Students across campus have likely used Mountie Bounty at one time or another, but what happens to unused or leftover funds? Whether it be graduation, withdrawal or unenrollment, any students leaving West Virginia University are eligible to receive a refund.
Brandon Twigg, assistant director of ITS Card Services, said refunds are made to any student with outstanding Mountie Bounty funds after departing from the University.
When refunds aren’t issued to former students, their funds become unclaimed property under West Virginia’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. Twigg said this can be tedious process for students.
“We are proactively refunding a student prior to the unused funds being sent for unclaimed property,” Twigg said. “This is done in part of in an effort to return funds directly, rather than making students work with the State of WV’s unclaimed property division to get their money back.”
Mountie Bounty is a form of digital currency used by students at WVU. Using their student ID cards, they can purchase food, basic services and supplies at authorized locations on campus.
WVU is required by state law to remove all outstanding Mountie Bounty balances when user’s plans become inactive. To avoid becoming unclaimed property, Twigg said WVU issues refunds annually by July 1.
A student’s account is considered inactive if the student does not make any transactions with their Mountaineer card or login to their MyMountaineerCard account for more than one year.
Before students can add funds to their account, they are presented with information regarding the refund process which they accept and acknowledge upon completing a deposit.
Students who wish to have their account balance refunded can request a refund of unused funds by contacting the WVU IT Help Center.
Refund requests are only available to students who graduate, withdraw from all their classes or unenroll from the University.
Occasionally, students enter the wrong amount to deposit into their Mountie Bounty accounts. Twigg said refunds may be offered to these students but is handled on a case-by-case basis.
If a student has left the University and requests a refund before their account becomes inactive, they will receive a full refund to their student account. However, if an account remains inactive for over a year and has a balance over $30, a former student will be charged a $30 administrative fee.
Twigg said the fee amount is determined by the University as the appropriate amount for the time it takes to service a student’s account. This is considered a dormancy charge in section 36-8-5 of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.
If an account has a balance less than $30, the remaining balance is applied as the overall fee is waved.
“We will not charge $30 to someone who has a $1 balance and cause them to owe us $29,” Twigg said. “The administrative fee is not punitive; it’s simply there to account for the time involved to perform the clean-up processes needed to keep WVU in compliance with West Virginia state law.”
Once their account has been inactive for over a year, students who do not request a refund after leaving the University will also be charged an administrative fee, and any remaining balance is applied to their student account.
When a student’s account becomes inactive, his or her balance will likewise be applied to their student account. Though current students can be charged a service fee for having an inactive account, Twigg said his department refrains from doing so.
“I believe we do actually have the option to assess the fee regardless of enrollment status,” he said. “I’ve chosen not to punish students who are still attending but maybe just no longer had a need for their Mountie Bounty.”
If a student receives a refund to their account, the amount will either apply to any charges against their account or will be sent to the student via their registered method of receiving refunds.
Students can change this preference on WVU Portal by navigating to the WVU resources header and clicking Set up Refund Preference.