Refund checks spent on wants rather than needs

At the beginning of each semester, college students are issued refund checks. But how does a student from Northwest spend that money?

The majority of students said that they always put their refunds directly toward their debt.

“Mine goes to student loans and bills. That’s always first,” Marlon Oliver said.

Some of the students did not put it toward their debt but instead used their check on things for school, such as books or programs for their education. 

“A big portion goes to my rent and fraternity dues,” Kaleb Sweet said.

Other students mentioned using it for conventional needs, such as parts for their car. Lacey Heinrichs said that she would be using it for some vehicle upgrades. 

“This time I’m using it for new tires and, hopefully, a new muffler,” Heinrichs said.

Other students decided that a good use for their refund check was to help pay for living expenses. Aaron Scarbrough said he spent a good chunk of his on rent. 

“I just figured I might as well get that all paid for the rest of the year,” Scarbrough said.

Similiarly, other students thought saving the money for emergencies was the wise move.

“I purposely plan for refund checks to be put toward bills and to have a little extra spending money for the semester…having the refund check as a back up is never a bad idea…until I graduate that is,” Heather Shumake said.

Students also spend their check on things they probably do not need.  From televisions to Xboxs and even beer, some students on campus bought the luxury items  they wanted. 

Kaleb Mitchell talked about spending his refund check on wants in addition to things he needs. 

“…I have to add more shoes to my collection. I’m looking toward 20 new pairs before the end of the year,” Mitchell said 

Some students made non-conventional purchases with their checks.

Britt Parker, spent some money on her pet, among other things. 

“I spend some of it on alcohol and my dog,” Parker said.

One student, Sabrina Chappel, donated a little bit of her refund to a local business, despite the fact that it was closing, after she purchased some self-fulfilling merchandise.

“I spent some of it at Hobby Lobby for crafting [supplies]. And then I donated some of it to Movie Magic,” Chappel said.

Vacations were another option that was mentioned. Andy Chamberlain has saved both of his refunds this year to take a trip.

“I am spending it on my trip to Mexico,” Chamberlain said.

Refund checks can vary from nothing to $200 and even $4,000. A fairly large number of students don’t even get a refund check. 

Why don’t some students get a refund check? After students fill out a FASFA, they are also eligible to receive loans from the federal or state government and possibly private student loans through various organizations. 

If a student borrows more money than required for tuition and the various fees associated with higher education, the difference is given to the person who borrowed the money, in most cases the student. 

According to the Cashiering/Bursar’s Office, it’s hard to determine a median range for what the average dollar amount would be for all the refund checks that get issued. Diana Heitman, associate burser, had a fair estimate. 

“Just for this spring [semester], I would say [the average] is around $1,800,” Heitman said.

As the cost of schooling continues to go up, so will students’ refunds checks. As for students at Northwest, most of them make the choice to put it toward their debt, or at least use them to finance living throughout their college years.

(11) comments

Abu khan

I was always say thanks to all the new writers about this website provided words invented by famous authors in online essay writing websites. So, we are all happy to create this kind of new educational blog reviews.


Students have to be cautious regarding the way they spend this money, it is a good idea to use this money for some crucial financial needs. If they are having problem in managing financial issues then they should consider taking help of financial service providers who offer financial management for nonprofits Indianapolis.


The students should spend the money to fulfill their financial needs. However, financial emergencies could arise anytime, so it would be better to stay insured. There are good insurance agencies available like which offers good insurance policies.


It is not a good idea to use the money for fun, those who have taken out student loan they have to use this money to repay the amount taken. However, they should also consider staying protected financially with the help of the right insurance. These days one can access insurance solutions online at places like


Using the money to repay loans and bills is a wise decision, the students should not waste this money to do other things. However, they can certainly make money by doing part time work. If they have any timeshare which they want to get rid of then they can sell that at and make some money too.


The students who are wasting the money in buying meaningless items should stop doing that and use the money to repay their loans. However, now finding financial solutions has become easier because you can approach the service providers online, if you need QuickBooks service provider you can find him at


Students at this stage face many financial issues, which is why they should use the money for fulfilling all their financial requirements. But those who are battling with debt issues they should consult with credit consultants Santa Monica area.


The students should consider using this money to fulfill their requirements like repaying a loan. However, if they have trouble managing their financial affairs, they should approach professionals who offer financial services Los Angeles area.


For students it would be better to use the refund money to repay their loan and for buying essential study materials. However, before taking out a loan you have to approach only a reputed institute like Family America Mortgage Corp, which offers VA loans Coconut Grove FL.


I and my friends also spend our money on fun. For instance, I recently bought some hollow balls and we have planned a lot of activities with them. I've read that these balls are used in hundreds of applications and I can not wait to test them.


How can a school issue not one, but two refund checks (one for Spring and one for Summer semesters) and at the end of second semester let you know that you were not entitled to them and now you owe $2400.00? And then offer no explanation as to how it happened? I thought they weren’t supposed to issue refunds unless they had received the money from the direct payday lenders and applied the balance of tuition/fees – and THEN issue a check for the remainder of the loan? I am struggling with this right now. Am I wrong to feel this is unfair?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.