Financial aid helps students and their families pay for college. This financial assistance covers various educational expenses that my include tuition and fees, books and supplies, and transportation.
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How Financial Need is Determined
The amount of financial assistance students receive is determined by the federal government and eligibility factors that could include:
- Prior year’s adjusted gross income
- Family size
- Untaxed income
- Number of dependents
- Number of family members attending college
- Other factors as determined by the US Department of Education
The federal government establishes the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the TCL financial aid office compares it with the educational need of the student, determining the final types of eligible awards and appropriate aid amount. Financial need is determined by comparing the cost of attending college (including tuition, books, living expenses, transportation, personal expenses and child care) to the student’s available resources, such as money the student expects to contribute towards his/her education from wages, savings, other income, and parent’s contributions if the student is dependent upon the parent for support. The EFC is the amount of money the government expects the student and the student’s family to contribute toward the cost of education. The EFC is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education based on the information reported on the FAFSA.
Courses in Your Program
Financial aid will ONLY pay for the cost of courses within your current program of study. If a course is not listed in your program of study, you will be responsible to pay for the course out of pocket.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
TCL wants you to succeed as a student. To attend and complete college many students use one or more types of financial aid. To be eligible for financial aid assistance at TCL you must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward your program of study. SAP is calculated at the end of each semester. It is important that students receiving financial aid understand that they must meet ALL of the below MINIMUM standards in order to receive their financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office for full details.
To maintain a good SAP standing, students must:
- Maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average (GPA).
- Complete 67% of your credit hours attempted.
- Complete your degree within 150% time frame (i.e. an associate degree of 60 credit hours must be completed within 90 credit hours).
Once you reach or exceed the 150%, you may no longer receive federal financial aid at TCL. This includes Pell, Loans, VA Benefits and other federal grants and Title IV funds.
Return to Title IV Funds
Withdrawing or stopping attendance may result in financial aid debt for a student and may also make the student ineligible to future financial aid, including loans and work study. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor to assist with decisions about withdrawing.
Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. It is the policy of TCL to determine the amount of earned and unearned portions of Title IV aid as of the date the student ceases attendance. During the first 60 percent of the enrollment period, a student earns Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60 percent point earns all of his or her aid for the period.
The Return of Title IV funds provisions apply to:
- Students eligible for Title IV aid as established by the student’s FAFSA data and
- Student who have officially begun attendance in a Title IV eligible course and the student either
- Officially withdrew
- Ceased attendance
- If the student has not actually begun attendance in a Title IV eligible course the student has not earned any assistance and all Title IV aid must be returned.
Refunds and repayments will be distributed to the appropriate Title IV, HEA programs in the following order:
- Direct/Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Direct/Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Direct/Federal Plus Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG Grant
- Other Title IV assistance
Determination of the Withdrawal Date:
The withdrawal date is the date the student is officially withdrawn from all credit courses, which may be different than the last date of attendance. There are two types of withdrawals; a) course withdrawal due to excessive absences initiated by the instructor and b) course withdrawal initiated by the student. TCL uses the last date of attendance to calculate the “earned” and “unearned” portion for the Title IV refund. If the last date of attendance cannot be determined then the TCL uses the mid-point of the period.
For students who have all grades of F or combination of grades of F, WF, I and W, TCL, as per federal regulations, will assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn; and a Return of Title IV funds will be calculated. If it can be determined that the F’s were earned then the student will not have totally withdrawn.
- Providing each student access to TCL’s Return of Title IV Refund policy
- Identifying students affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation owed to the college as a result of a return of funds
- Returning any unearned Title IV aid that is due to the Title IV programs and, if applicable, notification of the withdrawal date for federal loan funds
- Notifying student and/or Plus borrower of eligibility for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement.
- Become familiar with the Return of Title IV funds policy and how withdrawing from all his/her courses effects eligibility for current and future Title IV aid
- Resolving any outstanding balance owed to TCL resulting from a required return of unearned Title IV aid
The refund requirements for Title IV funds when you withdraw are separate from TCL’s Tuition and Fee Refund Policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. TCL will charge you for any Title IV funds that the college was required to return that did not qualify under TCL’s refund policy.
About Financial Aid Awards
Your financial assistance awards are used to pay student account balances. Any remaining awards will be disbursed according to a schedule provided by the TCL Business Office. Students are responsible for payment of funds owed to TCL if financial assistance funds are not received as anticipated. Students receiving financial assistance are subject to TCL’s registration, refund and credit terms. Refund of tuition, fees or other items purchased with a credit card will be processed as a credit to the cardholder’s account.
Financial Aid Procedures
- Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Federal Pell Grant Program
- Federal Work Study Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Refund and Repayment to Title IV Fed Financial Aid Programs
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
- Verification Process for Title IV Programs
- Veterans’ Education Benefits Program
- Lottery Tuition Assistance Administration
- Repeated Course Financial Aid
To help ease the financial burden for South Carolina college students and their families, the South Carolina General Assembly has created an income tax credit for tuition paid to South Carolina colleges and universities. To claim the credit, a Form SC 1040 must be filed. When preparing the South Carolina income tax return, Form I-319 Tuition Tax Credit must be completed. This form is included with all state individual income tax booklets. For more information about the tax credit, please visit the South Carolina Tuition Tax Credit website.