The Parent FAQ contains frequently asked questions about bills, financial aid, registration and how record privacy affects parent access to information. If your student is new to UC, have them check out our New Student FAQ.
Help me with:
Whose bill is it? Expand
The billing statement your student receives is in his or her name. Ultimately, students are the responsible party for paying (or arranging payment for) their bill.
How are students notified of the bill? Expand
The Bursar's Office will send billing notifications to your student's UC student email account. UC communicates all important billing, financial aid, registration and other university related information to this account.
Unfortunately the university cannot send these notifications to another email address (including a parent's email address). For this reason, we highly recommend that your student check his or her UC email account often. Failure to check, receive or act upon a billing notification does not remove your student's financial obligation to the university.
How can my student view the bill? Expand
Once posted in Catalyst, your student can view and pay their bill by selecting the MY FINANCES tab in Catalyst. Because the bill is always available online, it is expected your student will review and act upon the bill if needed. Additional information can be found by clicking the BILLING, PAYMENTS, & REFUNDS link on the left side of this page.
Can you help me understand my student's bill? Expand
When is my student's bill due? Expand
Bills are due 5 days before each semester. The bill due date will be listed on your student's billing statement. The university will not remove your student from the current semester's classes if the bill is not paid. However, please be aware that if your student does not pay the bill, the university will charge your student a monthly late payment charge, which is a combination of a flat $50 late payment fee + 1.5% interest on balances greater than $200 . In addition, service blocks may be assessed which would block registration for future semesters, prevent printing of transcripts, and other services.
What if a parent or other person want to view or pay the bill? Expand
Parents and other third parties can view or make a payment towards a student's bill if the student grants them access. To gain access, have the student click on Setup Parent Guest Access, located on the New Students or Parents main page, and follow the instructions. Once the parent/payer has is granted access, the party can log into Catalyst to view and pay the bill.
If parents pay a student's bill, can they also view their student's grades and other educational information? Expand
UC cannot release education records to that parent, including grades, without the student's authorization. UC is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Under this federal law, record privacy rights transfer from the parent to the student once the student reaches 18 years of age or once he or she enrolls in an institution of higher learning. In either scenario, FERPA then regards the parents as “third parties.” Record release to all third parties requires the student’s prior written (or electronic) consent.
A parent may obtain education record information only if: a) the student provides the parent with authorization through giving them access to view their account in Catalyst (the student can rescind this authorization at any time). Or, b) the parents can provide the Registrar’s Office with a copy of their most recently submitted federal tax return documents establishing the student as their financial dependent (family income amounts may be obscured).
Can parents or students pay their bill in installments? Expand
An installment payment plan is available through our vendor, Educational Computer Systems, Inc. (ECSI). The university works with this service to provide students and parents this payment option. Be sure to enroll early and avoid missing any enrollment deadlines. Get more payment plan details and enroll here.
Please note that a parent must be authorized by the student to view and/or pay the bill in order to enroll in a payment plan under their own name. Students may give parents/payers access to view and/or pay the bill when they delegate access to them to view their account in Catalyst.
Why is my student charged for student health insurance? Can it be waived if my student is covered by another health plan? Expand
The university must provide health services to its students. Students are charged for these services unless they have sufficient preexisting coverage. To inform the university of preexisting coverage, students will be given the option on their To Do List to waive their health insurance Students may give parents/payers access to waive insurance when they create access privileges for Catalyst. Additional information can be found by selecting the Waive Health Insurance link on the FINANCES link on the left side of this page.
What if I'm credit denied for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan? Expand
If you are credit denied for the PLUS Loan, there are additional options available to help secure a loan. You can review the options here. Otherwise, your student may be eligible for additional student loans. Please contact One Stop for additional information on this process.
When does the financial aid appear on my student's bill? Why doesn't all the aid appear on the bill? Expand
Once accepted, any federal or university grants and scholarships will post to your student's bill once the university is able to process the financial aid funding and the student's billing statement is available online. Due to federal regulations regarding when federal loans can be disbursed to the university, there may be a gap between when your student's bill is available online and when the federal loans can be posted to that bill. In general, federal loans can post to bills approximately 10 days prior to the start of an academic term. Learn more about financial aid and the billing process. Please have your student check their To Do List in Catalyst to check for any additional steps of the loan process that need to be completed.
My student was awarded work-study. Could you provide more information on this award? Expand
The Work-Study program lets your student work and earn money to help pay for their educational costs. It is a need-based employment opportunity offered first come-first served to most students as a part of their financial aid package.
When are work-study funds applied to the student's bill? Expand
Unlike other aid sources, work-study earnings will not be credited to the student's university bill. Students will earn a bi-weekly paycheck with payday being alternating Tuesdays. Students should complete the direct deposit information (specifically with Payroll, not the same as student bill refund check direct deposit though the same bank account can be used) so their paychecks are deposited with each pay period.
Earnings are limited to a specified amount on the Financial Aid Award Offer. The student's individual work schedule and hourly wage will determine if he/she earn the total amount awarded.
Can my student use financial aid to buy books or purchase a computer? Expand
Yes, financial aid can be used indirectly for books and computer expenses. Federal aid, including loans, are first applied toward your student's university bill. If the amount of financial aid credited for that semester exceeds that term's charges, the overage is refunded to either you or your student. For example, if your student's semester charges were $5,000 and the amount of financial aid credited to their bill is $6,000, an overage of $1,000 will be refunded. You or your student can then choose to use that refund money toward books, a new computer, or other educational expenses. Learn more about credit balance refunds.
Can I register my student for classes? Expand
Unfortunately, only the student can register for classes. If your student is new to the university, the student should first meet with an academic advisor prior to registering for classes. Our office can also assist your student with any registration-related questions.
So even if I pay the bill, I can't view my student's grades? Expand
That is correct. We certainly understand this news may be frustrating. Yet please understand that UC is obligated by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to protect your student’s records privacy according to the restrictions defined by this federal law. The restrictions for releasing academic information to parents are described above.
A parent may obtain education record information only if: a) the student provides the parent with authorization through Parent/Friend Access (the student can rescind this authorization at any time). Or, b) the parents can provide the Registrar’s Office with a copy of their most recently submitted federal tax return documents establishing the student as their financial dependent (family income amounts may be obscured).
What can I do if my student is struggling with classes? Expand
What if my student wants to withdraw from a class or even leave UC? Expand
Before your student withdraws from a class or UC, we would suggest for your student to contact our office. Whether it's difficulty with a class or even becoming home-sick, we realize there are many reasons a student may want to withdraw. We can help your student know his or her options and provide best advice regarding any consequences.