Financial Aid

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General Information

Tunxis encourages every student concerned about the cost of a Tunxis program to apply for financial aid.

Financial aid at Tunxis is intended to help students who would not be able to attend the College without financial assistance. To apply, please view How to Apply.

The College offers financial aid to students who are found to have financial need. To determine financial need, the Director of Financial Aid Services estimates the student’s expenses (including living costs) and the student’s resources. If the expenses are greater than the available resources, the student has need.

The expenses which are considered are:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and other required materials
  • Transportation
  • Housing and food
  • Health care and personal expenses
  • Child care
  • Special services for students with disabilities

A student’s own financial resources are determined in accordance with the standards established for the federal student aid programs. For married students, a portion of the student’s and spouse’s income and assets are assumed to be available for educational costs. Some unmarried students are considered to be part of their parents’ families financially; a portion of their own and their parents’ income and assets will be assumed to be available for educational costs. Other unmarried students are presumed to be financially independent of their parents; only their own income and assets are considered to yield funds for educational costs.

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AWARD NOTIFICATION

Students who are found to have need receive a financial aid “package”–a combination of grants, employment, and/or loans. Grants, like scholarships, are “gift” assistance–they do not have to be repaid or earned. Employment and loans are considered “self-help” assistance. The College’s policy is to award grants first to all needy students. The amount of grants awarded to an individual is determined by the number of needy students, the total grant dollars available, and the individual’s Pell Grant eligibility. To meet the remaining need, we offer on-campus employment and/or student loans. Some students who have relatively low need will receive grants only. Note: This policy is subject to change if the availability of aid funds changes.

There are no predetermined limits of student or parent income which disqualify a student from receiving financial aid. If you are concerned about your ability to meet all the costs involved in attending Tunxis, you should apply for financial aid.

Each application is considered on its own merits. We will consider any information you provide concerning your ability to afford a Tunxis education. All applications are handled confidentially.

Students who apply for financial aid and plan to enroll their children in the Tunxis Early Childhood Center should inform the College’s Early Childhood Center at the time of enrollment that they are being considered for aid.

Disclaimer

Descriptions of financial aid programs are subject to change, due to possible changes in federal, state, and College policies, and/or due to changes in funding levels. The Financial Aid Services Office will make every reasonable effort to keep applicants and students aware of any such changes.

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EXPLANATION OF YOUR STUDENT AID AWARD

The online award means that we have found that you need financial assistance to meet the costs of attending Tunxis in the academic year. The award represents the College’s commitment of specific student aid funds to you. In this explanation, we attempt to give you the information you need to understand how we made this decision, the types of aid we are offering you, and how this aid will get to you. Please read it carefully; it answers the questions we get most often from students.

1. HOW WE DETERMINED YOUR FINANCIAL NEED

Your budget is based on reasonable allowances for books, supplies, transportation, housing and food, health care and miscellaneous personal expenses, as well as your tuition and fees. The costs of tuition, fees, books, and transportation depend on your enrollment status. The living expenses (housing and food, etc.) are for the student only, not for any other family member. Budgets for dental, allied health and graphic design students are increased to reflect the unusually high costs for materials and equipment not needed in most academic programs.
Because of data system requirements, we have to show these expenses at the full-time level for all students, including those who plan to be part-time.

Your resources represent our estimate of your ability to meet educational costs from your income and assets, and your parents’ ability to help (if you are considered a dependent student). These estimates are based on the financial aid information you entered on the FAFSA, and are derived according to a standard set of assumptions and calculations called Federal Methodology (so called because the U.S. Congress has mandated that it be used to determine eligibility for federal student aid programs).

By subtracting your resources from your budget, we estimate your financial need for the year. The aid we offer you can not exceed this need.

If you have questions about our estimates of your budget and resources, please make an appointment to see the Associate Director of Financial Aid Services.

2. HOW WE DETERMINED YOUR FINANCIAL AID AWARD

Your financial aid award–how much you will get from which programs–is determined by the College’s “packaging policy.” (A financial aid award is also called a “package” because it may contain more than one kind of aid.)

Tunxis is awarding grants first to all students who have financial need (as explained above). When a student’s need equals or exceeds our estimated costs for tuition, fees, books, and supplies, we award grant funds to cover those expenses, with the objective of providing educational access to the largest possible number of students who need help.
Because of data system requirements, we have to show all financial aid awards based on full-time enrollment, even for those students who plan to attend part-time. Our financial aid payment process will pro-rate your grant awards if you enroll part-time (i.e., for less than 12 semester hours per term).

In most cases, if you take 9 to 11 hours, you will receive 75% of the full-time grant amount; if you take 6 to 8 hours, 50%; and if you take fewer than 6 hours, 25%.

Please note that the grant funds at our disposal are limited, and may not permit us to award grants to all eligible students, especially those who apply later.

For the amount of need that is not met by grants, we usually offer employment in the College Work-Study program (CWS), then student loans. We regard loans as the last alternative for Tunxis students, and actively discourage students borrowing unless it is an absolute necessity. Most of our students find that the combination of grants and employment (either on-campus or off-campus) enables them to get through the year.

Exceptions to our packaging policy may be made to meet the legitimate needs of students in unusual circumstances, or to enable the College to make the best use of available student aid funds.

Special Circumstances Information

Please see the section FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS for more information on the specific aid funds included in your award.

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3. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You do not have to formally accept grant awards. Provided you are enrolled at the end of the two-week add/drop period, your grants will be applied to your student account.
To accept a Work-Study employment opportunity, please complete the CWS application and return it to our Office. We will then refer you to a possible job opportunity. Please be aware that prior placements may have filled all jobs.
Registration:If you have not yet registered for classes, any grants you have been awarded will be automatically credited to your account at the time of registration. You do not have to come to our Office when you register. Your tuition and fees will be deducted from the aid awarded to you. If you are billed for tuition and fees, follow the instructions enclosed with the bill.Bookstore Charges:Your aid award may enable you to charge books and supplies at the Tunxis Bookstore, but you must first complete the Title IV Authorization as follows.

  1. Log in to my.commnet.edu
  2. Enter your Net ID and password
  3. Select “Student” tab
  4. Select Student Self-Service
  5. Select Financial Aid
  6. Select Title IV Authorization
  7. Select “Submit”

Payments to Students: After each semester’s enrollments are confirmed, The Financial Aid Services Office authorizes the payment of grants and Perkins Loan funds to students. The amount of your aid award may be changed if your enrollment status changes. Amounts that you owe Tunxis (tuition, fees, bookstore charges, etc.) will be deducted; any balance (or refund) will be paid to you. These funds are for your use in meeting other educational costs. If you are due a grant refund, Tunxis will mail a check directly to you
or you may sign up for direct deposit. You will also receive an account statement showing your charges and the financial aid applied to your account.

There is a different payment procedure for Stafford Loans. Once Tunxis Determines your loan eligibility, we transmit an electronic loan application. Your lender will then transmit loan funds electronically to Tunxis for you. These funds will be applied to your student account. After any balance due Tunxis is paid, any loan funds due you will be paid to you by check or via direct deposit.

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4. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON REPAYMENT OF FEDERAL GRANTS
Pell and SEOG Grants are federal student aid funds. These programs have policies that require students who withdraw completely from a semester to repay Pell and SEOG Grants to the federal government.All students need to be aware of how Tunxis implements these requirements:1. This policy affects only students who completely withdraw from a semester. Complete withdrawal means dropping (officially or unofficially) all your classes in a semester. If you stay enrolled in–and complete–at least one course, the policy does not apply.2. When a Pell and/or SEOG recipient completely withdraws, she is considered to have “earned” a portion of her Grants equal to the percentage of the semester she completed. Example: if you withdraw from all classes after 25% of the semester, you have “earned” 25% of your Pell and/or SEOG Grants for that semester.3. Tunxis runs reports periodically to see which students have withdrawn and may be subject to this requirement. We then inform these students in writing of what they need to do. In some cases, students have to repay grant funds to the federal government. (Tunxis generally has to repay funds as well.)4. If you withdraw after 60% (or more) of the semester, you are considered to have “earned” all your federal grant funds for the term. No repayment is necessary.5. If you stay officially enrolled in courses, but earn no credit for any of them, you may be considered an “unofficial withdrawal.” At the end of the semester, Tunxis runs a report to identify possible unofficial withdrawals. We then contact these students in writing to advise them of what to do.6. As explained above, if you have to withdraw from all classes, it is in your interest to do so only after 60% of the semester has passed. If you attend at least 60% of the semester before withdrawing, you will not be required to repay federal grant funds. You should also be aware of the Tunxis deadline for withdrawal with a grade of “W.”7. This policy does not affect College Work-Study earnings. For federal student loans, the usual loan terms apply: changing enrollment status to less than half-time (i.e., less than six credits) places the borrower in grace or repayment status.If you have questions about this policy, please email tx-finaid@tunxis.edu or call 860.773.1422.

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* * * FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS * * *

TUNXIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE: This is a grant program funded by the College. Like all grants, it does not have to be paid back.

FEDERAL PELL GRANT: This grant program is funded by the U.S. Government. This is the only aid program for which eligibility is determined by someone other than the College. Each student’s Pell eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. The amount of your Pell Grant is determined by your financial need, and by your enrollment status.

CONNECTICUT AID TO PUBLIC COLLEGE STUDENTS (CAP) GRANT:
This is a grant program funded by the State of Connecticut. Connecticut residents may receive CAP Grants in amounts determined by our packaging policy.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG):
This is a federal Grant ranging from $50 to $4,000 per year. The law requires that priority in awarding SEOG’s be given to Pell Grant recipients.

FEDERAL COLLEGE WORK-STUDY (CWS): CWS employment enables students with financial need to earn money in a part-time job, usually on campus. 75% of the CWS payroll is funded by the federal government, 25% by the College. CWS jobs start at $8.50 per hour; students are paid every two weeks. While classes are in session, CWS students may work up to twenty hours weekly. The total amount shown on your award is the amount that you may earn during the academic year. Complete the job application and return it; you will then be referred to a possible job assignment, depending on funcding and position availability.

FEDERAL STAFFORD DIRECT STUDENT LOANS:
This is the most common student loan. Stafford Loans are not automatically awarded. If you wish to apply for a loan, you must first complete a loan application. BEAR IN MIND THAT THIS MONEY IS EASIER TO GET THAN IT IS TO REPAY; WE URGE ALL STUDENTS TO AVOID BORROWING UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

FEDERAL PERKINS STUDENT LOANS:
Perkins Loans are made by the College, from a fund that was set up with 90% federal funds and 10% College funds. When our former students repay their loans, their payments are deposited into the Perkins fund, and we use them to make new loans to students with financial need. The maximum yearly Perkins Loan is $4,000; repayment begins after you leave school, at 5% interest. Students who are interested in Perkins Loans must contact the financial aid office for information and applications. BEAR IN MIND THAT THIS MONEY IS EASIER TO GET THAN IT IS TO REPAY; WE URGE ALL STUDENTS TO AVOID BORROWING UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

 

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The Connecticut Community Colleges have adopted a code of conduct for financial aid programs.
For more information, contact David Welsh, Director of Financial Aid Services, at 860.773.1422.