Payments and credits both reduce the amount a student owes your school.
Payments are unique transactions in which money changes hands. Usually, they're made by someone (a student, parent, organization, etc.) to pay down what a student owes your school. A financial aid disbursement also counts as a payment. Such payments are incoming payments; sometimes your school needs to return money to a payer, and so you make an outgoing payment—better known as a refund.
Credits are negative charges; they don't necessarily indicate that something has changed hands (i.e. cash given for a textbook). They can be generated by an automatically-generated refund (such as from a tuition refund) or can be manually added. Because credits are a kind of charge, they need to be invoiced to affect the student's balance. Credits can be applied to invoices or, if the student's balance is negative, refunded. Credits do not generate a unique transaction aside from the invoice in which they are included.
Read about the A to Z's of issuing and using credits.
Paying and crediting
Payments are made any number of ways:
- When a student or other payer makes a payment in person (for example), you record it on the student's Profile > Financial view.
- If you've enabled Online Bill Pay, students can log in and make payments by credit card or e-Check; they can also send a link to the payment page to another payer.
- When you run a disbursement batch for financial aid, this records aid payments for all of the students included in the batch.
Credits are created...
- When a tuition schedule's refund policy is triggered; this creates a credit for the refunded portion of the tuition as well as a corresponding portion of any refundable fees.
- By invoicing a negative charge on the student's Profile > Financial view.
Unapplied payments and credits
Many times, payments and credits are directly applied to the student's invoiced charges. Sometimes, however, the payment or credit amount exceeds the student's charges, and a portion remains unapplied.
You can find a list of such unapplied payments and credits...
- On the student's Financial > Dashboard; click apply to use the payment/credit to pay an invoice.
- In the report in Billing > Current > Unapplied Payments/Credits.
Payments and credits each generate a unique page which contains and links to all relevant information about them.
- These pages can be found by clicking the payment or credit's unique number (not the transaction number).
- Payment pages link to an online receipt and a list of invoices (if any) to which this payment has been applied.
- Credit pages describe the nature of the credit (generated by a tuition refund, etc.) and any invoices or refunds to which the credit has been applied.
- Click the Unapply... button to remove the payment/credit from any invoice to which it has already been applied.