brightwheel offers several options for administrators to consider when the need arises to return funds to parents. This may happen when students leave the program early, if a provider needs to return a deposit, or if parents unintentionally overpaid a student's account balance my a meaningful amount. A refund returns funds to the payer for an amount that they had previously paid.

One option to consider is issuing an account credit towards a future charge or balance. Alternatively, administrators also have the option to refund payments back to the original payment method within 85 days, or via cash or check.

Table of Contents


Issue a Credit

Ultimately, deciding to issue a refund or a credit is up to the program and the payer. However, we encourage admins to consider issuing credits instead of refunds: these can be easily added to the account, and will reduce the balance owed by a parent on a future invoice. Credits are automatically applied to the next invoice that is created, but can be unapplied, if an admin would prefer to manually apply it elsewhere. Learn more about how to create a credit here.


Issue an Online Refund

Refunds for online payments can be issued through brightwheel once the payment has fully processed, and up to 85 days after the payment was made. Online payment refunds usually take 5-10 business days to hit the parents account.

  1. Go to the All Transactions tab in a student’s billing profile

  2. Click the Actions drop down menu next to the payment that needs to be refunded, and select Refund
    Payments that have been applied to invoices cannot be refunded. To refund an applied payment, be sure to Unapply the payment first!

  3. Indicate the amount to refund

  4. Select a Refund method and a Reason for refund

  5. Add an optional note if desired

Please note, there are no additional processing fees associated with a refund. Any processing fees that were charged at the time of payment will NOT be refunded to the party that paid the processing fee (payer or school).

Record an Offline Refund

Offline refunds can be issued at any time, and allow administrators to record returning cash or check funds to payers. This is a great option for returning funds that were originally paid through cash, check, or a third-party system; or for refunding an online payment that is greater than 85 days old.

Keep in mind that while offline refunds can be recorded in brightwheel, providers will need to make sure to deliver the cash or check refund to the payer - recording the refund in brightwheel will not send or mail funds to payers on a program's behalf.

  1. Go to the All Transactions tab in a student’s billing profile

  2. Click the Actions drop down menu next to the payment that needs to be refunded, and select Refund
    Payments that have been applied to invoices cannot be refunded. To refund an applied payment, be sure to Unapply the payment first!

  3. Indicate the amount to refund

  4. Select a Refund method and a Reason for refund

  5. Add an optional note if desired

  6. Follow up by providing a cash or check refund to the payer

Did this answer your question?