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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  • What is my student ID number?

Your student ID number is the University Identification number (UID) that was assigned to you when you were admitted to the university. This is a 9-digit number that you can find on your Redbird Card.

Additionally, each student is assigned a billing ID number that is 10 digits long, beginning with 100. This number can be found in the top-right corner of your bill and is designated as an EMPL ID. Student Accounts can use either identification number to find your account.

  • How do I pay for my textbooks?

Textbooks are considered an out-of-pocket expense and are not billable through Illinois State University. You can purchase textbooks at our local bookstore on campus or online at a site of your choosing.

  • I’m helping my student pay, how do I access their account?

We recommend that students sign up parents or other payers as Authorized Users. This grants online access to the financial part of the student account; the ability to view the On-Demand statement, make online payments, sign up for a payment plan, and receive emails regarding the payment plan. This also allows the Student Accounts Office staff permission to speak with the Authorized User about account information.

Authorized User information is confidential. Payment methods saved under the Authorized User are not viewable on the student's portal. If there are multiple Authorized Users on an account, they can not see any information regarding other users.

For instructions on becoming an Authorized User, visit our How-To Sign up an Authorized User guide.
For guidance navigating the online billing portal as an Authorized User, visit our comprehensive list of How-To Guides.

  • Why am I being charged Student Health Insurance?

A student health insurance fee is automatically assessed to all students who register for 9 or more credit hours during the fall and spring semesters or 6 or more credit hours during the summer semester. This fee is included in the mandatory fees charge on the billing statement and can be seen as itemized on the student’s online billing portal.

This worldwide health insurance plan is designed to provide excellent coverage whether you are enrolled in another insurance plan or not. Please contact Student Health Insurance Office at (309) 438-2515 or visit the Student Health Insurance website for more information.

Insurance Reduction
Students who are assessed the student insurance fee can apply for a waiver. This waiver must be completed each semester you want to waive student insurance. The waiver application and semester deadlines are listed on the Student Health Insurance website.

  • What is the Financial Responsibility Agreement?

The Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) is an acknowledgment of responsibility for payment in full of all charges accrued for the semester the agreement is signed. These charges include student account charges for tuition and fees as outlined in the University’s Billing Brochure, late charges, and any additional costs that may be incurred by the University in the collection of these debts.

Students must complete the Financial Responsibility Agreement each semester prior to registering. If this is not completed, you will see a hold on your My.IllinoisState account. To complete the Financial Responsibility Agreement, visit your To Do List, or follow our How-To Guide for the FRA.

  • Why do I have a hold on my account?

There are different types of holds that may limit various permissions, such as registering for classes. Check your Holds in My.IllinoisState to learn more information about the hold and which university department assigned it.

There are two Student Accounts holds in addition to the Financial Responsibility hold detailed above:

Past Due – No Registration
This hold does block your registration. Visit your online billing portal to review your balance and make a payment. The hold will be released the day after your payment posts. Please call or visit Student Accounts if you need the hold released the same day.

Return Check or E-check Revoked
If a check does not go through, regardless of the reason, there will be a hold placed on the account. For more information, please review our E-Check Policy.

  • How do I get information to present to my employer for reimbursement?

If you need information on charges, payments, or grades to give to an employer, it is available through your online billing portal and your Student Service Center. Follow the steps in the How-To Guide for Tuition Reimbursement Requirements to ensure you have everything you need.

The information gathered in these steps has been approved by State Farm Insurance for their employees.

  • What if I have a sponsor for my tuition and fees?

The Student Accounts Office processes all third-party contracts/sponsor payments for Illinois State University.
Each sponsor must send a letter, list, voucher, or other form of verification of support to the Student Accounts Office at Illinois State University before the student can be processed.
For more information please visit our Sponsor Billing page.

  • Where can I cash a check from Illinois State University?

Students can cash checks at the Cashier’s Office in the Student Accounts Building. The Cashier’s Office handles personal checks, ISU Student Payroll checks, and ISU refund checks. For more information, visit the Cashier’s Office website.

Tuition and Fee Questions

  • How much do tuition and fees cost?

Tuition and mandatory fees are charged at a per-credit-hour rate for undergraduate or graduate students. Rates for undergraduate students will depend on when you started at Illinois State University. Please view Billing & Tuition Information for more information.

  • What are mandatory fees? Why do I need to pay mandatory fees?

Mandatory fees are a portion of the cost of attendance to cover administrative costs of having services available to all students, whether or not they opt to take advantage of the services. View the Explanation of Mandatory Fees page for information regarding the specific fees included.

  • Why do I need to pay the Outreach - FCR fees?

Depending on your tuition rate table, some students that are taking special programs may be assessed outreach - fcr fees per semester hour instead of mandatory fees. See individual tuition tables for rates.

  • What is the Outreach-FCR Fee?

The Outreach-FCR Fee is charged based on a per-hour rate like mandatory fees. This fee covers costs associated with the various methods of delivering online/off-campus instruction for students in contracted programs or non-campus locations that are not otherwise enrolled in university courses. Students only assessed the Outreach FCR Fee are not charged student insurance unless they opt into it, regardless of the number of credit hours.

  • Why am I charged tuition and fees for my internship?

If you are receiving credit towards your degree for your internship, you will be charged for tuition and fees. Although you may not be on campus attending a course, there are many costs involved for Illinois State University to create and manage an internship opportunity for you that provides the enrichment needed to justify credit towards your degree.

Costs associated with providing internships for our students include such things as:

  • Vetting and creating contracts and relationships with employers to recruit Illinois State University students for internships.
  • Providing and preparing students with career development skills and resources needed to be successful in their internship.
  • Working with departments and different faculty to develop the curriculum and specific internship requirements to ensure internship opportunities meet the established requirements and are deserving of credit towards the student’s degree.
  • Hosting internship fairs twice per year for both students and employers.
  • Creating and managing individual contracts for each student who will be engaging in an internship. The contract is between the internship site, Illinois State University, and the student. It explains the student and site expectations, grading criteria, etc.
  • Assigning an internship supervisor and/or faculty member to the internship course to supervise the internship. This person has regular contact with the site supervisor and the student to review how the internship is progressing, solve problems as they occur, grade assignments, evaluate progress, meet with students onsite or periodically at ISU, and assign grades for work completed.
  • What is Tuition Insurance/Protection (GradGuard)? 

Tuition insurance protects the investment you’ve made in higher education if you need to withdraw midsemester for a covered illness, injury, or mental health condition. It complements our school’s refund policy. Tuition insurance can insure up to 100% reimbursement for tuition payments, housing, and other fees if you withdraw for a covered reason at any time during the semester.

For learn more, please visit Tuition Insurance/GradGuard on our website. 

Statement and Payment Questions

  • Are the housing, meal and tuition charges on the same bill?

Yes. Tuition and Mandatory Fees, housing charges, and meal plans are on the same billing statement. They are listed separately on the billing statement and can be viewed in the online student billing portal. For more information on what charges are on the bill, view Billing & Tuition Information.

  • How do I view my bill?

On-Demand Statements can be viewed online anytime by students and Authorized Users. Paper statements are not mailed out. Bills are available starting August 1st for the fall term, January 1st for the spring term, and May 1st for the summer term.

For more information, please view the online guide for How to View an Online Statement.

  • How do I access my account balance?

You can access your account balance through your online billing portal. Online access is granted to students and Authorized Users. To register someone as an Authorized User, view the online guide for How to Set Up an Authorized User.

Students can log in through the Finances tab in My.IllinoisState by scrolling down to the Student Accounts section and selecting “Pay/Review My Account”.

Authorized Users can log in through the Authorized User Login button on the Student Accounts Homepage.

  • How do I make a payment?

Each semester, students have the option of paying in full or utilizing a payment plan. Payments may be made online, through the mail, or in person at the Student Accounts Office. For more information, view Payment Options.

For How-To Guides on making a payment through the billing portal, view How to Make an Installment Payment or How to Make an Individual Payment.

  • Can I pay my bill with a credit card?

Yes, credit card payments are accepted online through the student billing portal. Most credit cards are accepted through PayPath. There is a convenience fee* that will be charged by the processor for credit card payments. *Domestic (USA credit cards) and International (credit cards) will have different convenience fees starting February 20, 2024.

  • What happens if my payment is late or my account is overdue?

Delinquent accounts may incur late charges, holds that prevent admission, holds that prevent registration, and may incur collections efforts by the University.  For more information about payment options such as payment plans and late fees, please view  Payment Options   .

  • Where do I send 529 Savings Plan checks?

You should send your 529 checks to the Student Accounts Office.

  • I am using a 529 plan to pay my account, what payment plan should I use?

The answer depends on whether your 529 will pay your balance in full or if it will leave a remaining balance. Please see our 529 Plans page for more information.  

  • I have a question about a scholarship or where to send a scholarship check.

Please visit Scholarships for information about scholarships and where to send checks.



Refund Questions

  • Why would I get issued a refund?

A refund is generated when there is an excess of funds on the student account. This can happen from having more Financial Aid than charges or from a change in billing after the account has been paid in full. For more information, see our Refunds page.

  • Will I be refunded if I drop a course or withdraw from the university?

When you make any changes to your schedule, either changes in hours or withdrawing from the University, be sure to reference the University Registrar website and the Course and University Withdrawal page for dates and charges that may be assessed to you.

Refunds are based on the charges assessed at the time of withdrawal and the amount of the payments received to that date. If the payment amount is greater than the charges, you will be issued a refund.

  • When will I get my refund?

The first refund process for each semester starts the Tuesday before classes start (this is an internal process and refund is not yet available). 
Students with eRefunds will receive their refund on the Friday that refunds are run. 
Paper refund checks will be mailed to the student's home address the Tuesday after refunds are run. 
Refunds continue weekly throughout the semester. 
Be sure all requirements in your To Do List are completed to ensure your financial aid disburses in a timely manner.

The earliest date for direct deposit of your refund check will be the Friday following the email notification that a refund has been generated. Paper refund checks will be mailed to the student's home address the Tuesday after refunds are run. Be sure to sign up for eRefunds to receive your refund faster!

  • How do I get my refund?

Refunds made payable to the student are available for direct deposit (eRefund) or mailed to the student's home address
Students with eRefunds will receive their refund on the Friday that refunds are run. 
Paper refund checks will be mailed to the student's home address the Tuesday after refunds are run. 
Parent PLUS loan refunds made payable to the borrower will be mailed to the address used on the loan application. 
For more information, visit our Refunds page.

  • Where do parent PLUS loan refunds go?

Parent PLUS loan refunds are made payable to the borrower and mailed to the address used on the loan application unless you elected to release excess funds to the student. For more information, visit our Refunds page.

Financial Aid Questions

  • How is my financial aid applied to my charges?

Once your aid is fully processed, it will be applied to your current term charges while accounting for any restrictions that may apply due to the type of aid awarded. 

  • My financial aid is not showing up on my account. What should I do?

Check your To-Do List on My.IllinoisState to verify all requirements are completed. You may also contact the Financial Aid Office at (309) 438-2231 or by email at

  • Can I use next semester's financial aid to pay for this semester's charge?

No, financial aid processed through Illinois State will only apply to the semester it is assigned to.

Any remaining charges for the current semester must be cleared through personal resources and/or private loans.

International Students Questions

  • How do I pay via TransferMate?
  1. Log in to your student account and proceed to make a payment.
  2. Select TransferMate INTL from the drop down menu.
  3. Choose the country you’re paying from and select "review rate"
  4. Review your rate.
  5. Enter your details
  6. Confirm your details
  7. Submit Payment
  8. Track your payment throughout the process

Find additional details in a video walkthrough on how to make a payment.

  • What fees are charged to students who use TransferMate?

All international payments made through TransferMate are completely free of charge, although you may be charged by your bank for making a local transaction.

Domestic transactions are subject to a $20 fee to cover costs.

  • How will I know if my payment has been successful?

Once TransferMate has recieved your payment into the local bank account in your country, TransferMate sends your payment the same day from their account to Illinois State University. These payments are generally recieved the same day if payments are received into TransferMates local account in your country before 2pm GMT.

Your payments will automatically be posted to your account within 24-48 hours from payment completion.

For questions related to a pending payment, contact TransferMate for assistance.

  • Can I look up a specific transfer on TransferMate?

Once your payment has been received, the pending payment will be removed and the transaction added to the Payment History in your student account. Additionally, you will receive an email confirming that your payment was successful.

  • Can my family or other authorized users have access to my Student Account?

Students may set up authorized users to view the student bill and billing information on their behalf. Please note that, in accordance with FERPA, this does not allow the authorized user to view the student’s academic records, course schedule, or other personal information. Authorized users may view student account activity, make payments, and set up payment plans.

Instructions :

  1. Log into your MyIllinoisState financial center.
  2. On the right-hand side under My Profile Setup, click on the Authorized Users button.
  3. Click on Add Authorized User
  4. Type the email address and set permission for your authorized user.
  5. An automated email including a link, username, and temporary password will be sent to your authorized user. They will use this information to log in and set up their profile.

After setup is completed, authorized users making tuition payments on your behalf will access the system directly through the dedicated Authorized User login.

Additional Information: Adding an authorized user is your written consent that an individual may view your account information and make payments on your behalf. Authorized users Do Not have access to your saved payment methods, academic records, or other personal information.