Payments and credits both reduce the buyer's obligation to the seller...
Payments are unique transactions in which money changes hands. Usually, they're made by someone (a student, parent, organization, etc.) to pay off a student's obligations—as enumerated on an invoice—to 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.
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 Financial > Dashboard; click the gear and select Record Payment (this is also how you issue an outgoing payment—a refund)
- If you've enabled Online Bill Pay, students can log in and make payments by credit card; 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 made...
- 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 Financial > Dashboard or By Term tabs; simply add a charge, give it a negative amount, and include it in an invoice
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
- Payment numbers that start with "FA" refer to financial aid payments
- These numbers are distinct from the payment/credit's unique transaction number
In addition to basic information about the payment, these pages link to an online receipt and a list of invoices (if any) to which this payment has been applied.
Unapply payment lets you remove the payment from any invoice to which it has already 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.
Unapply credit lets you remove the credit from any invoice/refund to which it has already been applied.