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Getting Your Money: Financial Aid Disbursements

When students ask about financial aid disbursements, what they usually mean is “when will I get my money?” That answer can be tricky. Financial Aid encompasses both federal and state programs. These programs are administered differently; therefore financial aid credits to the student’s account occur at different time periods.

All students receiving Title IV federal financial aid are subject to special regulations governing all colleges. In order for students to earn their financial aid, they must attend classes on a regular basis. Federal financial aid is not fully earned until a student has completed at least 60% of the term. Therefore, students not attending classes may lose their eligibility.

Federal Aid Disbursements

Title IV Federal aid includes Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), William D. Ford Direct Student and Parent PLUS Loans. These funds are disbursed to the college twice during each semester. The first disbursement occurs in the fifth week of classes and the second disbursement occurs in the ninth week of classes. Aid will only be credited to the students account when all necessary requirements for these funds are completed and processed.

State Aid Disbursements

New York State aid includes Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Part-Time TAP, Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) and New York State HESC scholarships. Disbursements of state aid occur after Higher Education Services Corporation has processed and approved the applicant. In addition, the college must verify student’s class attendance and satisfactory academic progress. Academic progress and class attendance verification does not begin until after the third week of classes for each term. Once the student is certified eligible, state funds are credited to the students account.

When will I receive my refund?

After all charges are paid, any excess financial aid is refunded to the student. Note: If a Parent PLUS Loan has been taken out by the parent, the refund will be mailed to the parent unless the parent indicated on the application that they wish to have any refunds mailed to the student. The student’s bill includes all charges the student has incurred for the entire semester. This may include tuition, fees, book charges, meal plans, housing, certificate of residency, accident insurance and any other miscellaneous charges incurred by the student. Around the third week of classes any approved state aid will be applied to the student’s account. This will rarely result in a refund as TAP, Part Time TAP and APTS are applied to tuition and cannot exceed tuition. For an eligible student, the first half of the student’s federal aid is applied to the student’s account around the fifth week of classes. A refund will be mailed to the student’s permanent home address if half of their federal aid combined with any state aid, results in a credit. The majority of students will not see a refund until the second half of their aid is credited to their account during the ninth week of classes for each semester.

To ask questions about disbursements or learn more, contact financial aid at 315-574-4035 or request information.