Policies

Repayment of Federal Funds Policy

Pell and SEOG grants, as well as Direct Loans (Stafford loans for students and PLUS for parents) are federal student aid funds. These programs have policies that require Tunxis and students who withdraw completely from a semester to repay federal aid funds to the federal government.  (Please note that even if you never withdraw federal student aid may not cover all your Tunxis charges; if your only federal aid is a Pell grant of $1500, but your tuition and fees come to $2000, you will be responsible for the $500 difference.  Tunxis generally does not have enough aid from other programs to supplement the federal aid of every eligible student.)

All students need to be aware of how Tunxis implements these requirements.

Official and unofficial withdrawals:

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 successfully complete – at least one course, the policy does not apply.  An official withdrawal requires that you formally withdraw from all your courses, either by completing a form at the Records Office or by dropping the courses on my.commnet.edu.  An unofficial withdrawal is “dropping out;” you do not formally withdraw from your courses, but you stop participating.  Tunxis decides that you have unofficially withdrawn by reviewing grades after the semester; if all your grades are F, we have to consider you an unofficial withdrawal.

What happens after official withdrawals:

If you withdraw after receiving federal funds, you are considered to have “earned” a portion of the funds equal to the percentage of the semester you completed. Example: if you withdraw from all classes after 25% of the semester, you have “earned” 25% of your federal student aid for that semester; 75% of your aid is “unearned.”      If you withdraw after 60% (or more) of the semester, you are considered to have “earned” all your federal funds for the term.

We have to return funds not later than 45 days after we become aware that you have withdrawn.  Tunxis runs reports periodically to see which aid recipients have withdrawn.  We then perform a calculation to see how much aid has to be returned by Tunxis and, possibly, by the student.  The amount to be returned depends on the unearned percentage and is affected by your institutional charges (tuition, fees, and bookstore charges).  Tunxis generally has to return funds before the student does; if this results in your owing Tunxis money, we will inform you by letter.  If you have to return funds after an official withdrawal, we will inform you by letter of what you need to do.

If you officially withdraw before receiving student aid, you may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of aid.  This can reduce the amount you owe Tunxis for tuition, fees, and bookstore charges.

What happens after unofficial withdrawals:

If you stay officially enrolled in courses, but earn no credit for any of them, you will be considered an “unofficial withdrawal.” At the end of each semester, Tunxis runs a report to identify unofficial withdrawals.  We then calculate how much federal aid has to be returned, with the assumption that you participated in classes to the 50% point of the term.  The amount to be returned is also affected by your institutional charges for the term.  We have to return funds not later than 45 days after we determine that you unofficially withdrew from a term.

When Tunxis has to return funds after an unofficial withdrawal, we inform the student by letter.  The return of funds by Tunxis results in the student owing Tunxis the amount returned.  Tunxis will bill you for this amount.  Tunxis will use a collection agency to recover these funds from you if you do not pay when billed.  Owing Tunxis money will negatively affect your credit history, making it more difficult to get loans, rent an apartment, and perhaps to get a job.

How are funds returned?

We return funds to the program from which they came, in this order:

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

Subsidized federal Direct Loans

Federal Perkins Loans

Federal Direct PLUS Loans

Federal Pell Grants

Federal SEOG Grants

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.

You should be aware of the Tunxis deadline for withdrawal with a grade of W.  Each semester we prepare a document entitled “What Happens if I Withdraw?”  This explains the consequences of withdrawal, using the actual dates for the semester; it is available at the Financial aid Office.

Financial Aid Application Verification Policy

Students apply for financial assistance by completing the FAFSA.  During FAFSA processing, the US Department of Education selects some FAFSA’s for verification.  When Tunxis receives these FAFSA’s we are required to verify the accuracy of certain information on them.  Tunxis does not make a financial aid commitment before verification is completed.

This policy embodies the US Department of Education’s verification requirements.  If a FAFSA is not selected for verification, but we find inconsistent or possibly incorrect information on it, we will require the applicant to complete verification as for a federally-selected FAFSA.

To verify, you must provide certain documents to Financial Aid.  These documents are specified for you on my.commnet.edu under “overall status of financial aid.”  Everyone selected for verification has to complete a verification worksheet, which can be downloaded from my.commnet.edu.

Once you provide all required documents, we will use them to check the accuracy of your FAFSA.  If we find inaccurate information we will correct it.  You will not need to correct the FAFSA yourself.  Your FAFSA will then be reprocessed and you will receive a new Student Aid Report showing your new EFC (estimated family contribution); this is how you will know that we have completed verification.  If you received a financial aid decision prior to verification but the new EFC requires a change in your financial aid award, we will send you an email directing you to the new award on my.commnet.edu.

When we review the verification documents you provide, we may need to follow up by requesting other information.  If so, you will see the new requirements on my.commnet.edu, or we will inform you by letter.

You should provide us what we request as soon as possible, but the final deadline to complete verification is generally 120 days after the end of your final semester in an academic year.  (The Department of Education may set a different date for a given year.)

If you do not provide the verification documents we need, we will not make a financial aid decision for you.  If your FAFSA is selected for verification after you have received federal aid, but you don’t provide what we need, we will have to cancel your federal aid and you will owe a balance to Tunxis.

If Tunxis concludes that a financial aid applicant has deliberately tried to obtain federal student aid fraudulently, which is a crime, we can report the applicant to the Inspector General of the US Department of Education.

 

If you have questions about this policy, please email tx-finaid@txcc.commnet.edu or call 860.255.-3510.