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This step addresses the first Harvard University student account notice that you will receive from the Student Accounts office. This page is designed to provide a basic understanding of:

  • Your student account notice
  • Resolving your account balance
  • Eligibility for, and access to, excess funds on your student account notice

Steps to Resolve Your Balance and Access Funds for Living Expenses

  • Understanding Billing at Harvard University
    • Harvard Law School’s Student Financial Services Office determines financial aid and ensures that students have resolved their account balance required to participate in class registration & graduation. Student accounts are processed by Harvard University’s central Student Financial Services Office, located on the 8th floor of the Smith Campus Center.
    • Student Account notices are emailed to you on the 10th and 25th of each month unless you have a zero amount due. Charges are billed once a semester, except for Harvard University Housing rent, which bills monthly. Your anticipated financial aid credits for the academic year are divided in half and offset the charges on your student account. For more information, please visit the Student Accounts section of our website.
  • Your First Student Account Notice
    • Charges for the fall term will be posted in July. In late July, you will receive a student account notice from the central University Student Financial Services Office via your official HLS email account that you can login to view your student account balance. Entering students: Your student account cannot be accessed until you receive your first student account notice. Your student account can be accessed at
    • Students who are admitted after July student account notices are sent out (including all transfer students) MUST work directly with HLS Student Financial Services to ensure their outstanding charges are resolved in time for fall registration. All students must have either paid or secured enough financial aid in order to cover all charges posted to their student account prior to being allowed to register for fall classes.
    • All secured financial aid that appears in the SFS Self-Service Portal on the Budget and Eligibility page as of July 24th will be reflected as anticipated financial aid credits on your student account.  In general, you should expect to see half of your total academic year charges and half of your total financial aid for the academic year on your student account.
    • Shortly after the first student account notice is sent, HLS Student Financial Services office will begin the fall semester financial clearance process and regularly communicate with all J.D. students with outstanding balances. Students can view their financial clearance status at any time in the SFS Self-Service Portal on the Financial Clearance page.
  • Fall Registration

    All students must resolve their student account balance to be financially cleared and participate in fall registration. This means that you need to ensure that your student account balance is paid in full by August 15th, either via anticipated financial aid credits, a payment, or a combination of both. The following will occur if satisfactory payment arrangements are not made with Student Financial Services prior to Fall Registration:

    • You will not be able to participate in Fall Registration or the Course Add/Drop process.
    • You will not be eligible to receive a cash advance/refund check for living expenses (if applicable).
    • A late fee of $250 will also be assessed and posted to your student account.
  • Accessing Financial Aid Funds for Living Expenses

    If your anticipated fall financial aid credits exceed the total of the fall charges on your student account, you will be eligible for a fall cash advance that can be used for living expenses. Entering Student may also qualify for an early Books and Supplies advance.

    Cash advances are automatically processed by SFS based on the timeline listed in the Fall Registration Checklist.

    We encourage ALL students to sign up for Direct Deposit to access their cash advance or other credits on their account in the most efficient way.


Student Account Examples for 2024-25

Example 1Example 2Example 3
Grant RecipientFull Budget BorrowerPartial Budget Borrower
Total Financial Aid Package
HLS Grant Amount$54,500
HLS Loan Amount$10,000
Additional Borrowing from Federal or Private Lenders (Optional)$51,500$116,000$70,000
Annual Aid Amount$116,000$116,000$70,000
Anticipated Financial Aid Scenarios (by semester)
Fall Amount of Student Loans$‭30,750$58,000$35,000
Fall Amount of HLS Grant$27,250$0.00$0.00
Total Anticipated Aid$58,000$58,000$35,000
Standard July Charges
Fall Tuition$38,550$38,550$38,550
UHS Student Health Fee$796$796$796
Student Health Insurance (HUSHP)$2,101$2,101$2,101
Total Charges$41,447$41,447$41,447
Fall Semester Result (Total Charges – Total Anticipated Aid)$16,553 Credit$16,553 Credit$6,447 Owed
Different student account scenarios that determine cash advance eligibility.


  • Bear in mind that these are general examples to give you an idea of how anticipated financial aid credits and your fall charges interact on your student account.
  • The anticipated aid numbers do not account for any potential fees deducted from your loan proceeds before disbursement if you chose to borrow a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or GradPLUS.
  • The student receiving a grant (Example 1) and the student who is a full budget borrower (Example 2) have elected to apply for the maximum student loan amount possible to bring their total aid to the maximum amount of their student budget of $116,000 and demonstrate a student’s eligibility for a fall cash advance which are used to cover any non-billed expenses, such as off-campus rent.
  • In all these examples housing/rent was not addressed. If you will be residing in a dormitory, your room will appear on your student account as a semester charge both in July and December. If you will be residing in Harvard Real Estate Services’ housing (HU Housing), your monthly rent will be billed to your student account. You must pay your rent charges on your student account each month. If you will be living off-campus in housing not affiliated with Harvard University, you should expect to utilize your own personal resources and/or cash advance, if eligible, to pay off-campus rent.