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Higher One Refund Information


Important information to help you make informed choices about your financial aid disbursements and refunds.

Do I have to use the Higher One MasterCard debit card in order to receive my financial aid or refund?

No! The Higher One MasterCard Debit Card is used for activating a refund preference for Financial Aid Disbursements and/or if you paid your registration fees by cash, check, or in-person credit card transaction and are eligible for a refund. The MasterCard debit card is one option for receiving your financial aid (grants and loans) or refund. There are other options, which include a direct deposit to your existing checking or savings account or a paper check (mailed to you).  If you chose to open a checking account with Higher One (fees may apply-See Fee Schedule), your funds will be direct deposited to your account and you will also be able to use the MasterCard you received as a debit card (fees may apply-transactions processed as a swipe and sign do not have a fee) against that account.

Do I have to activate the Higher One card?

Although you must select a refund option through the Higher One website (by entering the debit card number on the Higher One website) in order to receive a refund, you do not have to opt for the Higher One debit card option.  You will be offered the disbursement options listed above during the activation process.  Log in to to activate your preferred disbursement method.

What happens if I don’t log in to activate the card and select a refund/disbursement preference?

If you do not log in and activate your card, Higher One will mail a paper check to you no sooner than 21 days after your refund is disbursed. Regardless of whether you anticipate receiving a refund or not, it is important to activate your refund preference as soon as you receive your card so that you don’t have to wait for your money.

What is the OneAccount? Do I need to have one?

After you activate your card online, you will receive an offer for an optional OneAccount checking account. The OneAccount is an account relationship between you and Higher One, and NOT managed or operated by the Coast Community College District.  If you choose to open a Higher One checking account, please read the terms, conditions, and applicable fee schedule carefully. You do not need to open a Higher One account to receive your disbursement or refund.

Can I use my Higher One Card at any ATM?

Although the Higher One Debit Card can be used at any ATM fees may apply. (See the Fee Schedule for fee information). A fee free (for Higher One card holders) ATM is available on campus in the Student Center.
What are the fees associated with the Higher One bank account and MasterCard debit card?
Please visit the Higher One schedule of fees page for specific fee information.

How long will it take to receive my funds once I’ve activated my MasterCard debit card and selected my preferred refund method?

Once the college has disbursed your financial aid funds (see disbursement dates) or your refund (see refund dates), Higher One will distribute your funds as follows:
  • Higher One bank account/MasterCard debit card—same business day
  • Direct deposit to your own checking or savings account—2-3 business days
  • Paper Check—5-7 days

What if I didn’t receive the My Coast Colleges Card?

Your My Coast Colleges Card is mailed to the mailing address on file. If you did not receive your card, please verify and/or update your current mailing address on MyOCC or come in person to your college’s Admissions and Records office.
Please note that High School students will not receive the MasterCard debit card in the mail.  They will automatically receive paper checks in the mail (if they paid by check or cash and are eligible for a refund).

What if I lost my card or need a replacement?

If you have not activated your card, please verify your current mailing address on MyOCC. New cards will be mailed to your current mailing address on file.  If you have already activated your card, you can log into and order a new card. It will be mailed to the address that Higher One has on file.


Where can I check to see if my refund or financial aid disbursement is ready?

Let Higher One contact you! Sign up for mobile alerts with Higher One to get a text message whenever refunds are processed or deposited to your account. Don’t want a text message? No problem, Higher One can also email you when your refund is processed or distributed.

Can’t find your answer here? Go online to get help.  Click on the EasyHelp link at the top of the Schedule of Fees  page to find answers to most of your questions or call the Answer Center during normal business hours at (714) 432-5072.