Campus Cash may be used anywhere on the ACU campus. To purchase Campus Cash, a student should complete a Campus Cash Purchase Agreement form in Wildcat Central or follow the link at https://campuscash.acu.edu. Students must have a credit balance on their account or use a credit card for the purchase. The balance carries over as long as the student is enrolled. Students can request to receive a refund of their remaining Campus Cash funds at any time by contacting Wildcat Central. A refund of Campus Cash in excess of $5 will be made upon request in Wildcat Central and is issued as a credit back to your ACU account.

Annual Block Tuition

Students enrolled in the Annual Block Tuition plan may take up to 36 credit hours per academic year (billed at $17,400 per long semester in the 2018-2019 academic year). Students on this plan must be enrolled full time (12 hours or more) in the fall and spring semesters. After the add/drop period, students who withdraw from a course will not receive a refund. When a student withdraws from a class, the course hours will still count against their block tuition (36-credit hour total) for the academic year. Students not enrolled full time at the end of the add/drop period for the semester will be billed on a per credit hour basis and will forfeit the ability to take classes under the Annual Block Tuition plan during the academic year.

Add/Drop Period

During the add/drop period there is no penalty for adding or dropping courses. Courses dropped during this period will not appear on the student’s transcript. If enrolled in Block Tuition, classes dropped during this period will not count toward the 36-credit hour total.

Add/Drop Period:
Fall/Spring terms Through the 5th day of each semester
Accelerated courses Through the 2nd day of class
Summer sessions Through the 1st day of each summer session
January courses Before the first day of class
Intensive course Same as add/drop period of term in which course is taught

Withdrawing from a Course

After the add/drop period:

  • Students must officially withdraw from a course by initiating a withdrawal form.
  • A withdrawal grade for the course will appear on the transcript.
  • For students enrolled in Block Tuition, classes withdrawn from will still count toward the 36-credit hour total for the academic year.
  • For classes that begin after the first week of the fall or spring semester, students on block tuition must drop the course prior to the first class meeting to avoid the hours counting toward the 36-hour annual block.
  • For all on-campus graduate students and undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours, refunds of tuition will be made according to the Tuition Refund Policy (below). Fees are nonrefundable after the add/drop period.
  • No refunds for room and board will be made for absences while enrolled in the university.
  • Full-time undergraduate students may not withdraw from BIBL 101  (or BIBL 103 ) or any required developmental course.

Tuition Refund Policy for Individual Courses

All undergraduate students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours are billed at a per credit hour rate of $1,442 (tuition and general fees). Graduate tuition is generally billed by credit hour and the rates vary by program. Students paying per credit hour may receive a refund of 100% for the first five days of class, 80% through day 12, and 60% through day 15. No refund will be made after the 15th day of classes. Other students approved to be billed on a per credit basis will follow this same refund schedule.

For January courses and summer courses, students who are in the Annual Block Tuition do not incur additional expenses as long as the total enrolled hours do not exceed 36 within the same academic year. Students not enrolled in the annual Block Tuition are billed at $1,442 per credit hour. If paying by credit hour, when a class is dropped on the first day of a January short course or a compressed course, there is a 90% refund. When a class is dropped on the first day of a summer term, there is a 100% refund. No refund will be made from the second day to the end of either short term. Refunds for intensive courses not specifically listed above are subject to the refund schedule for courses billed by the credit hour in the term in which the course is taught, regardless of the actual date the course begins.

Tuition Refund Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Students that completely withdraw from the university during the fall or spring semester will receive a tuition refund based on the following schedule:

Through the 5th day (the add/drop period) 100%
Through the 12th day 80%
Through the 15th day 60%
After the 15th day 0%

Financial Aid Return of Funds Policy for Students Withdrawing from the University

Return of funds to Institutional Financial Aid Programs
Scholarships and grants from the university are reduced by the same percentage of any tuition refund.

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Return of Federal Title IV and Institutional Funds
Abilene Christian University calculates and returns Federal Title IV funds according to Federal Title IV policy 34 CRF 668.22. The amount of Title IV funds (other than Federal Work-Study) that must be returned to the Title IV programs is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled before withdrawing. This policy is effective for complete or full withdrawal from a semester in which the student receives Title IV federal funds.

If the student withdraws before 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, a percentage of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal program based on the length of time the student is enrolled prior to withdrawal. For example, if the student withdraws when 50 percent of the semester has elapsed, 50 percent of Title IV funds will be returned to the federal programs. After 60 percent of the semester has elapsed, the student is considered to have earned all aid received for the semester.

The return of Federal Title IV funds depends upon the date the student withdraws during the semester.

Withdrawal date is defined as one of the following:

  • The date the student began the withdrawal process;
  • The date the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw;
  • For the student who does not begin the university’s withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw, the mid-point of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless the university can document a later date); or
  • The withdrawal date is determined from class attendance records.
  • If a student stops attending class, federal regulations require that ACU consider the student withdrawn for financial aid purposes.

Abilene Christian University will:

  1. Determine date of withdrawal.
  2. Calculate the percentage of aid deemed to have been earned by the student.
  3. Calculate the percentage of aid not earned by the student, which must be returned to federal programs.

Return of Federal Title IV Funds
If the withdrawal date results in a percentage of Federal Title IV aid not earned by the student, then return of Federal Title IV aid will occur in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
  2. Subsidized Direct Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Direct PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal SEOG Grants
  7. TEACH Grants

Endowed Scholarships

Click here for more information.