Students! Be sure to add your Canadian banking information on Quest to ensure you receive your refunds.

Refunds of credit balances on student accounts

Changes to your course load, program, residence, citizenship status and other adjustments may result in a credit balance on your student account.

Credit balances associated with international payments will be returned to the international bank account from which the payment was initiated or remain on your student account to be applied to future charges.

Credit balances remaining on your student account will be reviewed at the end of the second month of term. Amounts approved for refund will be automatically refunded to you by direct deposit in the third month of term during our batch refunding process,

  • if you have provided correct and complete Canadian personal bank account information on Quest.
  • if you made the payment from your personal bank account. Credit balances related to a Canadian bank payment made to your student account by someone other than you, will require permission of the person who made the payment before we can refund the amount to your bank account.

Otherwise, your refund will be held on your student account to be applied to future charges.

Outstanding OSAP loans

If you have outstanding OSAP loans, some or all of the credit balance remaining on your student account may need to be refunded to the National Student Loan Centre to be applied against your outstanding government student loan balance. We can then refund any remaining credit balance to you as described above

Scholarships, bursaries, awards and Graduate Research Studentships (GRS)

If you've already paid the total charges on your student account for the term, any financial aid (scholarships, awards, bursaries) applied to your student account will create a credit balance (overpayment).

Scholarships, awards and bursaries are posted on your student account on the Wednesday of the week the GSPA or SAFA authorizes them, provided you have "Fees Arranged" status for the term. Any portion of these amounts that is not required to cover the charges on your account will create a credit balance.

Credit balances related to scholarships, awards and bursaries will be processed for payment by Finance on either the following Thursday or the following Tuesday, subject to the following criteria:

  • you have added your Canadian bank account information on Quest. Otherwise, your refund will be held on your student account to be applied to future charges.
  • you do not have a No Refund hold on your account for another reason (for example, you have prepaid for a future term or terms or your charges have been paid by a third-party payment service or by someone other than you personally)

Refund payments are issued by EFT (direct deposit to the bank account you added on Quest). Once we have released the payments to our bank, you will typically receive the amount in your bank account within 48 hours, but we have no control over the banking system and we cannot guarantee when the amount will arrive in your bank account. Please plan accordingly.

Undergraduate Students

Scholarship, bursary and award amounts will be applied to your student account balance beginning the second month of term, provided your registered status is "Fees Arranged".

Graduate Students

Scholarship, bursary, award and GRS amounts will be applied to your student account balance beginning the first week of classes, provided your registered status is "Fees Arranged".

Opting out of WUSA/GSA health, dental and legal plans

Please review Incidental fees .

Withdrawing from a course or program

In some cases, withdrawing from a course may trigger a reduction in the fees charged to your account for a particular term, eg. most undergraduate programs and some professional graduate programs where tuition is charged per course. Dropping a course may or may not result in a refund depending on when the course is dropped, and your course load before and after the drop; please contact Student Financial Services if you need clarification before dropping a course.

Your account balance may also be affected if you withdraw from your program. Withdrawal may entitle you to a refund of tuition fees calculated as follows:

  1. Students withdrawing up to the end of the third calendar week from the start of lectures each term (the 100% refund deadline) will receive a full refund of all fees.
  2. Students withdrawing in calendar weeks four to seven from the start of lectures each term (the 50% refund deadline) will receive a 50% refund of each of the charges for tuition, co-op fee, work report marking fee, and student services fees.  
  3. Refunds are not provided to students who withdraw after calendar week seven from the start of lectures each term. 

For information on how withdrawing from a course or your program might affect your fees owing for the term, please see the Calendar of Events & Academic Deadlines in the Undergraduate Studies Calendar or Academic Deadlines & Events in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.

How we send your refund

Direct deposit to your Canadian personal bank account

  • Be sure to add or update your banking information on Quest to be sure you receive any refunds owing to you. If you are not able to add your Canadian banking information on Quest, we will hold your refund on your student account to be applied to future charges.
  • It is your responsibility to add the correct banking information in the correct fields on Quest to avoid having your refund sent to the wrong bank account. The University of Waterloo is not responsible for payments made to incorrect accounts, and will not reimburse students for funds lost as a result of inaccurate information.
  • By adding banking information, you are agreeing to allow the University of Waterloo’s Finance department to deposit student refunds directly into the specified Canadian bank account you have entered.
  • If you are expecting a refund, watch for your email refund notice as confirmation that the refund has been sent to the banking information you provided on Quest. Check your bank account right away to be sure you see the refund in your bank account. If you do not, contact Student Financial Services immediately. 
  • Adding your banking information on Quest is only to facilitate refunds from your Quest account. You cannot make an online bank payment to your student account from Quest.

  • If you are a student AND a university employee, or a grad student working as a TA for the term, you need to add your banking information in BOTH Quest and the Human Resources payroll system, Workday.

The bank data being requested is processed under the authority of and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the University of Waterloo Act (1972), as well as University policy and guidelines for the purpose of issuing student account refunds and reimbursements. Questions or concerns about the processing of financial information by the University should be directed to Student Financial Services. General questions about privacy at the University of Waterloo should be directed to the University‘s Privacy Officer.  

International refund

If you are not in Canada and do not have a Canadian bank account, you can request an international refund for any balance of $1,000.00CAD or more.

If the refundable amount relates to an international payment that was originally made by someone other than the student, the refund must be returned to the original bank account.

Overpayments on your student account that are related to international payments made through an unauthorized payment method cannot be refunded to your Canadian bank account. The organization that made the payment on your behalf will need to contact its bank to have a payment reversal request sent to the university to recover your funds.

If you are requesting a refund of an award, scholarship, bursary or GRS that was posted to your student account, we will send you instructions on how to arrange the refund.

The timing of your international refund depends on several factors and will vary based on your bank and your country. You can contact Student Financial Services to inquire about the status of your international refund.

International refunds are sent in Canadian Dollars (CAD) so you may experience a foreign exchange loss or transaction fees from your bank on receipt of your international refund.

Contact Student Financial Services when....

  • you have completed your studies with an over payment remaining on your student account and you no longer have a Canadian bank account
  • you have withdrawn from the university but you do not reside in Canada and cannot establish a Canadian bank account
  • you have questions about adding your banking information on Quest