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Financial Aid Eligibility

Who is Eligible for Financial Aid?

In order to qualify for financial aid sources, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or national or an eligible non-citizen as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible curriculum for financial aid purposes.
  • Have a high school diploma or general education development (GED) certificate, or have completed a secondary school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under State law.
  • Be meeting the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) at Tidewater Community College.
  • Have not defaulted on a federal student loan or owe an overpayment on a federal aid program.

Financial aid advisors are available at each campus to answer questions related to eligibility.

Watch Eligibility videos.

Link to Financial Aid TV
Federal Pell Grant Maximum Lifetime Awards

Students are limited to 12 full-time semesters (equivalent to six years or 600%) of total Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. All Federal Pell Grant usage throughout the student’s lifetime will be included in this evaluation. Students can view their usage at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) web site at the following link: https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/

For more information, please see a financial aid advisor or contact the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243.

Federal Pell Grant Adjustments

Financial aid awards are made based on anticipated full-time enrollment.  If the student does not enroll full-time, aid is adjusted accordingly after the Last Day to Drop for a Tuition Refund (see Academic Calendar for sixteen week courses).

Students who are receiving a Federal Pell Grant must be enrolled in all intended courses by the Last Day to Drop for a Tuition Refund for the sixteen week semester. No adjustments (increase or decrease) will be made to the Pell Grant award if the student changes enrollment after this date.

If the student adds courses late in the semester (dynamic or second-eight week), he or she may be eligible for state aid or student loans, but there will be no adjustment to the Pell Grant award. This also applies to students who drop a course and then decide to re-enroll after the Last Day to Drop for a Tuition Refund. The only exception to this regulation will be in the case of administrative error.

Students who are reported for never attending a class will have the aid canceled for that class and their Pell Grant award finalized. If the student gains permission from the faculty member to re-enroll after the Last Day to Drop for a Tuition Refund, the Pell Grant award will not be increased. This procedure adheres to federal regulations as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Changes in Enrollment May Affect Financial Aid Eligibility

Changes in enrollment may affect a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Students who enroll in class(es) and then drop class(es) by the college’s last day to drop for a tuition refund will receive a full refund of tuition and fees. Any financial aid awarded for the semester will be cancelled.

Students who use financial aid for bookstore purchases but then drop classes and have aid cancelled must return their books to the bookstore for a full refund to the original financial aid source or pay for their charges personally.

Students who enroll in classes and then withdraw before the Last Day to Withdraw without Academic penalty (60% of semester) are subject to a Return of Title IV Funds calculation. This calculation is required by the U.S. Department of Education and is meant to determine the amount of federal financial aid that a student has earned based on the number of days attended. If it is determined that a student has not earned all of the aid he/she received, the student will be responsible for repayment of funds.

Students who receive financial aid but never attend or stop attending courses may have their financial aid cancelled or reduced.  This may result in an overpayment of financial aid which students must repay.  Failure to satisfy an overpayment with TCC will result in referral of the debt to the U.S. Department of Education for collection.  Students with federal overpayments may not receive further federal financial aid until the debt is paid. 

Audited Courses

Students are not eligible to receive financial aid for audited courses. Students who begin in a graded course and then change that course to audited status will lose financial aid eligibility for that course.

  Disbursement of Awards

Paying Tuition and Fees

Once you receive your Financial Aid Award Notice, please review it to determine if the aid awarded will be sufficient to pay your tuition and fees.  Please note that financial aid awards are based on projected full-time enrollment and will be adjusted if you enroll less than full-time.  Please see a financial aid advisor for assistance with determining your award(s) for less than full-time attendance.

If your aid is sufficient to cover your tuition and fees, you need to take no further action.  Your aid will be applied to these charges by the College.  Please note that some types of aid require additional action to apply, such as students loans. Be sure to read all documents included with your Financial Aid Award Notice carefully.

If your aid is not sufficient to cover your tuition and fees, please be prepared to pay the remaining balance by the published tuition payment deadline.  Failure to pay tuition and fees by this date will result in you being dropped from the class(es) that are not covered.

Students who are enrolled in courses that are less than sixteen weeks in length, such as dynamic and second eight-week courses, may have financial aid disbursements delayed until they begin attendance in those courses.

The delayed disbursement process prevents Pell Grants and Direct Loans from disbursing prior to students beginning enrollment and is required by the U.S. Department of Education.  Funds cannot be released until students begin classes as described below:

  • Students receiving Pell Grants are required to be attending at least one class before their aid is disbursed.
  • The Direct Loan Program requires students to begin enrollment in at least six credit hours before funds can be disbursed. 

Although disbursement of funds for later starting courses may be delayed, awards will remain on accounts and if enough to cover tuition and fees, will hold students in their courses until the actual disbursement process is completed.

 

Using Remaining Aid Balances at the Bookstore - Here's how.

 

Receiving Remaining Aid Balances

Students with remaining aid balances after tuition and fees are paid in full and after bookstore charges have been paid will receive the remaining balance to be used for other education-related expenses.  Prior to disbursing these remaining balances, the College must ensure that students have begun classes and have not been reported for non-attendance.  We then adjust aid for students who are less than full-time, and disburse the aid to pay charges.  Once charges are paid, any remaining credit balance is then prepared for disbursement to the student.

Students who are enrolled in courses that are less than sixteen weeks in length, such as dynamic and second eight-week courses, may have financial aid disbursements delayed until they begin attendance in those courses.

The delayed disbursement process prevents Pell Grants and Direct Loans from disbursing prior to students beginning enrollment and is required by the U.S. Department of Education.  Funds cannot be released until students begin classes as described below:

  • Students receiving Pell Grants are required to be attending at least one class before their aid is disbursed.
  • The Direct Loan Program requires students to begin enrollment in at least six credit hours before funds can be disbursed. 

Although disbursement of funds for later starting courses may be delayed, awards will remain on accounts and hold students in their courses until the actual disbursement process is completed.

Each semester, disbursement dates will be published on the Financial Aid Disbursement Line at 1-757-822-1355.  Students may call to hear a recording about the first scheduled disbursement dates for student loans and scholarships as well as federal and state grants.

After the initial disbursement dates, the College will process new disbursements approximately every two weeks throughout the semester as awards are made.

Tidewater Community College has contracted with Tuition Management Services (TMS) to process electronic financial aid disbursements and tuition refunds to students.  For more information on selecting your preferred method to receive your refund, visit the Refund2Card page.

Please see a financial aid advisor if you have questions regarding your disbursement.

 

If you need assistance, please visit any of the four campus financial aid offices or contact the TCC Information Center at 822-1122.

More questions answered on The Virginia Education Wizard website.Virginia Education Wizard

 

 

Financial assistance is provided for all qualified students through a variety of sources including grants, scholarships, student loans, and the work study program. Tidewater Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, veteran status, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability in its programs or activities.

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