Important information concerning Student Financial Service’s
policies and procedures for which each financial aid
recipient is responsible to know is listed below. View
and/or print the information for your reference.
How will the college notify me about my financial aid?
All applicants are assigned a free COTC email account once
the application for admissions and application fee are
received and processed. Student Financial Services will adhere to
the campus policy of using email as the primary form of
communication with all enrolled COTC students. Important
financial aid information such as requested documents, award
packages, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Return of Title IV
funds, budget adjustments, loan information and scholarship
opportunities will be sent to the students’ email account. It is
the responsibility of the students to check and read their email
on a frequent and consistent basis for important, time-sensitive
messages from the college. The students will be held responsible
for the information provided via email. Infrequent checking and
full inboxes are not excuses for missing official college
communications. (The official COTC email policy is
available in the Academic Policies.)
Student Financial Services will only correspond to a the
school-issued email account. If a message is received from
another source (e.g., yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc.), a response
will be sent to the COTC email account as well as a response to
the non-COTC account stating: “For confidentiality reasons, a
response to your email will be sent to your COTC issued email
account only.” Exceptions: non-admitted students or
parent seeking general information or non-specific student
information. If the parent is asking for specific
information, a response will be sent to the student’s COTC email
account and the student is responsible for obtaining the
COTC students must complete a Confidential Information
Release Form in order for Student Financial Services to
release financial aid information via the telephone. If
another person or agency is to have access to the student’s
financial aid data, they must be included on the Confidential
Information Release Form and know the secret code word. To
update the persons listed on the form, a new release
statement must be completed and submitted in person to the
Gateway. Picture ID is required for service at the front
desk of Student Financial Services as well as in the advisors’
How is my financial aid spent (or disbursed)?
Financial aid funds must first be used to pay tuition and fees
and then any other educational expenses. Before the start of each
semester, Student Financial Services will send an email to each
enrolled student directing them to “View Account and Make
Payments” on COTCconnect > My Student Financial Accounts. All
fees, including penalties, must be paid according to the deadline
indicated in the email.
Beginning as early as ten days before the start of the semester,
financial aid awards (grants and scholarships) for which all
eligibility requirements have been met will appear as credits on
the student accounts up to the cost of tuition, fees and
books. Contact Student Financial Services if financial aid
does not appear on your student account ten days before the start
of the semester.
Fees are due by the fee payment deadline and taking care of the
balance due is the student’s responsibility. “Not receiving a
bill” is not an excuse for not paying your charges. Students may
be dropped from classes if fees are not paid either by financial
aid or personal payment by the stated fee payment deadline. Once
dropped from classes, the student will be required to pay a late
registration fee and a late payment fee in order to re-register.
Depending on availability, he may not be able to re-enroll in the
sections previously scheduled.
Enrollment and eligibility are monitored on an ongoing basis
throughout the semester. Aid that was initially credited to the
student’s account for which the student ceases to be eligible may
be returned and the student will be required to repay it.
Students must attend classes to maintain eligibility for
aid. Students not attending courses for which they
registered must withdraw from the courses online or at
any Gateway location. Aid will not be disbursed or will be
reversed if a student is not attending classes. If Student
Financial Services is notified after disbursement that a student
has not attended, aid will be adjusted which could create a
balance due to COTC. If a student withdraws from all classes
after the disbursement of a Federal Direct Loan, the funds may be
reduced according to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. If
a student drops below six hours prior to the disbursement of a
Federal Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS loan, NEALP and certain
private alternative loans, the loan funds will not be disbursed
to the student account.
Occasionally, due to changes in eligibility and other factors,
funds are inadvertently disbursed in error. Should you receive
financial aid funds to which you are not entitled, it is your
responsibility to contact Student Financial Services prior to
utilizing the funds. Failure to do this may result in repayment
of the incorrect award.
If I am eligible for a refund, how and when will I get it?
Financial aid funds are managed efficiently for the students who
are attending their classes and earning their aid. Any
financial aid that the students are eligible for that
exceed the cost of tuition, fees and books will post to the
students’ account around the fifth week of the semester pending
confirmation of attendance. Refunds should be available
within 14 days of the posting. Students will receive an email
notice from Fees & Deposits once the refund has been processed.
Refunds are NOT processed through Student Financial
Refunds can be issued in two different ways:
Direct Deposit into a personal checking or savings account.
(This option is strongly encouraged.) Contact Student Financial
Services for more information.
Institutional check will be mailed
Because financial aid refunds will not be available to students
until after the fifth week of each semester, students are highly
encouraged to budget their excess aid funds wisely. Prior
semester balances cannot be paid by current or subsequent
semester financial aid. The balance must be paid or future
enrollment will be cancelled. For example, a student that owes a
balance from summer semester cannot use his autumn semester
refund to pay summer’s balance. The balance from summer must be
paid or the student will be deregistered from autumn semester
Can I use financial aid to pay for books?
If a student has completed all required financial aid steps and
has pending excess aid (tuition/fees are covered and there is a
financial aid refund expected), the student will be able to
purchase books and supplies from the Newark Campus
Official Bookstore on credit against his pending aid no
earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the semester. Students
are limited to the lessor of $1,500 or the amount of their
pending excess financial aid funds. A student must provide
his COTC ID with the correct seven digit ID number to purchase
books using his pending excess aid. Students may purchase
more than the amount available; however, they must pay the
difference at the time of purchase using cash, check or credit
card. If a student chooses to purchase books from a source other
than the Newark Campus bookstore, the student must use
another payment method until his refund is available. Click
for additional information.
What things can affect my financial aid?
Dropping, Withdrawing and Non-attendance
The Student Financial Aid Enrollment Change
Policy requires a student to complete all of
his add/drop changes by the census
date of each course. (Contact the Office of Financial Aid for
specific dates.) If a student adds or drops classes anytime up to
and including the census date, financial aid will be adjusted. If
changes are made after this date, financial aid will not be
adjusted unless the student did not attend the class or withdrew
from all of his classes. Students receiving Federal Direct
Loans should maintain 6 credit hours
throughout the semester.
Financial Aid is awarded on the basis of full-time enrollment. If
a student plans to enroll less than full-time, he should expect
his financial aid awards to be reduced or cancelled. The amount
of aid a student is eligible for has no relationship to
institutional charges or other incurred costs of attendance.
According to federal law, COTC students who receive Federal
financial aid and do not complete their classes may be
responsible to repay a portion of their aid. Students must “earn”
the financial aid received by staying enrolled in school and
attending classes. If a student drops, withdraws or stops
attending classes during the semester, he may be required to
return some of the financial aid awarded. For example: a student
who completes 30% of the semester has earned 30% of his aid. This
means that 70% of the aid is unearned and must be returned to the
federal government. Click here for more information
regarding this policy.
Non-attendance in classes is considered a reduction of hours and
aid will be adjusted. Students not attending courses for which
they registered must formally withdraw online at my.cotc.edu
> COTCconnect > Student Planning or at any Gateway
location. Aid will be adjusted if a student is not attending
classes which may create a balance due on his institutional
bill. If the student has been attending his classes, he
must speak to his instructor who must report attendance
electronically in order for financial aid to be updated and
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
COTC is required to establish a policy to monitor the academic
progress of students who apply for and/or receive financial aid.
These standards are designed to ensure that students are making
progress toward completion of their program of study and apply to
the following financial aid programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal
Work-Study Program (FWS), Federal Direct Loan Program (subsidized
and unsubsidized), Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate
Students (PLUS), Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP),
and other programs as determined by the Office of Financial
Aid. Click here for more
information regarding the SAP Policy.
Why does Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) matter?