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    Tallahassee Community College
   
 
  Jul 22, 2017
 
 
    
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TCC Catalog 2012-13 (Volume 2) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Information



Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes

Section 1009.21, F.S., allows U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens lawfully in the United States who are in an eligible visa category to be classified as Florida residents for tuition purposes if the applicant or the dependent applicant’s parent/legal guardian has established legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought.

The determination of dependent or independent status is important because it is the basis for whether the student has to submit his/her own documentation of residency (as an independent) or his/her parent’s or legal guardian’s documentation of residency (as a dependent).

Definitions

  1. Dependent child: any person, whether or not living with his/her parent, who is eligible to be claimed by his/her parent as a dependent under the federal income tax code
  2. Initial enrollment: the first day of class at an institution of higher education
  3. Institution of higher education: any charter technical career center, career center operated by a school district, Florida College System institution, or state university
  4. Legal resident or resident: a person who has maintained his/her residence in Florida for the preceding year (12 months), has purchased a home which is occupied by him/her as his/her residence, or has established a domicile in Florida pursuant to s. 222.17, F.S.
  5. Non-resident for tuition purposes: a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate
  6. Parent: the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a dependent child
  7. Resident for tuition purposes: a person who qualifies as provided in this section for the in-state tuition rate

Required Documentary Evidence

To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, a person or, if that person is a dependent child, his/her parent or parents must have established and maintained legal residence in Florida for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to his/her initial enrollment in an institution of higher education. Every applicant for admission to an institution of higher education is required to make a statement as to his/her length of residence in the state and, further, shall establish that his/her presence or, if the applicant is a dependent child, the presence of his/her parent or parents in the state currently is, and during the requisite 12-month qualifying period was, for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile, rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incidental to enrollment in an institution of higher education. This statement is captured with the completion of the residency affidavit portion of the application to the college.

An applicant (student) must submit clear and convincing documentation that he/she (or a parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian, if a dependent) has been a Florida resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes for which the student is enrolling. The residency determination must be documented by the submission of written or electronic verification that includes two or more of the documents listed below. As some evidence is more persuasive than others, more than two may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive.

First Tier (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list)

  • A Florida driver license
  • A State of Florida identification card
  • A Florida voter registration card
  • A Florida vehicle registration
  • Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent if the individual is a dependent child
  • Proof of homestead exemption in Florida
  • Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (two or more years) if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period

Second Tier (may be used in conjunction with documentation from First Tier)

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • A Florida incorporation
  • Document evidencing family ties in Florida
  • Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization
  • Any other documentation that supports the student’s request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.

Statutory Exceptions and Qualifications

Section 1009.21, F.S., permits certain applicants who do not meet residency requirements to be classified as Florida residents for tuition purposes. If an applicant (student) qualifies for a residency exception or qualification, then appropriate documentation must be submitted as evidence of entitlement to that exception or qualification. Such evidence is generally specific to the type of residency exception or qualification being claimed by the student.

If a dependent child has been residing continuously with a legal resident adult relative other than the parent for at least five years immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought, the dependent child may provide documentation from the adult relative or from the parent. Both the dependent child and the adult relative or the parent must meet the consecutive 12-month legal residence requirement (s. 1009.21(2) (b), F.S.).

Based on s. 1009.21, F.S., the College requires documentation in support of the following exceptions; however, the student does not have to show 12 months of residence in Florida prior to qualifying. The exceptions and qualifications categories are as follows:

  • Persons who were enrolled as Florida residents for tuition purposes at a Florida public institution of higher education, but who abandon Florida domicile and then re-enroll in Florida within 12 months of the abandonment–provided that they continuously maintain the re-established domicile during the period of enrollment. (This benefit only applies one time.) [s. 1009.21(9), F.S.]
  • Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in Florida, their spouses and dependent children and active, drilling members of the Florida National Guard. [s. 1009.21(10)(a), F.S.] (Required: copy of military orders or Form DD 2258)
  • Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed, if such establishment is within a county contiguous to Florida. [s. 1009.21 (10)(b), F.S.] (Required: copy of military orders)
  • United States citizens living on the Isthmus of Panama, who have completed 12 consecutive months of college work at the Florida State University Panama Canal Branch, and their spouses and dependent children [s. 1009.21(10)(c), F.S.]
  • Full-time instructional and administrative personnel employed by state public schools and institutions of higher education and their spouses or dependent children. [s. 1009.21(10)(d), F.S.] (Required: copy of employment verification)
  • Students from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. The student must attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida institution of higher education. [s. 1009.21(10)(e), F.S.] (Required: copy of scholarship papers)
  • Full-time employees of state agencies or political subdivisions of the state when the student fees are paid by the state agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training. [s. 1009.21(10)(g) (Required: copy of employment verification)
  • Active duty members of the Canadian military residing or stationed in Florida under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) Agreement, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed. [s. 1009.21(10)(j)]
  • Active duty members of a foreign nation’s military who are serving as liaison officers and are residing or stationed in Florida, and their spouses and children, and attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the member is stationed. [s. 1009.21(10)(k), F.S.]
  • Qualified beneficiaries under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program. [s.1009.98, F.S.] (Required: copy of Florida Prepaid ID card)
  • Linkage Institute participants receiving partial or full exemptions from s. 1009.21, F.S., based on criteria approved by the Florida Department of Education per s. 288.8175, F.S., which establishes linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in this state and foreign countries.

Residency Reclassification

An individual who is classified as out-of-state and wants to request “reclassification” to in-state status must complete a Request for Residency Reclassification form from the Enrollment Services and Student Success office and meet with the registration specialist to discuss the burden of proof and evidentiary requirements. The completed Request for Residency Reclassification form and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office for consideration before the term for which reclassification is sought.

The evidentiary requirement for reclassification goes beyond that for an initial classification, because the student has previously been determined to be an out-of-state resident. A student who is initially classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes only if the student, or his/her parent if the student is a dependent, present clear and convincing documentation that supports permanent legal residency in Florida for 12 consecutive months. A student, or his/her parent if the student is a dependent, may become eligible for reclassification by presenting a minimum of three documents as listed in the Required Documentary Evidence section. One of the three documents must come from the First Tier.

The burden of providing clear and convincing documentation justifying reclassification of a student as a resident for tuition purposes rests with the student or, if the student is a dependent, his/her parent. For documentation to be “clear and convincing,” it must be credible, trustworthy and sufficient to persuade Enrollment Services and Student Success staff that the student or, if the student is a dependent, his/her parent has established legal residency in Florida that is not solely for the purpose of pursuing an education and has relinquished residency in any other state for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to classification.

Residency Appeals

The Residency Appeal Committee at TCC consists of the dean of enrollment management; the College registrar; the registration specialist, who has primary responsibility for reclassification; and the senior enrollment clerk, who has primary responsibility for initial classification.

A student who is denied Florida residency for tuition purposes on request for residency reclassification may appeal the decision through a written petition to the Residency Appeal Committee in the Enrollment Services and Student Success office. The burden of providing clear and convincing documentation justifying reclassification of a student as a resident for tuition purposes rests with the student or, if the student is a dependent, his/ her parent. The written petition must be submitted within five business days of the written decision of the registration specialist. The petition must clearly show an error occurred during the reclassification review process.

The Residency Appeal Committee must review the appeal within 10 business days after receipt of the written appeal. The appeal review must be limited to the issues put forth in the written petition. The Residency Appeal Committee must render to the student the final residency determination in writing, advising the student of the reasons for the determination. The decision of the Residency Appeal Committee will constitute final action.

Tuition and Fees

Payment of tuition and fees is an integral part of the registration process. Students shall pay all tuition and fees by the published deadline for each term of registration.

By statute and regulation, the registration fee is determined by the number of hours for which a student registers and by the student’s residency classification.

Tuition

Total fee assessment and due date will be indicated at the conclusion of each registration transaction. (Students should obtain a fee slip at the self-inquiry terminals in the Enrollment Services and Student Success office or on the Web.)

Students must drop classes before the drop/add deadline in order to avoid financial responsibility for dropped classes. Students who withdraw from their class(es) after the drop/add period will be responsible for payment of fees for such classes. Students who rely on financial aid to cover the cost of their tuition must drop their classes
during the drop/add period to avoid financial responsibility.

Payments will be accepted in the following forms: cash, personal check, cashier’s check, money order, MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Checks and money orders should be made payable to Tallahassee Community College. Counter checks will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the student to inquire as to the status of his or her classes; the student cannot safely assume that classes will be dropped.

In the event that a check is returned, the student shall be assessed a $20 returned check fee. Personal checks will not be accepted as payment for a returned check. The student shall be responsible for all checks presented to the College on his or her behalf, regardless of the account name or bank upon which drawn.

Transcripts

Transcripts are provided at no cost; however, a transcript will not be released to a student whose financial obligations to the College are outstanding. Transcripts will be released only with the permission of the student involved. Written requests may be accepted only in person or via fax, mail or TCC Passport.

Special Fees

If a special fee is to be assessed for a course, the words “Additional Fee” or “Lab Fee” will appear after the course description.

Non-credit Course Fees

Non-credit course fees are established to cover the costs of individual programs. Non-credit fees are published in the schedule of classes and are listed on www.tcc.fl.edu for each semester. Refunds must be requested in writing. The last day to withdraw with a refund is three business days prior to the start of class.

The continuing education unit (CEU) is a standard unit of measure used to recognize adults who continue their education at an institution of higher education. CEUs are calculated on the basis of one unit for each 10 hours of instruction. The College cannot guarantee the acceptance or recognition of CEUs for any purpose other than the statement of completion of multiple units of 10 clock hours of special purpose instruction.

Please note that non-credit courses, like credit courses, are subject to cancellation when enrollment is not sufficient to cover expenses.

Refunds

Canceled Registration

Any student who completed registration and finds it necessary to cancel it may do so by going to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office or by dropping the course(s) on TCC Passport. For a full refund of fees paid, this must be done during the first five days of the semester; otherwise, it will be treated as a withdrawal even if the student has not attended any classes. Classes treated as a withdrawal do not merit refund of fees paid.

Students who find it necessary to cancel a part of their registration and do so as outlined above will be refunded the difference between the fee paid and the fee that would normally apply to the reduced load. Refunds of this nature will be mailed after the last day of drop/add, usually within three weeks. Students who defer fees and reduce their class loads after the last day of drop/add shall personally owe the amount originally deferred. If a student cancels, drops or withdraws hours that were disbursed in a Bright Futures award, the Bright Futures award will be reduced and the student will be responsible for reimbursing the school for the cost of courses(s) dropped or withdrawn. However, a student may make a written appeal to the Financial Aid office for hours canceled, dropped or withdrawn due to verifiable illness or emergency. TCC will then make a recommendation to the Florida Department of Education. The department may accept or deny the school’s recommendation for exception.

After the fifth day of classes, refunds may be made via the Enrollment Appeals Committee until midterm of the current semester as a result of the following:

  1. Serious illness or incapacity due to accident of the student
  2. Death, serious illness or incapacity due to accident of a member of the immediate family upon whom the student is dependent for continuation of enrollment
  3. Other extreme emergency or catastrophic event such as
    • Medical/psychological trauma of the student, as evidenced by a physician’s letter
    • Military orders to report
    • Natural disasters affecting student/immediate family

Refunds shall be made as the result of the death of a student at any time during the term of current enrollment. These refunds shall be documented and authorized by the vice president for student affairs. Refunds shall not be made for circumstances such as moving out of town (even if required by an employer), changes in work schedules or changes in enrollment status due to illegal activities. Refunds of this nature are not subject to appeal beyond midterm, and appeals must be filed prior to midterm.

Students who withdraw from all classes before completing 60.5 percent of the term for which they are enrolled may be required to repay all or part of any Title IV financial aid they received. If Title IV funds not earned by the student have been disbursed to the student, it is the student’s responsibility to repay the money he or she received to the federal government. Students can end up owing both TCC for the refund and the federal government. It is strongly recommended that students who receive Title IV financial aid check with the Financial Aid office before withdrawing to see if they would incur a financial liability. Title IV aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, and Federal PLUS Loans.

Course Load Reduction

A student who reduces the course load after the first five days of classes will not be entitled to a refund. Any student who finds it necessary to withdraw from school after the first five days of classes, regardless of whether or not the student attended classes , must complete the necessary forms in the Enrollment Services and Student Success office.

Delinquent Accounts

Students who have a delinquent account with the College or the Foundation shall have a financial obligation notation placed against all records. Transcripts will be held and students cannot register or receive a degree or certificate until the obligation is removed. Refunds shall not be made to students who have outstanding obligations to the College or the Foundation.

Students who fail to pay tuition or other debt to the College will be subject to additional debt collection charges and will be reported to a collection agency and the credit bureau.

Tuition Payment Plan

For information on a tuition payment plan, log in to TCC Passport at /tccpassport.tcc.fl.edu

  • Go to www.tcc.fl.edu
  • Select “TCC Passport”
  • Sign in by entering student’s e-mail address and password
  • Select the “My Account” tab
  • Select “Tuition Payment Plan”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Florida Prepaid College Program

The Florida Prepaid College Plans can be used by students at TCC. Each semester the student is required to call or come into the cashier’s office to have the student’s Florida Prepaid hours applied to his or her tuition for the current semester. Due to Florida Prepaid Tuition Program regulations, certain fees are not covered by the plans.
Students are responsible for paying any remaining balance not covered by their plan.

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid office makes every effort to meet a student’s demonstrated financial need with the resources available. However, it is not always possible to do so, and it may be necessary for the student to pay some educational expenses from personal funds. All financial aid awards are estimates and are subject to change. Because most financial aid programs have limited funding, it is imperative that the student apply for financial aid as soon as possible after January 1 for the following academic year. The Financial Aid office awards funds on a first-come, first-served basis; students who apply early generally receive the best aid packages. Students must reapply for financial aid each year.

TCC adheres to all federal and state guidelines when administering financial aid, without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, genetic information, sex or age. All applicable federal and state laws supersede any information contained herein, and the information provided is subject to change without notice.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

As a financial aid applicant or recipient, a student has the following rights:

  • To be advised of what financial aid programs are available and how to apply for them
  • To be advised of the requirements in cases of withdrawal, such as refunds or repayments of financial aid
  • To be advised of the requirements for maintaining financial aid standards of satisfactory academic progress and good academic standing
  • To have all application information treated with the highest confidentiality

As a financial aid applicant or recipient, a student has the following responsibilities:

  • To apply for financial aid early
  • To submit all required forms accurately and completely
  • To provide all documentation, verification of income, corrections and/or other information required to complete the financial aid file
  • To accept responsibility for all forms and agreements the student signs
  • To use financial aid only for the student’s actual educational expenses

Financial Aid Programs

TCC offers a comprehensive financial aid program that includes most federal and state programs, internal scholarships and grants, as well as many outside scholarship programs.

  • Federal Pell Grants are available to students that demonstrate eligibility as determined by the federal government. Students who are enrolled full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time and less-than-half-time may qualify if the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) meets the standards established by the federal government.
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) are awarded to students from funds made available by the federal government for students with exceptional need. They are usually awarded to students who receive the Federal Pell Grant. Grants vary in amount, with the smallest grant valued at $200. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to receive this award.
  • Federal College Work Study Program is based on need. Students are awarded part-time jobs on or off campus for use in defraying educational expenses.
  • Federal Direct Loans are awards that must be repaid. TCC encourages students to be informed borrowers and to read all documents associated with any student loan. Applications for Federal Direct Loans are processed through the United States Department of Education, which is responsible for the servicing and collection of the debt. Interest rates vary and are established by the federal government. There are two programs: the Federal Subsidized Direct Loans and the Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans.
    • Federal Subsidized Direct Loans are awarded to students who demonstrate need. Borrowers who have earned 0–30 credit hours may borrow $3,500 per year. Those who have earned 31 credit hours or more may borrow $4,500 per year. All maximum loans must be split over two semesters and a seven-month period. After a seven-month loan period, borrowers are eligible for a new loan. Federal Subsidized Direct Loans go into repayment six months after the student ceases at least half-time enrollment or graduates from TCC. Interest is paid by the federal government until the borrower enters repayment.
    • Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are awarded to students who don’t demonstrate need, or who have other funds meeting need, but who have not reached their estimated cost of attendance in financial aid funds. This loan can be used to replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The conditions of this loan are identical to the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, except students are required to either pay the interest while in school or have the interest capitalized into the loan for repayment after graduation.
  • Federal Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows parents who demonstrate appropriate credit worthiness to be eligible for a low-interest loan, up to the cost of education less any financial aid received, for their student. TCC requires the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to have a valid ISIR (Institutional Student Information Report) or SAR (Student Aid Report) on file in the Financial Aid office in order to process a PLUS Loan. Tuition and fees are not deferred for students awarded PLUS loans.

Dependent students may borrow up to an additional $2,000 in Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans per academic year. Dependent students whose parents are denied the Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) may be eligible to borrow up to an additional $4,000 per academic year in this program.

Independent students and students whose parents are denied the Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) may be eligible to borrow an additional $6,000 per academic year in this program, split over two terms.

Students who are awarded a Federal Direct Loan are not required to borrow. If a student chooses to reject the Federal Direct Loan, he or she must notify the Financial Aid office so the loan can be cancelled.

Students who choose to keep the loan must complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Direct Loan entrance counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. The promissory note and entrance counseling must be completed before the student loan can be used to offset any fees, tuition or book expenses.

An origination fee is deducted from the Federal Direct Loan before the loan is credited to the student’s account. To estimate the actual loan amount, the student should reduce the gross amount awarded by 4 percent. This should give the student a figure close to the actual amount of loan TCC will receive and credit to his or her account.

Federal regulations require TCC to delay payment of Federal Direct Loans to first-time borrowers by 30 days from the start of class. New students should note this delay in payment and make appropriate financial arrangements.

Students who borrow their aggregate Federal Direct Loan limit while at TCC will not be eligible for additional funding at an upper division institution.

All new borrowers must complete entrance counseling and attend a financial literacy seminar at TCC before TCC will credit the first Federal Direct Loan disbursement to the student’s account, even if the student attended entrance counseling at another institution. Students can complete entrance counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. Financial literacy seminars are conducted frequently. Please visit www.tcc.fl.edu/fa for scheduled dates.

Before leaving TCC, Federal Direct Loan borrowers are required to complete exit counseling. All graduates and students not returning to TCC should complete the exit counseling online at www.mappingyourfuture.org or contact the Financial Aid office to obtain the appropriate paperwork for this process.

When a Federal Direct Loan is for one semester only, the federal government requires the College to make the loan in two payments, with one occurring after the mid-point of the semester. Students who receive a one-semester loan should make appropriate financial plans.

  • The Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) is a need-based grant awarded for educational purposes of at least one year to Florida residents who demonstrate exceptional need and who are enrolled full-time by the end of regular drop/add.

Funds are limited and the Financial Aid office will notify students of their eligibility.

  • The Part-time Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) provides funds to students who are enrolled less-than-fulltime, but at least half-time or more. Funds are prorated based on the number of hours the student attends (half-time or three-quarter-time). Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and meet the state guidelines for FSAG. Other than the amount the student is eligible for and the number of hours the student must complete for continued eligibility, all other terms and conditions for receipt of a full-time FSAG apply.
  • The Florida Student Assistance Grant-Certificate Students (FSAG-CE) is a need-based grant awarded for educational purposes to Florida residents who are enrolled in certificate programs. Funds are limited; the Financial Aid office will notify eligible students.
  • Florida Bright Futures scholarship programs include the Florida Academic Scholars, the Florida Medallion Scholars and the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars. Recipients are selected and notified of eligibility by the state. Students may contact the State of Florida concerning transfer of Bright Futures scholarships at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org or call toll-free to (888) 827-2004.
  • Other state programs: The State of Florida has numerous scholarship and grant programs, such as the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program and the José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund. For information, call the Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance at (888) 827-2004 or visit www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org.
  • Outside scholarships: All scholarships received, even from outside sources, must be reported to the Financial Aid office and counted in the student’s financial aid award, as required by law. Students seeking outside scholarships should avoid sites that charge fees. There are multiple free scholarship sites available that provide the same or better information as the fee sites. Some of the sites are www.fastweb.com, www.finaid.org, www.nasfaa.org and www.SallieMae.org. The public library is also a source of information about scholarships offered by civic organizations, businesses and other entities.
  • Welfare-to-Work and Welfare Transition Programs: These programs assist potential, former and current welfare recipients and their families as they begin to make the transition from cash assistance to employment by providing support and mentoring, along with assistance in areas such as scholarships, transportation and child care.
  • The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program provides a variety of resources to eligible students looking for additional financial aid, as well as to those seeking the right job or career. The WIA scholarship offers funding for tuition and books. Resource rooms located in each Big Bend Workforce Center provide tools designed to help customers seeking financial aid resources, including links to financial aid search banks and financial aid search software. For information, visit www.wfplus.org.
  • Students can apply for TCC scholarships and view important deadlines at www.tcc.fl.edu/scholarships.

Summer Financial Aid

Students interested in financial aid for Summer term should complete the TCC Summer Financial Aid Application online. This form is available in early February before the summer the student will attend. This form does not replace the need for a FAFSA and for TCC to have a valid ISIR or SAR. Summer funds are limited. The award is determined using the same formula used for Fall and Spring terms.

Financial Aid Eligibility

Students who apply for financial aid must be fully admitted at TCC prior to their financial aid being processed. They must also be in an eligible program as a degree-seeking student.

Transient students, non-degree-seeking students, students working on a GED diploma, and students taking courses on an audit basis are ineligible for financial aid.

Students who receive financial aid from TCC may not receive financial aid from any other school. Students who want to attend more than one institution (transient students) should consult their home institution to see if they can participate in a consortium agreement.

Students requesting financial aid must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Non-citizens must have a match with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or must complete all required forms to prove eligibility.

Students convicted of possession or distribution of drugs, students who are in default on a student loan, and students who owe repayment on a federal grant may not be eligible for financial aid.

If the student’s admission status changes due to an incomplete or ineligible status either before the term starts or after the term is in session, the student’s financial aid will be revoked. Should the change occur before the start of the term, the student’s aid will not be disbursed until the enrollment status is updated to an eligible status.

First-time Freshmen

First-time freshmen who have never attended another college or university must provide a final copy of their high school transcript that indicates they graduated, or other proof of graduation or proof of GED diploma to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must have a complete enrollment services file before financial aid will be awarded. This includes the submission and evaluation of transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. Once transcripts have been evaluated and posted on the student’s academic record, the Financial Aid office will determine if the student meets TCC’s Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid. Students not meeting TCC’s established standards will not be eligible for financial aid.

Award Adjustments

Students who are later found to be ineligible for aid that they have received due to a clerical error, an increase in the Expected Family Contribution or any other error are responsible for repayment of the funds they were not actually eligible to receive. If a student receives a refund that he or she did not anticipate or that is in excess of what the student expected, the student should contact the Financial Aid office. Students will be notified via email if there are changes to their financial aid, other than adjustment to scholarships based on actual tuition and fees.

Application Procedure

Financial Aid Terminology

FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid

EFC – Expected Family Contribution

SAR – Student Aid Report

ISIR – Institutional Student Information Record

It is the responsibility of the student to make sure TCC has a copy of his or her financial aid information.

  1. The student must submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. The FAFSA may be completed and submitted electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov. TCC’s code for the FAFSA is 001533.
  2. The student must submit a TCC Financial Aid Application online through TCC Passport. The application is only required of first-time applicants and students who have not attended TCC recently.
  3. Once the SAR (generated from the FAFSA) is received, the student should check his or her TCC Passport account to see if any additional information is required.
  4. The Financial Aid office will use e-mail to inform the student of the aid for which he or she is eligible.
  5. If a student chooses to retain all the awards issued, no further action is necessary. Should a student decide to turn down any of the awards offered, the student should notify the Financial Aid office via TCC e-mail indicating which award to adjust.
  6. The student should pay particular attention to financial aid obligations should classes be reduced or dropped.
  7. The student must re-apply for financial aid each year. Financial aid is determined using a federal formula that takes into account the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the estimated cost of TCC attendance and the student’s enrollment status at TCC.

Special Conditions–Professional Judgment

TCC recognizes that changes occur in family situations that are beyond students’ control. On a case-by-case basis, using the Professional Judgment authority afforded colleges by the federal government, TCC will review each student’s situation and, where appropriate, make changes to the student or family financial information, family size or number in college. If the request is for a change in standard budget, the change will be made to the student’s expense budget.

Special condition situations include the following:

  • Loss of employment by parent, spouse or student
  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • Loss of non-taxable income
  • Separation or divorce by parents or student and spouse
  • Parents in college
  • Siblings in K-12 private education
  • Proof of additional educational expense
  • Other documented circumstances

In order for the Financial Aid office to issue a Professional Judgment decision, the student must provide supporting documentation. Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to, a signed statement from the student; a signed statement from the parent; court documents; death notice; unemployment verification; letters of support from counselors, ministers, lawyers or doctors; or other legal documents.

Students may request a budget increase by providing appropriate documentation. In some cases, such an increase may be made by the College without a request from the student.

TCC has a Professional Judgment request form that may be used; however, other types of written request will be accepted as well. The request will be reviewed by the director, one of the assistant directors or one of the specialists in the Financial Aid office and a response will be provided to the student. If rejected, an e-mail or letter will be sent to the student. If accepted, the new SAR will serve as notification.

Evaluation and Award

Once a student’s financial aid file is complete, it will be evaluated for demonstrated need by subtracting the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Estimated Cost of Attendance. If a student’s determined need qualifies for financial aid, an e-mail will be sent to the student. If a student chooses to retain all the awards issued, no further action is necessary.

Should a student decide to turn down any of the awards offered, the student should notify the Financial Aid office in writing.

If a student has been awarded a Federal Direct Loan, the guarantee agency or lender will send a promissory note. To receive the loan, the student must sign and return the promissory note to the address indicated. Failure to return the promissory note within 90 days will result in cancellation of the loan.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is calculated from the student’s FAFSA and is the same at all institutions. The EFC includes a contribution from the student from earnings, savings and assets. If the student is a married independent student, a contribution from the student’s spouse will be calculated using the same components. The calculation for dependent students includes a contribution from their parents’ earnings, savings and assets.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

Listed below is the estimated cost of attendance for a 32-week academic year (Fall/Spring semesters) on a fulltime basis (13 hours per semester, or 26 hours per year). This is only an estimate; actual costs may be more or less than the figures shown.

The tuition costs shown are based on the 2011-12 academic year and are subject to change.

  Resident   Non-Resident  
Tuition and Fees $2,518   $9,724  
Books and Supplies 800   800  
Room and Board 6,000   6,000  
Personal Expenses 1,800   1,800  
Transportation 2,000   2,000  
Loan Fees (Fresh/Soph) 79/105   79/105  
Total $13,197/13,223 $20,403/20,429  

Deferment of Student Fees Against Financial Aid

If a student has a financial aid award, the student’s enrollment status has not changed since the award was made, and the Financial Aid office has not received a new SAR or ISIR canceling the student’s eligibility, then the cost of tuition, fees and books can be deferred against the financial aid award, up to the amount of the award.

This deferment is available for Fall and Spring semesters, and for students who enroll at least half-time (six credit hours or more) in Summer sessions A and/or C. All fees deferred against a student’s financial aid are taken from the first financial aid funds available.

Note: PLUS Loans are not used to defer costs for tuition, fees and books.

Financial Aid Refunds to Students

Students who are awarded financial aid funds that exceed the cost of tuition, fees and any book charges against their account may be eligible for a financial aid refund. All student charges, including books, are taken from the first funds available to a student.

Because various agencies send money for scholarships, grants and loans at differing times, students may receive more than one refund check.

Refunds are issued after all student accounts are fully paid, and no refunds are issued for at least 10 business days after the drop/ add period. Students are encouraged to secure funding to pay for living expenses for the first two months of class. No emergency loans for living expenses will be issued on expected financial aid or on financial aid applied for late during this period.

Financial Aid and Enrollment Status

Students indicate their enrollment status for the first semester they will be attending TCC on the FAFSA. This status is used for estimating financial need. The actual enrollment status will be determined at the end of regular drop/add and will be used in determining the actual amounts for which students are eligible. Final enrollment status cannot be determined prior to the end of regular drop/add, as students change enrollment status during this period. If your final enrollment status differs from the enrollment status you indicated on your FAFSA or the status you were awarded, your aid may be reduced.

Students must be registered in any self-paced instruction (SPI) courses that they want to be considered in their financial aid by the end of regular drop/add or the SPI courses will not count toward their enrollment status. Hours added after drop/add do not count toward a student’s aid, except for Federal Direct Loans.

Enrollment status for Fall, Spring and Summer is determined by the number of eligible credit hours a student is registered for and is defined as follows:

12 or more credit hours full-time
9 to 11 credit hours three-quarter time
6 to 8 credit hours half-time
1 to 5 credit hours less-than-half time

For the purpose of determining Federal Pell Grant award amounts, students must be enrolled in all countable hours by the end of the first (main session) drop/add period. All express sessions must be included in this enrollment status. In most cases, hours added after the first (main session) drop/add period cannot be included in determining enrollment status for Federal Pell Grant.

Clock-hour students in eligible programs are considered full-time if they are enrolled in at least 450 clock hours per semester. To determine enrollment status other than full-time, the number of clock hours for the term is divided by 37.5, per federal regulations. The calculated hours are used to determine federal aid amounts.

Most programs require students to enroll at least half-time to be eligible. Some programs require a student to enroll full-time (12 or more credit hours). The Federal Pell Grant Program allows a limited number of less-than-half-time students to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

Although students with documented disabilities may be considered full-time with less than 12 credit hours under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the student’s financial aid budget and award will be based upon the actual number of credit hours taken, as required under federal financial aid guidelines.

Developmental Classes and Financial Aid

The federal government allows students to count up to 30 credit hours of attempted developmental course work toward their enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, less-than-half-time) for financial aid purposes. After a student has completed 30 attempted credit hours of developmental course work, additional developmental hours cannot be counted in determining the student’s enrollment status. Developmental courses are never used for determining enrollment hours for Bright Futures Scholarship recipients.

Class Attendance–Title IV Requirements

Title IV financial aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal PLUS loans and Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans.

Students who receive Title IV financial aid are expected to attend class. TCC will take roll the first three weeks of class. Should a student fail to appear on an instructor’s class attendance verification form, the student will be required to verify attendance before receiving a financial aid disbursement. Failure to attend class may result in revocation or reduction of a student’s financial aid. Students who decide they are not going to attend class must officially withdraw from the College. Students should not assume their classes will be dropped. Students will receive financial aid based on their enrollment status as determined by their documented class attendance.

Students Who Attend Multiple Sessions within a Semester

Students who attend multiple sessions within a semester (e.g., Fall Main Session and September Express) cannot receive financial aid under most programs until they are attending at least six eligible credit hours. Though a student may be enrolled in six or more eligible credit hours, financial aid cannot be paid until the student is actually attending classes that total six credit hours. Students whose enrollment changes as a new term begins will have their financial aid adjusted to reflect any changes made. Should students fail to take all of the classes for which they enroll, financial aid may be reduced or cancelled. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant should refer to the section on Enrollment Status to ensure registered hours are countable in determining their Federal Pell Grant.

Course Work for Degree

A student’s enrollment status will include only courses required for the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Courses outside the degree program (courses not required for the degree) will not be used in determining the enrollment status. Once a student has completed all the coursework for his or her degree, even if he or she has not applied for graduation, he or she will no longer be eligible for aid. A degree audit will help determine course eligibility.

Withdrawal from Classes or Cancelation of Schedule

Students who withdraw or have their class schedule canceled after the regular drop/add period should consult with the Financial Aid office, as they may incur a financial liability. Students who have their class schedule canceled (complete withdrawal with a full refund) will have their financial aid canceled and will be required to repay all funds received. All students who withdraw are required to do so through the Enrollment Services and Student Success office. Students are not automatically withdrawn from classes.

If a student wants to cancel classes before the end of the drop/ add period, the student is responsible for dropping all courses through TCC Passport. Even if financial aid is not awarded at the time the student makes the cancellation decision, it may be awarded before classes are purged from the system. Students should not assume classes will be dropped automatically.

Students receiving Bright Futures Scholarships, including the Florida Academic Scholars, Florida Medallion Scholars and Gold Seal Vocational Scholars, who drop/withdraw from one or more classes after the regular drop/add period are responsible for repaying the tuition and fees for the class(es) from which they withdraw. Florida Statute allows the appeal of this repayment should the student be able to present documented evidence of unusual and mitigating circumstances. Documentation must be from a credible third party source such as a doctor, counselor, psychologist or minister.

Title IV Financial Liability (Repayment)

Title IV financial aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal PLUS loans and Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans.

It is strongly recommended that before withdrawing from classes, students who receive any type of Title IV financial aid funds talk with Financial Aid staff to determine if they will incur a financial liability if they withdraw from classes.

Students earn a portion of the Title IV financial aid they receive for each day they are in school, until more than 60 percent of the term is completed; at that point the federal government considers 100 percent of the aid to be earned. Students who withdraw from all classes before completing 60.5 percent of the term in which they are enrolled may be required to repay all or part of the Title IV financial aid they received. Under the Federal Title IV Repayment Policy, the amount of aid received will be multiplied by the percentage of the term completed to determine the total aid earned. The total aid earned will be subtracted from the total aid awarded, resulting in the amount of unearned aid. The cost of tuition and fees must be returned to Title IV programs, and the student in turn incurs a financial obligation to the College. The student must repay the College within 45 days of the day the school notifies him or her of the overpayment. After 45 days, the account will be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education, and the student will be required to make satisfactory payment arrangements with the U.S. government. The federal government does not allow a student to appeal a Title IV Repayment.

If a student owes the College funds due to a Title IV Repayment, he or she may be ineligible to re-enroll. Students who owe a Title IV Repayment may also be ineligible for additional Title IV federal financial aid from any college.

Example: A student is awarded the following aid:

$ 1,500 Federal Pell Grant
$ 125 Federal SEOG
$ 1,313 Federal Direct Loan
$ 2,938 total Title IV aid received

If the student withdraws after completing 20 percent of the term, only 20 percent of the total award has been earned. Eighty percent of the total award is unearned and must be repaid ($2,938 x 80% = $2,350.40 unearned aid).

For example, if the student’s tuition and fees were $600, then 80 percent of that must be returned to the Title IV programs. Eighty percent of $600 is $480, which will be returned to the Federal Direct Loan program by TCC, leaving a balance on this loan of $833, which the student will repay as part of the normal loan repayment schedule.

$2,350.40 unearned aid

 

-480.00 returned to Federal Direct Loan program
-833.00 Federal Direct Loan balance to be repaid

$1,037.40 balance of unearned aid

$ 518.70 returned to Federal Pell Grant Program

(Grant programs require that only 50% percent of the funds be returned.)

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

To be eligible for financial aid, all students, including students transferring to TCC from another institution, must meet TCC’s standards of satisfactory academic progress for financial aid. Students’ academic progress is reviewed at the end of each term. A transferring student’s satisfactory progress will initially be determined from the student’s academic history at all previously attended institutions. Students who attended TCC in the past will be reviewed based on all previously attempted courses, regardless of how long ago they attended TCC.

Failure to meet one or more of the established standards of satisfactory progress will make a student ineligible for financial aid. Students who become ineligible for financial aid due to the failure to meet the standards of satisfactory progress for financial aid will remain ineligible for financial aid until they meet the standards. Satisfactory progress includes all previous academic history, even if the student did not receive financial aid. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his or her progress. Although the Financial Aid office attempts to notify students who fail to meet the satisfactory progress standards through an e-mail, students who do not receive an e-mail notification are still ineligible for financial aid.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Below are the standards of satisfactory progress for financial aid. These standards apply to all students:

  • 1-14 attempted hours: must maintain a 1.5 GPA or better
  • 15-29 attempted hours: must maintain a 1.8 GPA or better
  • 30 or more attempted hours: must maintain a 2.0 GPA or better
  • Must complete at least 67 percent of classes attempted (including developmental courses, withdrawals, incomplete courses, unsatisfactory grades [failures] and transfer credit hours)
  • Must complete the degree program before attempting more than 150 percent of the total credit hours required for the program

Warning Status

The first semester a student fails to meet the satisfactory progress standards for financial aid, he or she will be placed on Warning Status. While the student will continue to receive financial aid during this period, it is the student’s responsibility to restore his or her academic standing for financial aid by the end of the term in which the Warning Status was given. Students will be notified that they are on warning status by e-mail.

Failure to restore academic standing by end of the term will result in the student being ineligible for financial aid.

Appealing Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

Before submitting an appeal for financial aid, students must meet with a student success adviser to establish a student success plan. Appeals will not be considered until the financial aid office is notified that the plan has been completed. Students have 15 days from the receipt of a letter or e-mail notifying them of their failure to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress to appeal, or 30 days after the Spring semester ends if written notification was not received. Appeal forms and procedures are available in the Financial Aid office and at www.tcc.fl.edu/fa-forms.

Transfer students must meet the established satisfactory progress requirements; appeals are generally not granted.

Students may appeal their failure to meet the standards of satisfactory progress for financial aid if unusual and mitigating circumstances exist. Unusual and mitigating circumstances include, but are not limited to, a death in the student’s immediate family, medical condition, hospitalization, documented emotional distress or other situations beyond the student’s control.

All situations must be fully documented, including supporting letters from counselors, doctors, ministers and other appropriate third parties.

Students whose appeal is denied may request that the Financial Aid Appeals Committee review their status. If the student has additional supporting documents, the student must provide the documents before the committee meeting. Students do not meet with the committee, and the decision of the committee is final.

Financial Aid Regulations

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

This Act prohibits the release of information from a student’s file to third parties without written consent of the student.

Students who want the Financial Aid office staff to speak with any third party, including parents or a spouse, must include a release form in their financial aid folder giving the Financial Aid office staff permission to speak to the people identified on the release form. This release can be revoked by submitting a written request to the Financial Aid office at any time. Requests sent to other offices will not suffice for adding or deleting people from the Financial Aid form.

Student Addresses

All information concerning a student’s financial aid will be sent to the address provided to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office. All students should keep current address information on file with the Enrollment Services and Student Success office.

Verification of Information

If a student’s FAFSA is randomly selected for verification, or if any information fails federal matches with the Social Security Administration, Selective Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service or other government agency, the student may be required to submit other documents as specified by the federal government.

Until a student’s file is complete, he or she will not be awarded financial aid.

Should TCC receive an ISIR or SAR after the student has been paid and if the student is selected for verification, and if the EFC changes for any reason, the student will be responsible for repaying any funds that must be returned to the federal or state government.

Failure to complete a file prior to the end of the semester for which the student is requesting aid means the student may forfeit his or her eligibility. Many federal and state programs require a completed file before the end of the term.

Students who have errors detected on their ISIR or SAR will not receive financial aid until the errors are corrected and a valid ISIR or SAR is returned to the Financial Aid office. If the Financial Aid office has the documents needed to correct the error, the information will be sent electronically to the federal government. If the Financial Aid office does not have the information needed to verify the accuracy and make the correction, then the student will be required to resubmit the information to the federal government.

Veterans Services

Veterans Benefits

Tallahassee Community College is approved by the State Approving Agency for Educational Benefits under the various veterans’ training laws. The educational benefits for which one may apply are as follows:

  • Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill)
  • Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty)
  • Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill–Selected Reserve)
  • Chapter 1607 (REAP/Reserve Educational Assistance Program)
  • Chapter 31 (VA Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents)
  • Chapter 32 (VEAP/Veterans Educational Assistance Program)

Veterans, reservists and survivors who are eligible for educational benefits and plan to attend under any of these programs should take the following steps:

  • Apply for admission as a degree-seeking student at TCC.
  • Contact the veterans services coordinator in the TCC Financial Aid office well in advance of registration to obtain all necessary U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) application forms.
  • Submit the Certificate of Eligibility from the VA or submit a copy of the DD-214, Report of Separation, or the DD-2384, Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) for Selected Reserve or National Guardsmen.
  • Report enrollment to the TCC veterans services coordinator each semester.

Certification of Enrollment Period

Upon enrollment, students receiving VA educational benefits are required to pay tuition and fees just as other students are. Entitlement to benefits administered by VA cannot be established nor award action taken until the Enrollment Certification is properly completed by the school and received by the VA. Eligibility for educational assistance benefits cannot be determined until the VA receives satisfactory evidence of active duty service.

Monthly Attendance Verification

Monthly Attendance Verification is required for Chapter 30, 1606 and 1607. Veterans must verify their monthly enrollment before the next GI bill payment will be issued. Students can verify their attendance the last day of the month by calling the toll-free number and following the instructions: 1-877-823-2378. Verification can also be submitted through the VA Web site: www.gibill.va.gov. Follow the link to “W.A.V.E” (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment).

Recertification

To continue receiving VA educational benefits, qualifying enrolled students must provide a copy of their schedule to the TCC veterans services coordinator.

Deferments

Qualified VA students may defer payment of their tuition and fees until 60 days from the first day of the term during Fall or Spring semesters. Students enrolled in the Summer terms may defer payment of their tuition and fees until 10 days before the end of the term in which they are enrolled. The VA deferment form can be obtained in the Veterans Center on the second floor of the Student Union. Payment for books cannot be deferred.

Note: Receipt of VA educational benefits does not relieve students of the obligation to pay their deferred tuition and fees by the due date. Failure to pay the deferred fees will result in appropriate administrative action pursuant to policies for collection of delinquent debts. Students will not be permitted to attend or re-enroll at TCC for any future course until the VA deferment is paid in full. Unless the student officially drops or withdraws from all classes in or before the published drop/add refund period ends, the student is still obligated to pay the deferment. Should the student receive any type of financial aid disbursed by the College, all financial obligations will be satisfied with financial aid, including a VA deferment.

Method of Payment to VA Students

Upon certification by the College and the VA, educational benefits are paid monthly to students. Payments are prorated for less than full-time training and training that is less than a full month. Payments are always issued after the month is complete. Summer term benefits may vary according to the length of the term in weeks and days. A standard semester is 15-18 weeks. An accelerated, or nonstandard, term is shorter, while a decelerated term (SPI course) is longer than a standard semester. Enrolling in an accelerated term or SPI course will affect the training rate. Training time is computed as follows:

Fall and Spring Terms
12 or more semester hours = full-time
9-11 semester hours = three-quarter-time
6-8 semester hours = half-time
Less than 6 semester hours = tuition and fees only

Summer Main Term
7 or more semester hours = full-time
5-6 semester hours = three-quarter-time
4 semester hours = half-time
Less than 4 semester hours = tuition and fees only

Summer May Express and June Express Terms
4 or more semester hours = full-time
3 semester hours = three-quarter-time
2 semester hours = half-time
1 semester hour = tuition and fees only

Clock-hour Equivalents
18 clock hours per week = full-time
13-17 clock hours per week = three-quarter-time
9-12 clock hours per week = half-time
5-8 clock hours per week = less-than-half-time

Note: Because the first VA checks are delayed, it is advisable for the veteran to be prepared to meet all expenses for approximately two months.

VA students can certify attendance online at www.gibill.va.gov (click on Verify Attendance/W.A.V.E) or at (877) 823-2378.

Note on monthly housing allowance for Post-9/11 (Chapter 33): The full Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is payable for all pursuit that is more than 50 percent of full-time pursuit; e.g., where 12 semester hours would be full-time, the full BAH would be payable for all pursuit of more than 6 semester hours. Active duty members, individuals training at 50 percent pursuit or less, and individuals pursuing only distance learning/independent study are not eligible for a housing stipend.

SPI Classes

Because SPI courses are certified for 20 weeks, the training rates for these courses are different than for standard semester courses. Please see the veterans services coordinator before enrolling in SPI courses.

Developmental (College Prep) Courses

Veterans, reservists, dependents and survivors may receive benefits for developmental (remedial) courses if these courses are needed to assist the student in overcoming a weakness in a particular area of study. The course must be necessary for the student’s program of education. However, under VA regulations, development courses offered online (even partially) cannot be approved. For assistance with developmental courses, see the veterans services coordinator.

Program of Education

VA educational benefits will be paid only for coursework leading to an associate’s degree or certificate at TCC. Once a student fulfills his or her elective requirements, he or she may not be paid benefits for any more elective courses, even if these courses are required for acceptance into a bachelor’s degree program.

Exceptions

  • During a student’s last term before graduation, a VA student may take non-required courses along with his or her final required course(s). Under rare circumstances a student may use this procedure twice in the same degree program. This can be done when a student has two courses remaining to be taken to complete his or her program and the courses must be taken in sequence, rather than concurrently. In this situation, a VA student could take non-required course work in his or her final two semesters. If a VA student fails the required course(s) needed to graduate, VA will then pay education benefits to retake the required course(s), but will not pay again for non-required courses.
  • If a VA student has completed his or her elective requirement, but still needs to take prerequisite elective course work or a corequisite general education requirement, VA will pay educational benefits for the prerequisite elective course or corequisite requirement.
  • If a VA student has completed his or her associate’s degree and is pursuing courses at TCC to become a degree-seeking student at the junior-year level of an upper division or four-year school, the student may be eligible to receive VA educational benefits. The VA student must contact the veterans services coordinator to obtain the documents necessary for this procedure.

Note: Audited coursework is not authorized for payment by the VA.

Credit for Prior Training

Credit for Prior Training is previously earned credit that is applied to the program of education currently being pursued and that shortens the program accordingly.

It is the VA student’s responsibility to take the following steps:

  • Request academic transcripts from all prior postsecondary educational institutions (including service schools) he or she has attended. Transcripts must be received and evaluated by the end of the second semester of enrollment.
  • Notify the TCC veterans services coordinator once the Enrollment Services and Student Success office completes the transcript evaluation.
  • Do not pursue courses for which he or she may later receive transfer credit.

If the VA student has previously earned a great many credits at one or more other postsecondary educational institutions, VA may delay awarding benefits pending VA’s receipt of TCC’s prior credit evaluation of the VA student. The veterans services coordinator cannot certify courses that the VA student has previously completed if transfer credit is granted by the Enrollment Services and Student Success office.

Credit for Military Experience

Any veteran who has completed at least one year of active duty service with an honorable discharge is entitled to seven hours of military credit, as follows:

In order to receive these credits, the VA student must complete one semester of attendance at TCC and submit a copy of his or her DD214 Members 4 Copy to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office, along with written documentation requesting seven hours of military credit.

Academic Progress

The law requires that educational assistance benefits to a veteran or other eligible person be discontinued when the student ceases to make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her training objective. Any VA student who fails to earn a 2.0 GPA at TCC for two consecutive academic terms will be reported to VA for unsatisfactory progress and VA educational benefits will be terminated.

The VA student must see the veterans services coordinator to obtain an Unsatisfactory Academic Progress form, which he or she must have completed by an academic counselor. This document must be completed before the veterans services coordinator can once again certify the student’s enrollment to VA for payment purposes. If the VA student’s GPA is less than 2.0 at the end of the next term of enrollment, the VA student will once again be reported to VA for unsatisfactory progress. VA educational benefits will again be terminated and another Unsatisfactory Academic Progress form must be completed.

Repeating Courses

Payment of educational assistance may be authorized if repetition of a course is specifically required by the institution for attainment of the student’s approved program objective. There is no limit on the number of times an eligible person may repeat a course for which a failing grade (or a grade that does not meet the minimum requirements for graduation) was received, as long as the grade assigned to the repeated course at the end of the term is punitive, i.e., it is a factor in computing the student’s GPA. (Click here for information about state restrictions on repeating courses.)

Electives for which a failing grade (or a grade unacceptable for graduation) has been assigned may be repeated until a passing or acceptable grade is received, as long as each grade is punitive when it is originally assigned.

Note: If the student repeats an elective course and has not already met the elective requirement for his or her degree program, VA benefits may be paid for the repeated course. If the student does not need additional electives to meet his or her degree requirements, but chooses to repeat an elective, no benefits may be authorized unless the repetition takes place during his or her final term and is taken in order to fill out the student’s course load to full-time.

Changes in Enrollment Status

Failure to report any change in enrollment status may result in an overpayment and discontinuance of VA benefits. Benefit payments will be authorized to a VA student based on the information provided by the VA coordinator in the initial Enrollment Certification for a scheduled period of attendance. Changes in the VA student’s enrollment that occur after the Enrollment Certification is submitted may increase or decrease his or her entitlement to monetary benefits.

If a VA student makes certain enrollment changes, he or she may receive one or more benefit checks in amounts that exceed his or her actual entitlement. When this occurs, the VA will make a retroactive adjustment to the student’s award and the student will be charged with a debt to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If a student drops a course, unless he or she can show the VA that there are mitigating circumstances, the student must return all the money paid to him or her for pursuit of that course from the start of the term, not merely from the date the student dropped the course. Generally, the student will be required to submit corroborative evidence to substantiate a claim of mitigating circumstances.

Mitigating circumstances are unanticipated and unavoidable events or situations beyond a student’s control that prevent the student from completing a course with a creditable grade. Mitigating circumstances will be considered to exist without explanation by the student in the first instance of withdrawal from a course or courses totaling not more than six semester hours.

The student should notify the VA certifying official at TCC immediately if the student

  • Has been recalled to active duty
  • Drops, withdraws, adds or changes a course
  • Has residency for tuition purposes changed from out-of-state to in-state
  • Enrolls in an accelerated term
  • Enrolls in a SPI course
  • Completes a SPI course early
  • Fails to complete a SPI course on time
  • Changes major or degree program
  • Dual enrolls in another school
  • Dual enrolls in another program
  • Audits a course
  • Takes a course not in the student’s major or degree program
  • Changes address or phone number

The law prohibits payment of VA benefits for a course from which the student withdraws, or for a course that the student completes but for which the grade will not be used in computing requirements for graduation.

Tutorial Assistance

Tutorial assistance through the VA is available to veterans, reservists and survivors of veterans who find that they need additional help in order to obtain passing grades in their course work. To qualify for tutorial assistance, a VA student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a postsecondary program of education
  • Be enrolled on a half-time or greater basis
  • Show proof that the individual tutorial assistance is essential to correct a deficiency in a specified unit subject or subjects required as a part of, or which is prerequisite to, or which is indispensable to the satisfactory pursuit of, the approved program of education
  • Show proof that the tutor selected is qualified
  • Complete the designated form to be reimbursed for the charges for such tutorial sessions

Acceptable evidence of the need for tutorial assistance includes failure of a first class test or assignment; poor SAT, ACT or other standardized test scores for the particular subject matter; retaking a unit subject that was previously failed; and instructor’s evaluation after the first class meeting of the unit subject. The student must be registered for and pursuing that unit subject at the time he or she is being tutored for it. A student cannot receive VA assistance for tutorial sessions conducted before the class commences or after it ends. The school certifying officials will make the final determination of need.

Note: Chapter 31 students must contact their Vocational Rehabilitation case manager regarding tutorial assistance.

Work-Study Program

The VA Work-Study Program allows VA students to earn the federal or state minimum wage (whichever is higher) for up to 1,300 hours per year (25 hours per week). This program is available to veterans, reservists and survivors who train at the three-quarter or full-time rate. The types of work allowed include the following:

  • Outreach services for VA
  • VA paperwork
  • Work at national or state veterans’ cemeteries
  • Work at VA medical centers or state veterans’ homes
  • Other VA approved activities

Note: Chapter 1606 work-study students may perform work on Department of Defense facilities (e.g., military bases, reserve centers and National Guard facilities) that relates to the Chapter 1606 program.

Consortium Agreement with Another Educational Institution

TCC students who wish to study at another institution may be eligible to apply for a consortium agreement so they can receive financial aid through TCC while at the other school.

To determine if a student is eligible for a consortium agreement, he or she must consult with the Enrollment Services and Student Success office to complete the form titled Receiving Financial Aid While Attending Another Institution. To qualify for financial aid while participating in transient study, a student must be a degree-seeking, fully admitted, regular student at TCC; take courses that will apply toward a degree at TCC; and be enrolled in at least six credit hours at the host school, or a combination of six hours at TCC and the host school. Students also need to complete attendance requirements requested by the TCC Financial Aid office for host school classes. Upper division credits cannot be counted for receiving financial aid under consortium agreements. Upper division courses are junior and senior level courses.

Students who are on consortium agreements must be prepared to pay for all expenses at the host institution until TCC is able to disburse funds under the guidelines specified above. At the end of the term on the consortium agreement, students are required to have the transcript from the host institution sent to the Enrollment Services and Student Success office at TCC. Grades earned as part of the consortium agreement will be used in determining the student’s satisfactory academic progress for financial aid.

Students who are taking classes at TCC but who are earning their degree from another institution are considered transient students for financial aid purposes. Financial aid must be awarded by the institution from which the student is earning the degree.

Note: Although the above information will continue to apply throughout the academic year, at some point during the 2012 Fall semester, students who are participating in distance learning with another institution, and students who choose to attend traditional classes at another institution, will be able to complete the Financial Aid Consortium Agreement online as part of the application process to take classes at another institution through Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC.org). Students who use this option will receive a message to their TCC e-mail account approving or denying financial aid for transient study.