Section 1018 of Public Law 116-315, Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 requires educational institutions to make certain disclosures to students utilizing federal military or VA education benefits. To ensure compliance with this legislation, we have implemented the Institutional Cost Shopping Sheet Information for veterans and dependents.
COST SHOPPING SHEET FACTORS
Estimated Cost of Attendance:
An estimation of courses, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other additional TCL-related costs.
The cost of tuition and fees are differentiated based on the student’s residency status as (1) in-state (in-district) service area for students residing in one of our four Lowcountry counties (Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper), (2) in-state service non-service area for students residing in other counties in the State of South Carolina and Chatham or Effingham counties in Savannah, GA, or (3) out-of-state for students who do not meet the eligibility requirements to receive one of our in-state tuition rates.
Please visit College Navigator – National Center for Education Statistics for the estimated cost of full-time enrollment (semester registration for 12 credit hours or more). Please note that a student’s final cost depends on their eligibility for VA benefits to cover tuition and fees, books/supplies, and housing allowance; any financial aid to cover the cost, taking extra courses such as prerequisites; retaking a previously failed or withdrawn course, changes regarding their program of study which requires more or fewer credit hours for completion, change in the cost of living; and potential increase of tuition and fees as approved by the TCL Commission and other public officials.
Estimated Cost of Living
Students can look up the yearly estimated cost of living expenses by visiting our Office of Financial Aid webpage: https://www.tcl.edu/paying-for-tcl/financial-aid/.
Amount of Cost Covered by VA Benefits
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for determining eligibility, enrollment status, and awarding benefits. Please login to www.va.gov to apply for your VA Educational Benefit. If you need assistance, please contact their office at 1-888.442.4551.
G.I. Bill® Comparison Tool
Students can search by the college to determine estimated GI Bill® benefits, housing allowance, and book stipend using GI Bill® Comparison Tool: https://www.va.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool/. Below is a summary of what each VA Educational Benefit Program offers in terms of paying for college costs.
Chapter 31: Veterans’ Readiness & Employment (VR&E) Program® Recipients
- Only Chapter 31 (Veterans Readiness & Employment Program®) recipients will have the in-state tuition rates, fees, books, and supplies paid to the institution upon approval of their eligibility. An invoice from the college’s Business Office will be sent to the eligible student’s assigned VR&E Counselor for payment purposes.
- Veterans receiving Chapter 31 benefits may receive a subsistence allowance based on their current semester’s enrollment status while participating in an educational or training program in preparation for suitable employment. A veteran who qualifies for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill may be eligible to receive an alternative amount equivalent to the monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
- Please note that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs updates the subsistence allowance each fiscal year around October 1st. Current rates are accessible on the VR&E’s website at: https://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/subsistence_allowance_rates.asp.
Chapter 33: Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® Recipients
- Only Chapter 33: Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® recipients may be entitled to a percentage based on the length of the veteran’s military service
- Cost of tuition and fees (except for the automatic Barnes & Noble First Day Complete Program – TCL Book Rental Service) for an in-state student (paid to the school and prorated based on the eligibility percentage)
- Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents in the same zip code as your school (paid to the student and prorated based on training time and the eligibility percentage)
- Yearly book and supply stipend of up to $1,000 per year (paid to the student @ $41.67 per unit and prorated based on the eligibility percentage) VA benefits recipients can visit the following pages for information regarding VA benefits, what is covered by VA, and what is not.
All Other VA Program Recipients
- Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill®), Chapter 35 (Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program®), and Chapter 1606 (Montgomery G.I. Bill® – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR) recipients may receive allowances based on training time. Students can view the pay rate on the VA website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/benefits_resources/rate_tables.asp.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not send tuition and fees payments to college on behalf of these VA Educational Benefit programs. Therefore, students are responsible for adhering to the mandated semester payment deadlines each semester to make a payment. Unless they are utilizing financial aid to help cover the costs. We advise all students to review their eligibility information online on their TCL Self-Service account.
Types of Financial Aid Offered by the Institution
Students using veterans’ education benefits are encouraged to apply for financial aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa to be considered for federal, state, and institution grants and scholarships. TCL’s School Code is 009910. Students may request a Professional Judgement appeal if income is reduced due to COVID or circumstances beyond students’ control. All students should also check and review their financial aid information, including award eligibility on their Self-Service account. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 843-470-5961 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
Estimated Amount of Student Loan Debt Upon Completion of an Associate’s Degree or Certificate
We encourage students to borrow responsibly. This means only borrowing what you need to help cover your educational-related costs. If eligible, students may borrow between $5,500 to $ 10,500 per academic year (depending on their college grade level, the number of accumulated college credit hours, and their dependency status [as determined by the FAFSA]). Please visit our Office of Financial Aid’s Financial Aid Types webpage at https://www.tcl.edu/paying-for-tcl/financial-aid/types/ for more information. Students may also receive their most recent Federal Direct Loan information via the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) website at https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/nslds_FAP/.
Graduation & Retention Rates for the Technical College of the Lowcountry
Students can access the most up-to-date information about our graduation and retention rates via College Navigator – National Center for Education Statistics.
Previous Training (Prior Credits) Transcripts for VA-Eligible Students
All VA-eligible students must obtain official transcripts from all schools and colleges they have previously attended to verify previous training and prior credits. The student will receive VA benefits for only ONE term unless all transcripts are submitted to TCL’s Enrollment Services Office during the student’s first term at TCL.
Specific Academic Program Requirements or Required Licensure and Certification Requirements
Students can visit this page at https://www.tcl.edu/academics/pathways/ for information about specific program requirements and related licensure and certification information for our 60+ academic programs.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires colleges and universities participating in federal student financial aid programs to disclose information to current and prospective students and college employees. More information can be found on our website at https://www.tcl.edu/about-tcl/consumer-information/.
ADDITIONAL TCL VA-RELATED INFORMATION
Covered Individuals Policy
This policy complies with Title 38 United States Code Section 3679(e) School Compliance Form defines a Covered Individual as one who is entitled to educational assistance under Chapter 31 – Veterans’ Readiness and Employment Program® (formerly VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment), or Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits. Per this policy, TCL will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrows additional funds on any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet their financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under Chapter 31 & 33.
VA Residency Implementation (Effective August 1, 2022)
Any student who does not meet the residency requirements as a South Carolina or Chatham and Effingham Counties, Georgia resident may still be eligible to receive in-state tuition as a VA recipient. Under the expansion of the new Isakson & Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act (Section 1005) of 2020, our TCL Residency & Veterans Affairs Offices must confirm that you have applied and are eligible to receive either Chapter 30, 31, 33, and 35 benefits status to qualify for “in-state tuition,” regardless of your formal state of residence. All students must complete the Confirmation of Veterans Affairs for Eligible Recipients Form and a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility (or VR&E Authorization Form for Chapter 31 students)
- Eligible dependents must be eligible to use Chapter 33: Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® or Chapter 35: Survivors and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program® benefits and submit proof of their dependency status to the Veterans Enrollment Counselor or School Certifying Official.
VA Enrollment Certification Requirements
All VA-eligible students (except for Chapter 31 recipients) must submit a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. This letter is sent to your mailing address and indicates which benefits you qualify to receive. You must also complete the Veterans Certification Form and present a copy of your schedule to the School Certifying Official each semester. Failure to follow these steps may delay the enrollment certification, which delays payments from the Veteran Affairs Administration. Each student is responsible for notifying the TCL Office of Veterans Affairs of any changes in personal data, career goals, or changes in the class schedule. Admission requirements are the same as those for other students.
TCL’s VA Add/Drop Policy
As a VA recipient, all students must report any changes (drop or add classes) to your class schedule to the School Certifying Official at email@example.com for accuracy and prompt reporting.
Possible Mitigating Circumstances: Students who withdraw from classes may owe the college and VA a balance unless they have VA-approved mitigating (or unfortunate) circumstances that affected their course(s) progress. Primary examples of such circumstances include the following:
- An illness or injury afflicting the student during the enrollment period.
- An illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
- An inevitable change in the student’s conditions of employment.
- An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student’s employment.
- Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the claimant’s control that require them to suspend pursuit of the education program to obtain employment.
- Discontinuance of the course by the school.
- Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training.
- Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made for the period during which they attend classes.
- COVID-19 restraints
No Mitigating Circumstances: If a student does not have mitigating circumstances, please read below for more information on how withdrawals may affect continuing VA eligibility.
- Withdrawals During TCL’s Drop/Add Period: If a student withdraws during the school’s drop/add period (generally the first 30 days of a term) and dropping a class changes your training time, the VA will reduce your training time and make the pay adjustment effective on the date of your withdrawal. This may or may not result in an overpayment.
- Withdrawals After TCL’s Drop/Add Period: If you withdraw after the school’s drop/add period, the VA will reduce your training time on the beginning date of the term. This will usually result in an overpayment which can be pretty significant.
VA Six Credit Hour Exclusion: The first withdrawal (up to six credit hours) is excused per VA policy. The VA will adjust the student’s training time on the withdrawal date, not back to the start of the term. This can only be used once, and you can’t combine two 3-hour withdrawals to game the system. If you drop 3 hours and get the exclusion, it is gone forever.