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). Upon application, students will complete a Florida residency declaration.
- 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
- Initial enrollment: the first day of class at an institution of higher education
- Institution of higher education: any charter technical career center, career center operated by a school district, Florida College System institution or state university
- 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.
- Non-resident for tuition purposes: a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate
- Parent: either or both parents of a student, any guardian of a student or any person in a parental relationship to a student
- Resident for tuition purposes: a person who qualifies as provided in s. 1009.21, F.S., for the in-state tuition rate
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 declaration portion of the application to the college.
An individual shall not be classified as a resident for tuition purposes and, thus, shall not be eligible to receive the in-state tuition rate, until he or she has provided such evidence related to legal residence and its duration or, if that individual is a dependent child, evidence of his or her parent’s legal residence and its duration, as may be required by law and by officials of the institution of higher education from which he or she seeks the in-state tuition rate. An applicant (student) must submit clear and convincing documentation that he/she (or a parent, guardian or person in a parental relationship, if a dependent) has been a Florida resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the student’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education. Each institution of higher education shall affirmatively determine that an applicant who has been granted admission to that institution as a Florida resident meets the residency requirements of this section at the time of initial enrollment.
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 documents may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive.
The documents must include at least one of the following items from tier one:
- 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 a 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
Documentation may include one or more of the following items from tier two:
- 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.
With respect to a dependent child living with an adult relative other than the child’s parent, such child may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes if the adult relative is a legal resident who has maintained legal residence in this state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, provided the child has resided continuously with such relative for the 3 years immediately prior to the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, during which time the adult relative has exercised day-to-day care, supervision, and control of the child [s. 1009.21(2)(b), F.S.]
The legal residence of a dependent child whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be deemed to be this state of either parent is a legal resident of this state, regardless of which parent is entitled to claim, and does in fact claim, the minor as a dependent pursuant to federal individual income tax providers. [s. 1009.21(2)(c), F.S.]
A dependent child who is a United States citizen may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parent. [s. 1009.21(2)(d), F.S.]
Based on s. 1009.21, F.S., the College requires documentation in support of the exceptions below; 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:
- Any person who ceases to be enrolled at or who graduates from an institution of higher education while classified as a resident for tuition purposes and who subsequently abandons his/her domicile in this state shall be permitted to re-enroll at an institution of higher education in this state as a resident for tuition purposes without the necessity of meeting the 12-month duration requirement of this section if that person has re-established his/her domicile in this state within 12 months of such abandonment and continuously maintains the re-established domicile during the period of enrollment. This benefit shall not be accorded more than once to any one person [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)
- Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States, 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, 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, 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)] (Required: copy of military orders)
- 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.
An individual who is classified as out-of-state for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes and may request “reclassification” to in-state status upon completion of the Request for Residency Reclassification form at the Admissions and Records office to discuss the burden of proof and evidentiary requirements. The completed Request for Residency Reclassification form and all supporting documentation must be submitted to the Admissions and Records office before the start of 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 rather than temporary residency for the purpose of pursuing an education, such as documentation of full-time permanent employment for the prior 12 months or the purchase of a home in Florida and residence therein for the prior 12 months while not enrolled in an institution of higher education. 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 tier one.
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 the Admissions and Records 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.
A student who is denied Florida residency for tuition purposes upon request for residency may appeal the decision through a written petition to the Residency Appeal Committee in the Admissions and Records office. The burden of providing clear and convincing documentation justifying classification 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.
Accessing Financial Services via the Web through Passport
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 Admissions and Records 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.
Tuition and fees must be paid either through the TCC website or at the Cashier’s office on campus. Students may access the following options by logging into their TCC Passport, “My Account”:
- Tuition & Fees
- Financial Aid Award Status
- Financial Aid Awards
- Pay Now by Credit Card
- Tuition Payment Plan
- 1098-T Information
- View My Receipts
- My Financials
- Financial Holds
- View Bills
Tuition and fees must be paid by the assigned payment deadline. At the time of class payment, the student will be required to pay in full all outstanding receivables and obligations such as library fines and parking fines. Unpaid debt will prevent the release of official college transcripts, block additional course registration, and restrict access to other resources and services of the College until the debt is paid in full.
Payment can be made with cash, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express), debit card, check or money order to Tallahassee Community College, and through the tuition payment plan.
These are the ways to remit payment:
- By credit card online via TCC Passport
- By check or money order mailed to the Cashier’s office (See check information below.)
- By cash, check, money order, debit card or credit card, in person, at the TCC Cashier’s office (The authorized user must be present for credit and debit card payments made in person.)
- By tuition payment plan (See section below for more information.)
Detailed payment instructions are provided in the schedule of classes and on the webpage for the Cashier’s office.
Checks and money orders for payment of tuition and fees must be made payable to Tallahassee Community College and include the student’s identification number. Checks and money orders must be drawn on a U.S. bank and be made payable in U.S. ($) dollars. Payments in non-U.S. funds or drawn on non-U.S. banks will be returned unprocessed. Counter (starter) checks are not accepted.
Checks and money orders may be mailed to:
Tallahassee Community College
444 Appleyard Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Students are required to maintain current address information with the College. Address information can be updated via the web or at the Admissions and Records office.
Invoices for outstanding debt are sent to the student’s TCC email address for currently enrolled students and to the student’s local physical address for students not currently enrolled. It is imperative that students ensure that their student files contain their current local physical address.
A returned check is a check that is not honored when presented for payment and is returned to the College as unpaid due to insufficient funds, closed account or any other reason. The bank runs each check twice before returning it as insufficient funds. If the check does not clear after the second time, it will be returned to the TCC Business office for collection. The student’s account will be flagged as “Cash Only,” and the student will not be allowed to make payments via check in the future.
In accordance with section 832.07, F.S., the College is authorized to invoice the individual for the original amount of the check, in addition to a check fine and bank fee. If the account is sent to a collection agency, the individual will be responsible for all associated collection fees, which is currently 30% in addition to the outstanding obligation, and the account may be reported to the credit bureau. In the event of legal action for recovery, the maker or drawer may be additionally liable for court costs and reasonable attorney fees as prescribed by law.
Credit Card Chargeback
Dishonored credit card payments for tuition and fees or bookstore purchases or other payments will result in the student or individual being obligated and billed for all tuition and fees due. The student will be blocked from making future payments by credit card when chargebacks occur.
If a special fee is to be assessed for a course, the words “Additional Fee” or “Lab Fee” will appear after the course description.
Noncredit Course Fees
Noncredit course fees are established to cover the costs of individual programs. Noncredit 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 before 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 noncredit courses, like credit courses, are subject to cancellation when enrollment is not sufficient to cover expenses.
Any student who completed registration and finds it necessary to cancel it may do so by going to the Admissions and Records office or by dropping the course(s) on TCC Passport. For a full refund of fees paid, this must be done during the published drop/add period of the academic calendar; 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, which may accept or deny the College’s recommendation for exception.
After the end of the published drop/add period for the appropriate term and session, a cancellation of term may be made via the Enrollment Appeals Committee until the end of the current semester as a result of the following:
- Incapacitating illness (physical or psychological) or injury to the student
- Death of a member of the immediate family that prohibits the student’s return to the class during the term being considered (Documentation must show proof of kinship.)
- Military orders and report date after the refund deadline and prior to the withdrawal deadline
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. Typically, refunds shall not be made for circumstances such as moving out of town, changes in work schedules or changes in enrollment status due to illegal activities.
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 his or her 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 process for withdrawing from class(es). Students may withdraw online through TCC Passport or complete the necessary form in the Admissions and Records office.
In accordance with Section 1010.03, F.S., the College is authorized to restrict the release of transcripts, the awarding of diplomas, and access to other resources and services of the College when a debt is due. Students may also be prevented from registering for additional classes when a debt is due.
When a receivable or obligation balance is due, the system generates a financial hold on the student or individual. This financial hold may prevent the release of transcripts and enrollment certificates and block further class registration. The financial hold will remain until all debt is paid in full. If an account is sent to a collection agency, the debtor is responsible for all collection fees associated with the debt, currently 30%, in addition to the outstanding debt due to TCC, and the account may be reported to the credit bureau.
Financial aid awards may not pay certain debt, including, but not limited to, collection fees, returned check fees and fines, and library fees and fines. Financial holds will remain in place until all debt is paid in full. Students are responsible for routinely reviewing their account from TCC Passport to ensure that no debt is due on the student account. Invoices will be mailed to the student’s local address, so it is imperative that students ensure this address is correct.
Tuition Payment Plan
TCC has partnered with Nelnet Business Solutions to offer a tuition installment plan to help students afford the cost of their education. Students may enroll in a tuition payment plan for any term at TCC; however, a new plan is required each term. The earlier a student enrolls, the more plan options the student will have to choose from.
Plans range from zero to 50% down payment with two, three or four monthly payments.
|Required Down Payment
||Number of Monthly Payments
Monthly payments are processed on the 20th day of each month and will continue until the balance is paid in full. There are no credit checks and no interest. The student must be registered for courses and provide a method of payment (credit card or checking/savings account) that will be used for the enrollment fee, down payment and monthly payments.
The down payment, along with a $30, $35 or $40 nonrefundable enrollment fee (as appropriate), will be due at the time of enrollment in the tuition payment plan. While most plans will pay the student’s schedule within minutes of completing enrollment, it may take up to one business day for processing, so students are advised to enroll before their fee payment due date. Tuition payment plan coverage will be applied to the student’s schedule by 2 p.m. on the next business day.
Simple steps to enroll in the payment plan:
• Go to www.tcc.fl.edu.
• Select TCC Passport.
• Sign in by entering your TCC email account and password.
• Select the “My Account” tab.
• Select “Tuition Payment Plan.”
• Follow instructions on the screen.
For additional tuition payment plan information or dates and deadlines, contact the Cashier’s office by phone at (850) 201-8415 or fax at (850) 201-8691.
Enrollment periods are limited and typically close approximately one week before the start of the Main session each term, so enroll early.
If the student drops or adds classes or receives financial aid or other tuition coverage, the student must contact the TCC Cashier’s office to have his or her tuition payment plan adjusted. If the Cashier’s office is not notified of these changes, payments will continue to be processed from the student’s bank account or credit card as agreed in the enrollment process. The time frame in which increases may be made to plans is limited to the enrollment period for the tuition pay plan.
Nelnet will remit all refunds to the College within 14-21 days after the end of the drop/add period for Main session. TCC will issue tuition payment plan refunds to students upon receipt.
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.
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, genetic information, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, disability 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, and many outside scholarship programs.
- Federal Pell Grants are available to students who 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 0-29 credit hours may borrow $3,500 per year. Those who have earned 30 credit hours or more may borrow $4,500 per year.
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans are awarded to students who do not 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 cannot be deferred for students awarded PLUS loans.
- Student loan awards will be split into three equal payments throughout the student’s enrolled term. If the student chooses to revise the loan award into two equal payments, the student must complete a loan request form by logging into TCC Passport and completing the Federal Direct Loan Request Form.
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 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 canceled.
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 1.073%. 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-in-college 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, a Master Promissory Note, and the Financial Literacy requirement 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. The financial literacy requirement may be completed online at www.navigatingyourfinancialfuture.org.
All graduates and students not returning to TCC who have borrowed a Federal Direct Loan are required to complete Exit Counseling. The Exit Counseling requirement may be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit - New federal regulations limit a first-time borrower’s eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans to a period not to exceed 150 percent of the length of the borrower’s educational program (“the 150% limit”). Under certain conditions, this provision also causes first-time borrowers who have exceeded the 150 percent limit to lose the interest subsidy on their Direct Subsidized Loans.
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 the regular drop/add period.
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 that are enrolled less than full-time, 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 Florida Academic Scholars, Florida Medallion Scholars and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars. Recipients are selected and notified of eligibility by the Florida Department of Education. Students must be fully admitted to TCC, degree seeking and enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours. Students may contact the State of Florida concerning transfer of Bright Futures scholarships at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org or call toll-free at (888) 827-2004.
- Other state programs: The State of Florida has numerous scholarship and grant programs, such as the Rosewood Family 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 CareerSource Capital Region 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.careersourcecapitalregion.com.
- 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 to TCC before their financial aid can be 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.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 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 noncitizens. Noncitizens 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. If the change occurs 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, First-year Students
First-time, first-year students 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 Admissions and Records office.
Transfer students must have a complete Enrollment Services file before financial aid will be awarded. This includes the submission and evaluation of transcripts from high school and 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Financial Aid office will use email to inform the student of the aid for which he or she is eligible.
- If a student chooses to retain all the awards issued, no further action is necessary. If the student decides to turn down any of the awards offered, the student should notify the Financial Aid office via TCC email indicating which award to adjust.
- The student should pay particular attention to financial aid obligations should classes be reduced or dropped.
- 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 nontaxable 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 email 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 email will be sent to the student. If a student chooses to retain all the awards issued, no further action is necessary.
If a student decides 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 and intends to accept the funds offered, the student must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling online at www.studentloans.gov. Failure to complete the MPN 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 full-time 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 2014-15 academic year and are subject to change.
|Tuition and Fees
|Books and Supplies
|Room and Board
|Loan Fees (First-year/Soph)
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 May Main and/or May Express. All fees deferred against a student’s financial aid are taken from the first financial aid funds available.
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. Refunds will be issued only after a student’s account is fully paid and if additional funding exists.
Financial Aid will begin issuing refunds by the fourth week of class. Before issuing a refund, a student’s enrollment status will be reviewed and the award adjusted to reflect the actual status. As a reminder, all students are awarded at the full-time status in their initial award.
Only classes that apply toward the student’s degree at TCC will be considered in the enrollment status. Further, by federal regulation we can only consider up to 30 attempted developmental hours in a student’s enrollment status. Once a student’s enrollment status is verified and class attendance is recorded, the disbursement process will begin.
Because the Financial Aid office begins disbursement as soon as six credit hours of attendance are verified for eligible classes, a student may receive more than one disbursement in a given semester. In addition, funds from outside sources will not be credited to the student’s account until those funds are received by TCC.
Students whose files are complete and who are awarded before the start of the term are expected to have personal funding to pay for living expenses during the first month of class. For students who are awarded after the start of the term, personal funding should be secured for living expenses for one month after the award is issued. No emergency loans will be issued during this period for living expenses.
Students who have filed a valid FAFSA and meet all other eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid are given estimated awards based on full-time status. This initial award shows the most aid that would be available to the student. Eligible enrollment statuses are full-time (12 or more credits), three-quarter time (9 -11 credits), half-time (6 - 8 credits) and less-than-half-time (fewer than 6 credits).
The actual enrollment status will be determined at the end of regular drop/add and will be one factor used in determining final award amounts. The estimated award may be revised if the final enrollment status is not full-time. Federal Pell Grants and other grants may be reduced or canceled; however, Federal Direct Student Loan eligibility will not be changed except in cases where the final enrollment status is less-than-half-time.
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
|9 to 11 credit hours
|6 to 8 credit hours
|1 to 5 credit hours
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.
Students in eligible clock-hour programs are considered full-time if they are enrolled in at least 450 clock hours per semester (which equates to 12 credit hours in the enrollment status chart above). To determine enrollment status other than full-time, the number of clock hours for the term is divided by 37.5, per federal regulations. For example, if the student is enrolled in 375 clock hours for the term, divide 375 by 37.5 to get 10 hours, which in the chart above equates to three-quarter time enrollment. 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 coursework 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 coursework, 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. Attendance will be taken and if a student fails to appear on an instructor’s class attendance verification form, the student must work with the Financial Aid Office 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 canceled. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant should refer to the section on Financial Aid and Enrollment Status to ensure registered hours are countable in determining their Federal Pell Grant.
Coursework 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 Cancellation 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 Admissions and Records office or online through Passport. 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.
Federal Return to Title IV Policy
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. Students who fail to complete all classes within a term where Title IV federal student aid was received may also be required to repay all or part of the Title IV financial aid they received. Under the Federal Title IV Return of Funds 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:
$ 2,865 Federal Pell Grant
$ 125 Federal SEOG
$ 1,168 Federal Direct Loan
$ 4,158 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 and returned to the federal programs ($4,158 x 80% = $3,326.40 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 email, students who do not receive an email 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
First Time in College, First Semester at TCC
TCC verifies Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid (SAP) at the end of every semester. Generally, a student is eligible for one Warning semester the first time he or she fails to meet one or more of the standards. However, for the first semester of attendance at TCC, failure to successfully complete all of the classes attempted will result in immediate ineligibility for future funds, even if the student was already awarded for a future term. If documentable mitigating circumstances such as illness, accident, or death of an immediate family member caused the student to miss classes or otherwise fail to succeed academically, the student may file an appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be allowed one additional semester of eligibility for financial aid.
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 by email that they are on warning status.
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
Students are normally notified by campus email when they have failed to meet one or more of the Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid. Notification occurs at the end of each semester once grades are posted. Students have 15 days from the receipt of notification to appeal. Appeal forms and procedures are available in the Financial Aid office and at www.tcc.fl.edu/fa/forms. It is the responsibility of every student to understand the Standards of Academic Progress for Financial Aid and to monitor his or her own standing. Even if no email notification is sent (this may occur in cases where a grade is “incomplete” at the end of the grading process), the standards still apply.
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 supporting documentation will be fully verified to make sure it is from the party it seems to be. Submitting fraudulent documentation is a crime and students submitting fraudulent documentation will be reported to local law enforcement authorities, to Student Conduct and Community Standards, and to the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General. This may result in a fine of up to $20,000, a prison sentence, or both.
In addition to academic requirements, students whose appeal is approved must meet with an academic advisor and together complete the Advising for Financial Aid Clearance Form. Students must return the form to the Financial Aid Office before funds will be disbursed.
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)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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 person(s) 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.
All information concerning a student’s financial aid will be sent to the address provided to the Admissions and Records office. All students should keep current address information on file with the Admissions and Records 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 Customs Enforcement, or other government agency, the student may be required to submit additional 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 before 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.
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 Employment)
- Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents)
- Chapter 32 (VEAP/Veterans Educational Assistance Program)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires each applicant for VA educational benefits be formally accepted to an approved curriculum (degree or program) before initial certification can be sent to the VA.
Formal acceptance is achieved by completing the following steps:
- Submit admissions application (This should be completed and submitted before any other steps are taken.)
- Submit official high school transcripts, official copies of GED diploma and test scores.
- Submit official transcripts from all other colleges attended.
- Meet with an academic counselor for plan of study preparation.
- Contact the veterans affairs coordinator in the TCC Veterans Affairs office well in advance of registration to obtain all necessary U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) application forms.
- Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website to help determine which GI Bill benefit to use.
- 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 affairs coordinator each semester.
Priority Registration for Eligible Veterans and Dependents
All veteran students and dependents who are eligible and using VA education benefits can now register as early as the first scheduled registration date. The student must submit the necessary VA documentation to establish an active VA file with the veterans affairs coordinator.
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 Chapters 30, 33, 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 website: www.gibill.va.gov. Follow the link to “W.A.V.E” (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment).
To continue receiving VA educational benefits, qualifying enrolled students must provide a copy of their schedule to the TCC veterans affairs coordinator each semester.
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 in the Computer Technology Building. 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 amount 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 than a standard semester. Enrolling in an accelerated term 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
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 veterans 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. For example, 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.
Tallahassee Community College offers split sessions referred to as accelerated sessions by the VA. This means the VA will accelerate pay status in proportion to the rate of the split sessions. A full-time course load will be different for students enrolled in the split sessions. For this reason, veterans should check with the veterans affairs coordinator to be sure of the actual rate of acceleration. The number of hours needed to be full-time for the school and financial aid purposes may differ from the VA hour requirement as well. Veterans should check with the Financial Aid office on their credit-hour requirements for full-time status.
Effective January 2014, VA will no longer pay for developmental courses if the student entered ninth grade in a Florida public school in the 2003-2004 school year, or any year thereafter, and earned a Florida standard high school diploma from a Florida public high school or is serving as an active duty member of any branch of the United Sates Armed Services. Such students shall not be required to take the common placement test and are not required to enroll in developmental education.
Under VA regulations, developmental courses offered online (even partially) cannot be approved. For assistance with developmental courses, see the veterans affairs coordinator.
Program of Education
VA educational benefits will be paid only for coursework leading to an associate 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.
- During a student’s last term before graduation, a VA student may take nonrequired 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 nonrequired coursework 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 nonrequired courses.
- If a VA student has completed his or her elective requirement, but still needs to take prerequisite elective coursework 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 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 affairs coordinator to obtain the documents necessary for this procedure.
Note: Audited coursework is not authorized for payment by the VA.
Credit for Military Service
Active duty members of the military with at least one year of experience and veterans who have completed at least one year of active duty service with an honorable discharge are entitled to seven hours of credit for experience gained during service, as follows:
In order to receive these credits, students must first complete one semester of attendance at TCC. Students should then submit a written request for the credits to be posted to their academic record, together with either proof of active duty status or a copy of their DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty).
In addition, credit may be awarded for military training and education in accordance with the American Council of Education’s (ACE’s) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Active or former military service members, depending upon their branch of service, may submit any of the following documents for review:
- Joint Services Transcript (Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy)
- Community College of the Air Force
College credit may be awarded based on ACE recommendations, but such recommendations are subject to faculty review to establish equivalency. The College awards only those credits appropriate to the student’s degree program.
Because most credits for military experience will be recognized as electives only, students should seek guidance from a TCC advisor before requesting this credit.
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 affairs 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 affairs 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.
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.
All changes made after the initial application or certification will be forwarded to the VA Regional Processing Office and should be brought to the attention of the Veterans Affairs office so that those changes can be reported in a timely manner.
The most common changes are noted below:
- Orders for active duty service
- Change of program of study
- Addition of a second program of study
- Change in type of hours (online or classroom setting)
- Complete withdrawal from school
- Enrollment in an accelerate term
- Enrollment in another school
- Addition of classes not in degree program
- Audit of course
- Change of address or phone number
- Stop attending classes
- Failure to take the final exam
- Use of any type of tuition and fee waiver(s) while using the Post 9/11 benefit
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 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 coursework. 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.
Tuition Waivers for Purple Hearts Recipients
TCC will waive tuition and related fees for recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence who meet all of the following criteria:
- Are enrolled as a full-time or part-time student in an undergraduate program of study leading to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or career education certificate
- Are currently, and were at the time of military action that resulted in award of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence, a resident of Florida
- Have submitted the DD 214 form issued at the time of separation from service as documentation that the student has received a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence
This tuition waiver may be used toward 110 percent of the required credit hours of the degree or certificate program the student is enrolled in. Visit the Veterans Affairs office for more information.
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.
VetSuccess on Campus
The VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program is a collaborative effort between TCC and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VSOC program aims to help veterans, service members and their qualified dependents succeed and thrive through a coordinated delivery of on-campus benefits assistance and counseling, leading to completion of their education and preparing them to enter the labor market in viable careers. Under this program, an experienced vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) works on campus with TCC veteran and dependent students, assisting them with navigating their educational and other VA benefits. The VSOC serves as a “one-stop liaison” for veterans, active duty military and their dependent family members who attend or plan to attend TCC.
Consortium Agreement with Another Educational Institution
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 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 Admissions and Records 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 Admissions and Records 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: 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 Shines (FloridaShines.org). Students who use this option will receive a message to their TCC email account approving or denying financial aid for transient study.