Disbursements, Refunds and Bookstore Charges
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.
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 Student Financial Services once the refund has been processed.
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 their autumn semester refund to pay summer’s balance. The balance from summer must be paid or the student will be deregistered from autumn semester classes.
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 their 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 their COTC ID with the correct seven digit ID number to purchase books using their 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 their refund is available. Click here for additional information.