Award & Disbursement of Financial Aid

Enrollment Status

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.

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. If you enroll after the regular drop/add date and are receiving your initial award for the academic year, your financial aid award package will be based on the number of eligible enrollment hours indicated at the time of the initial award.

Clock Hour Students

Clock hour students in eligible programs are considered full-time if they are enrolled in at least 450 clock hours per semester. To determine enrollment statuses other than full-time, the number of clock hours the student is currently enrolled in is divided by the program length. These rules are established in federal regulations.

Students Who Attend Multiple Sessions Within a Semester

Students who attend multiple sessions within a semester cannot receive financial aid under most programs until they are attending at least 6 credit hours. Students may be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours, but most financial aid programs cannot be paid until the student has verified attendance in 6 credit hours. Students whose enrollment changes as a new term begins will have their financial aid adjusted to reflect any changes made. Should students fail to take all of the classes for which they enroll, financial aid may be reduced or cancelled.

Course Work for Degree

A student's enrollment status will only include courses required for the degree he/she is enrolled in at TCC. Courses outside the degree program, or courses not required for the degree, will not be used in determining the enrollment status. Once a student has completed all the course work for his/her degree, even if they have not applied for graduation, he/she is no longer eligible for aid. A degree audit will help determine if a course is eligible. Students are encouraged to complete a degree/audit every semester prior to registering for classes to determine if the classes they have selected fall within their degree major.

Students Taking College Developmental Classes

Students taking developmental classes are allowed 30 credit hours of attempted preparatory coursework which the federal government will use toward their enrollment status. After a student attempts 30 credit hours of developmental course work further hours cannot be counted in determining enrollment status for financial aid eligibility, full-time, 3/4 time, half-time. Developmental courses are never used for determining enrollment hours for Bright Future Scholarship recipients.

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 student, a contribution from the student's spouse will be calculated utilizing the same components. Dependent students will have a contribution from their parent's earnings, savings and assets.

Award Adjustments

Students who are found ineligible for the aid they received, either by clerical error or a drop in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or any other error, are responsible for repayment of the funds they are not eligible to receive. If a student receives a refund they are not anticipating or in excess of what they expect, they need to contact the Financial Aid Office. Students will be issued a new award letter if there are changes to their financial aid, other than adjustment to scholarships based on actual tuition and fees.