Jul 10, 2020  
2015-2016 College Catalog 
    
2015-2016 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Information



Residency Requirements

Residency at Tri-County Technical College is an essential part of tuition assessment. Students are required to pay out-of-state tuition if they are not legal residents of the state of South Carolina. Initial determination of one’s resident status is made at the time of admission. The determination made at that time, and any determination made thereafter, prevails for each subsequent semester/term until information becomes available that would impact the existing residency status.

The burden of proof rests with the student to show evidence as deemed necessary to establish and maintain her/his residency status. Questions regarding residency should be directed to the Residency Officer, Pendleton Campus, Miller Hall, Room 190. Students who falsify residential information will be charged the appropriate tuition rate, plus interest at a rate of 8% per annum, and a penalty amounting to 25% of the out-of-state rate for one semester.

Note: Establishing residency at a university or college other than Tri-County Technical College does not guarantee the same residency classification at the College.

(Legal residence status is determined by regulations issued under S.C. Code of Laws, 1976, Titles 59-112-10 through 59-112-100.)

Out-of-State to In-State Requirements

In order for residency status to be evaluated before the tuition due date, the residency packet must be submitted to the Residency Officer (190 Miller Hall, Pendleton Campus) no later than the residency priority date (as indicated on the Enrollment and Academic Calendar). Residency packets will be considered after the priority deadline through the last day of add for Session A for the term in which the student is attempting to qualify for in-state tuition. However, the student must pay out-of-state tuition prior to the tuition due date. If in-state residency is then granted, the student will receive a refund of the tuition difference.

In addition to the residency application (available online at www.tctc.edu/x1101.xml), copies of the following documents must be included in the residency packet. NOTE: If applying as a dependent of a South Carolina resident, the following documents must also be submitted from the person claiming the student as a dependent.

  • Lease, rental agreement, or closing documents.
  • Most recently filed Federal and State income tax returns. If filing as independent and under age 24, most recently filed federal income tax return for parent or guardian is also required.
  • Documentation of all sources of income.
  • Valid South Carolina driver’s license, or if a non-driver, a South Carolina identification card.
  • Vehicle registration(s) of all vehicles owned.
  • Non-citizens of the United States must provide a copy of their Visa, Permanent Resident Card, or other applicable immigration document.


Students seeking an exception to the twelve month residency requirement must also submit one of the following:

  • Statement from employer for whom in-state determination is based (full-time employees only). Statement must 1) verify full time employment; 2) specify number of hours worked per week; 3) state original date of employment in South Carolina; and 4) specify length of term of employment; if indefinite, state so. Statement must be on company letterhead; if the company does not have letterhead then statement must be notarized.
  • Retired in South Carolina petitioners must provide documentation of retirement and receipt of retirement income at South Carolina address.
  • Military petitioners must provide a copy of their current active duty orders.

NOTE: Incomplete residency packets will not be considered. Additional documentation may be required at the discretion of the Residency Officer.

Out-of-County to In-County Requirements

To qualify for in-county tuition rates, the student must have been domiciled in Anderson, Oconee, or Pickens County continuously for at least twelve months immediately preceding the first day of class of the term for which resident classification is sought.

A completed Change Request: Student Address, Phone, or E-mail form (available online at www.tctc.edu/x2333.xml) and a copy of a valid lease, rental agreement, or closing documents must be submitted to Student Records (190 Miller Hall, Pendleton Campus) in order to be considered for in-county residency.

Residency changes will be processed through the last day of add for Session A for the term in which the student is attempting to qualify for in-county tuition.

Residency Appeals

Any person, following a decision on his or her resident classification, may appeal the decision to the Tri-County Technical College’s residency appeals committee. This committee, however, is bound by the same laws and regulations as the Residency Officer, so its purpose is only to review the facts and details of any case and to evaluate the correctness of the decision made by the College’s Residency Officer. Neither the committee nor the Residency Officer may waive the provisions of the law or regulations.

Persons wishing to appeal a residency decision must provide a letter to the College’s Residency Officer stating the intention to appeal the decision. The letter must also include a summary of the person’s situation and a statement which specifies the residency provision under which the person feels he or she qualifies to pay in-state (or in-county) fees. The Residency Officer will then schedule a meeting of the appeals committee to hear the appeal.

Tuition

Tuition is set on a sliding scale based upon the student’s legal residence as defined in the Code of Laws of South Carolina, guidelines established by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the Tri-County Technical College Commission.  Those students who live in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties pay the lowest fees because part of their tax dollars funds the College.  Other students from South Carolina pay a lower fee than out-of-state students because the College derives part of its support from state revenues.

All students, even those taking courses tuition-free, will be responsible for purchasing required textbooks and pay applicable materials and lab fees.

Tuition is subject to change without notice. Please check the College website for the most current tuition amounts by clicking the ‘Paying for College’ link on the home page, www.tctc.edu. As of the production of this Catalog, tuition rates per semester/term are as follows (includes the following mandatory fees):

Anderson/Oconee/Pickens Counties    $160.50 per credit hour
All Other SC Counties    $209.00 per credit hour
Out-of-State/Out-of-Country    $357.00 per credit hour

Technology Fee: $4 per credit hour

Student Activity Fee: $2 per credit hour

Senior Citizens

The College offers tuition-free courses, both credit and non-credit, on a space-available basis to senior citizens, 60 years of age or older. To be eligible for tuition-free courses, a student must be a legal resident of South Carolina and meet all admission requirements. The College may require proof that the student is eligible for tuition-waived status. Specific registration dates are published on the Enrollment and Academic Calendar found at www.tctc.edu/x1059.xml.

Community and personal interest courses through the Community and Corporate Education Division are not offered on a tuition-free basis.

Children of Veterans

Based on the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976 Title 59-111-20, the College offers “Free Credit Tuition for Certain War Veterans’ Children.” The Business Office must receive a letter from the state of South Carolina, Office of the Governor, Division of Veterans’ Affairs, before waiving tuition. Tuition waivers apply only to credit courses.

Children of Firemen, Law-Enforcement Officers, and Other Public Employees Totally Disabled or Killed in the Line of Duty

Based on the Code of Laws of South Carolina, Section 59-111, the College offers tuition-free courses to children of firemen, law-enforcement officers, organized rescue squad members, and other kinds of public employees who become totally disabled or are killed in the line of duty, paid for a period not exceeding four years, regardless of the number of state-supported colleges, universities, or state-supported vocational or technical schools the child attends.

Public and government employees referred to above are defined as:

  • Firemen, both regularly employed and members of volunteer organized units, organized rescue squad members, members of the Civil Air Patrol, law enforcement officers, or corrections officers, as defined herein, including reserve and auxiliary units of counties or municipalities who become totally disabled or killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 1964.
  • Government employees who become totally disabled or are killed in the line of duty while working on state time on or after July 1, 1996, as a result of a criminal act committed against them which constitutes a felony under the laws of this State.

The College requires proof that the person is eligible for tuition-waived status. Personal interest courses through the Corporate & Community Education Division are not offered on a tuition-free basis.  This article shall not apply to a child or children born after the first year of total disability as herein defined.

Application for the free tuition provided for shall be filed in the governing body of the institution and shall be accompanied by proof or evidence of death or total disability of the parent of the applicant and such proof or evidence that the injury or death occurred in the line of duty as considered necessary by such governing body, which shall have sole discretion in granting or not granting free tuition.

Textbooks

Students whose funding for tuition and fees is greater than their account balance, generating a credit balance, may have funds available to charge books at the TCTC Campus Store. Students can check account balances through eTC using the online bill/schedule.  Charges against student accounts are allowed only during a particular time period. Check the Campus Store website at www.ishoptctc.com for dates.

Students with credit balances, who prefer to purchase books off campus, may stop by the Business Office to request a book check.  Students may use their active Higher One account to receive the funds. Generally requests must be made at least 10 days before the Campus Store charging period begins.  A detailed cost sheet from the merchant is required before funds will be processed. See the section on refunds for more information.

Special Fees

Fees are subject to change without notice.  Please see College website for the most current rates.  As of the production of this Catalog, current fees include:

  • Application Fee: $30
  • Enrollment Fee: $45 (for first-time students or returning students)
  • Course Materials Fee: $10-$75 (when applicable)
  • Exemption Fee: per course $75
  • Credential Order Fee: $35
  • Credential Reorder Fee: $35
  • Identification Card Replacement: $5
  • Registration Fee: $40 (when applicable)
  • Placement Retesting Fee: $10
  • Stop Payment/Reissue Check Fee: $30
  • Student Activity Fee: $2 per registered credit hour 
  • Packet Fee: $12 (when applicable)
  • Technology Fee: $4 per registered credit hour 
  • Transcript Fee: $7 per copy
  • Uniform, Equipment, and Insurance Fees (required for students enrolled in Dental Assisting, Medical Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Practical Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Veterinary Technology)
  • Equipment and Supply Fees (required for certain other majors, such as the Early Childhood Development)
  • Criminal Record Checks, Agency Orientation, and Drug Screens (required for Health Education programs)
  • Criminal Record Checks (required for the Early Childhood Development)

Surcharge for In-County Residents

A portion of the College’s operating budget is funded by each of the three counties in our service area (Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens). A surcharge may be assessed on residents of a county if that county does not meet its obligation for funding support of the College.  The surcharge is subject to change without notice and may be assessed before the start of any semester.  The surcharge will be assessed on every registered credit hour for the applicable term.  The surcharge applies to all courses except those offered through Corporate & Community Education.  

Payment of Tuition and Fees

Paying Tuition

Students may pay tuition and fees by cash, check or credit/debit card. The College accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.  Payments are accepted online, in person, by U.S. mail, or by phone.

  • The easiest and most convenient way to pay is online through eTC portal accounts using checks, credit cards, or debit cards. There is no fee for this service.
  • Students paying in person should go to the Pendleton Campus Business Office in Miller Hall, the Anderson Campus Business Office, or the Easley Campus Business Office.
  • Students can pay by mail by sending checks to Tri-County Technical College, Attention: Business Office, P.O. Box 587, Pendleton, SC, 29670.
  • Students paying by phone can call in American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa numbers to 864-646-1802 or toll-free (within the 864 area code) 1-866-269-5677, ext. 1802. Payments may also be made by calling the Anderson Campus Business Office at 864-260-6701 or the Easley Campus Business Office at 864-220-8895.
  • Credit students may also enroll in a payment plan during specified periods of enrollment. This is an interest-free monthly payment plan that drafts payments directly from debit/credit card accounts. There is a $25 nonrefundable fee to participate each semester. Students must enroll in a payment plan each semester as it does not roll from term to term. For information on the payment plan, students may access their eTC portal account or contact the Business Office at 864-646-1802 (Pendleton), at 864-260-6701 (Anderson), or at 864-220-8895 (Easley).

Dishonored (Returned) Checks

A dishonored check is one that is returned to the College as unpaid.  These checks include stop payments, insufficient funds, refer to maker, account closed and any other reason for unpaid funds. A $30 fee will be assessed for each dishonored check.  Checking account holders will be notified via certified mail to contact the Business Office within 10 days before the item is turned over for prosecution.  If restitution is not made, the returned item will be forwarded to the local solicitor’s office for collection.  At that time, the College cannot accept payment from the student.  The solicitor’s office will be responsible for collecting payment.  Once warrants are issued they cannot be withdrawn by the College.  Students will not be allowed to register or receive transcripts until the dishonored check is paid in full.

Sponsorships

A sponsorship is defined as a program provided by an employer or other organization that pays Tri-County Technical College directly for a portion or all tuition, fees and/or books. Proper documentation must be submitted to the Business Office at least five business days before the tuition deadline for each semester/term to ensure payment arrangements are made and course schedules remain intact.

Debts Owed to the College

  • Students who owe the College for tuition, books, parking tickets, or library fines will not receive grades until their bills have been paid; these debts could be from any time enrolled in the College.
  • Students who owe the College $50 or more will not be allowed to register for subsequent terms until their bills have been paid.
  • Students who owe the College less than $50 will be allowed to register but must pay bills in full by the posted payment deadlines or risk being dropped from all classes, which will require re-registering.
  • Students will not be permitted to graduate or receive transcripts until all prior debts to the College are paid in full.

Account Balances and Collection

The Business Office staff strive to accurately bill and collect revenue generated by student tuition and fees, outside entities and related parties, to support the College by delivering excellent customer service and to constantly evaluate and improve processes and procedures to improve efficiency of operations and to assure fair and honest treatment to customers.

The Business Office is responsible to collect outstanding balances from self-pay, financial aid, or other sources. Billed charges include tuition, lab and technology fees, and certain miscellaneous charges including book charges, penalties and fines.

The Business Office staff will send statements to students’ active e-mail and mailing address with the College. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the address is correct on their student account. If a student is not enrolled in an active payment plan for the term and is not current with installments, then the account is considered past due. Balances are due immediately.  

When the account is 30 days without payment after the end of a term, the account will be moved to collections status. Once in collections, the current balance may not be seen online and students will need to contact the Business Office to make full payment. The college may add any and all collection cost to student accounts. Account balances that remain in collection status will be submitted to a collection agency and/or the South Carolina Department of Revenue. South Carolina Department of Revenue will withhold the amount due to Tri-County Technical College, plus a $25.00 administrative fee from tax refunds. If the refundable amount is not sufficient to cover the entire balance owed to the College, South Carolina Department of Revenue may also garnish wages. The Business Office will submit the account balance each year thereafter until the full balance is satisfied.

Refunds

It is the responsibility of the student to initiate all action for a schedule change in order to receive a refund, except in the case of cancelled courses. See Enrollment and Academic calendar for refund deadlines at www.tctc.edu/x1059.xml.

Refunds are processed throughout the semester.  Parts of term vary in length from the semester term and will be in proportion to the semester term refund schedule.  Specific dates for each term are listed in the Class Schedule and on the Tri-County Technical College website.

Refunds due to a student will be calculated and mailed to the student’s last known address or to the agency paying the fees within approximately six weeks from the beginning of the semester.  Thereafter, refunds are processed weekly.

Refunds will be processed using Higher One. Higher One provides refund options that include direct deposit to a personal bank account, a ‘One Card’ known as the TCTCAccessCard, or by paper check.  The One Card option credits the funds to a prepaid card provided by Higher One. More information on Higher One and the new refund process may be reviewed at www.TCTCAccessCard.com.

Cancelled Courses

When a course cancellation reduces a student’s course load, the student (or sponsor) will receive a 100% refund (including associated courses fees).  No action is required by the student to initiate the refund. Students receiving financial aid must contact the Financial Aid Office to have their financial aid award adjusted.

Dropped Courses or Reduction of Credit Hours

Refunds will be computed based upon the actual number of reduced credit hours. 

Terms of varying lengths will have refund periods that correspond to the drop periods. If the drop period is equivalent to less than one instructional day, no refund will be granted. The specific drop periods for each term are noted on the Enrollment and Academic Calendar available at www.tctc.edu/x1059.xml.

  • The refund schedule is as follows:
    • Before or during the drop period: 100%
    • After the drop period: 0% 
  • To be eligible for a refund, students must initiate the drop action by dropping the course(s) via their eTC account. The request must be made during the refund period. The refund request will be processed within 30 days.
  • Students who never attend a class during the drop period will be administratively dropped.
  • Recipients of Title IV Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant) who withdraw from all classes prior to completing 60% of the term will have tuition and fee charges refunded to the government in accordance with the statutory repayment policy. In certain instances, this repayment may result in a debt to the College and/or the government that the student must repay. Copies of this regulation and related examples are available in the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid

The primary purpose of financial aid is to help students in need of financial assistance to attend college. Students should apply for financial aid early since priority dates are established for several types of aid. Priority dates are included on the Enrollment and Academic Calendar.

Financial Aid Policies

  • A student’s financial need is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the total cost of attending the College. The financial aid awarded to a student is not to exceed the total cost of attendance and is to be used for legitimate educational purposes.
  • Students who receive financial aid must reapply each year. Students receiving financial aid who withdraw from any classes for the term must notify the Financial Aid Office as this could affect eligibility for continued assistance.
  • The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to review and cancel aid awards at any time because of changes in a student’s financial, academic or enrollment status. If the student fails to perform Federal Work-Study (FWS) duties satisfactorily, FWS award may also be removed.
  • Students receiving financial assistance through any of the Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • For the fall semester, students are encouraged to apply by April 1 to be considered for all Federal or State student financial assistance.

Types of Financial Aid

Pell Grant

Undergraduate students who have not received a bachelor’s or professional degree may be considered for the Federal Pell Grant program. The amount of the grant received depends on the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the U.S. Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the student’s enrollment status. A FAFSA must be completed for each new academic year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are available to students who have not completed a bachelor’s or professional degree. FSEOG is awarded to exceptionally needy students. Priority is given to Pell Grant eligible students with the lowest EFCs. There is no guarantee that every eligible student will be able to receive an FSEOG award. Funding for this program is limited.

Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarship (LIFE)

All students are encouraged to apply for aid through the FAFSA. However,  Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence Scholarships (LIFE) do not require an application for financial aid. Eligibility is determined once the final, official high school transcript is received by the TCTC Admissions Office. The LIFE Scholarship is an academic scholarship funded by the State of South Carolina. It is awarded to legal residents of South Carolina who graduated from a South Carolina high school, or an approved home-school program, or who were dependents of active-duty military stationed outside of SC when they graduated from high school.  LIFE Scholarship cannot be awarded to any student who has been convicted of a felony or alcohol/drug related offense. A LIFE Scholarship cannot be awarded to any student who owes a repayment to a federal or state grant program or is in default on a federal student loan. LIFE Scholarships are awarded to entering freshmen who earned a minimum 3.0 SC Uniform GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in high school. LIFE is disbursed to students who enroll in a minimum of 12 non-remedial credit hours per semester and are seeking a degree, diploma or certificate that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV regulations. Course numbers of 100 or below, as well as English 150 and Math 150 are considered remedial coursework and are not counted in the LIFE enrollment status for eligibility.

Transfer students must self-identify by contacting the Financial Aid Office regarding what documents are required to confirm continuing LIFE eligibility. Transfer students must have earned at least 15 credit hours for every semester elapsed since the initial enrollment in a post-secondary institution. Thirty non-remedial credit hours for the academic year must be successfully completed, and a cumulative, collegiate GPA of 3.0 must be maintained to remain eligible for the LIFE Scholarship.

Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA)

Students intending to access Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) funds must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). South Carolina students who qualify for in-state tuition rates at a technical or public two-year institution may be eligible to receive LTA if the tuition and fees are not covered by Federal or other State gift aid. LTA will not pay for any expenses other than tuition and will not generate a credit balance on an account. LTA by itself will never pay the entire cost of tuition. Students must be South Carolina residents and must enroll in at least 6 credit hours each term in an eligible program. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA after attempting 24 semester hours in order to continue to receive LTA. Additional information on the SC Education Lottery Act is provided on the SC Technical College System website or upon request from the Financial Aid Office.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides on-campus and off-campus part-time employment opportunities for students. The program is designed to assist students in offsetting the cost of educational expenses while earning on-the-job training. Students participating in the FWS Program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A student must meet all the general eligibility requirements for Title IV Financial Aid Programs.  This must be re-established each academic year.
  • A student must demonstrate a financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
  • A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours.
  • A student must be meeting all Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.  See section titled “Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid” for additional information.

Awarding of FWS funds is contingent upon the time of application, level of financial need, and availability of funds.  Students participating in the program are governed by weekly hour restrictions and are paid an hourly rate on a monthly basis.  Additional information is available from the Financial Aid Office.

SC Need-Based Grant

The South Carolina Need-Based Grant is available to a limited number of students with financial need determined by the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on financial information provided on the FAFSA.  Students must be South Carolina residents to qualify.  The number of grants at TCTC is limited by the amount of funds allotted to the College each year.

Federal Student Loans

Stafford Loan (Subsidized): A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. If a student is eligible for a subsidized loan, the government will pay (subsidize) the interest on the loan until repayment begins.

Subsidized amounts are as follows:

  • $3,500 per academic year for a freshman or
  • $4,500 per academic year for a sophomore

Students may receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period as long as annual loan limits do not exceed the subsidized amounts listed above. Dependent students are eligible for additional unsubsidized loans up to $2,000. Independent students are eligible for additional unsubsidized loans up to $6,000.

Stafford Loan (Unsubsidized): Unlike a subsidized loan, students are responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized. Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount to repay.

Repayment of Stafford Loans

After graduating, leaving school, or dropping below half-time enrollment, students will have a six-month “grace period” before beginning repayment. During this period, students receive repayment information from their loan servicer and the first payment due date. Students are responsible for beginning repayment on time, even if they don’t receive this information. Payments are usually due monthly.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Study (PLUS)

Parents can obtain a PLUS Loan to help pay a dependent undergraduate student’s education expenses if the student is enrolled at least half time in an eligible program. Parents must have an acceptable credit history.

The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. If the cost of attendance is $6,000, for example, and the student receives $4,000 in other financial aid, parents can borrow up to $2,000.

Alternative Loans

Alternative loan programs are also available for those who qualify. Additional information is available from the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid during Summer Term

Summer financial aid is available to those who qualify and is awarded separately from fall and spring semesters. Summer funding is limited; not all funds are available. Awards will not be offered until the student has registered for the summer term.

TCTC Foundation Scholarships

Tri-County Technical College Foundation scholarships are awarded each year to both new and continuing students. The criteria for scholarships vary, but include academic achievement, community participation, and financial need. Online application and important dates are available under the Scholarship section on the College website.

Veterans Educational Benefits

The College is approved for veterans’ educational benefits by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, State Approving Agency (SAA) for training veterans and dependents. TCTC participates under Title 38 of the U.S. Code in these programs: Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill; Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty; Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation; Chapter 32 VEAP; and Chapter 35 Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) and under Title 10 of the U.S. Code are Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill- Selected Reserve and Chapter 1607 REAP.  For further details and current payment rates regarding these education benefit chapters, please refer to the GI Bill website at www.gibill.va.gov.

Veterans, dependents, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible to receive benefits while pursuing an approved program of education or training. For this section, the term “veteran” can refer to a veteran as well as an eligible dependent or an eligible member of the National Guard or Reserve.

To receive benefits, the veteran must first be admitted into a program of study at the College. The veteran should then report to the Veterans Coordinator in the Financial Aid Office on the Pendleton Campus with a copy of his/her DD214 (if application is based on active duty service) or Notice of Basic Eligibility (if application is based on current Reserve or National Guard service). Children, spouses, and widows will need specific information on the qualifying veteran and should contact the Veterans Coordinator to determine exactly what is needed.

Veterans also must furnish the Admissions Office with official transcripts from high school and all colleges attended. An evaluation of all college transcripts must be completed by the end of the second term in a new program of study. This evaluation is necessary to determine what credits will count toward graduation in the veteran’s program of study. Enrollment may not be certified beyond the second term until this is accomplished. The veteran is responsible for making sure the transcript evaluation has been completed.

 CHANGE OF PROGRAM OF STUDY

To change a program of study (major), the same admission and evaluation process must be followed, and a “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training” Form (22-1995, or 22-5495 if an eligible dependent) must be completed with the Veterans Coordinator or online at www.gibill.va.gov. A “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training” form is needed for a veteran student transferring to Tri-County Technical College who has used benefits elsewhere. The student should complete the form and submit to the Veterans Coordinator to retain in the VA student’s record.

CERTIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT

Certification of enrollment to Veterans Affairs (VA) is at the request of the veteran. The veteran must complete the “Request for Certification of Enrollment” form, located in the Financial Aid tab under Forms on the College website. The Veterans Coordinator must review the classes selected at registration each term. The law provides that no payment will be made to an eligible veteran for auditing a course or for taking a course in which the grade assigned is not used in computing graduation requirements. This means that a veteran may not be certified for any course not listed in his/her curriculum as a graduation requirement. If there are electives listed as part of the curriculum, the total number of elective hours designated by the program should not be exceeded. Only electives listed as approved electives or electives approved in writing by his/her department head should be taken.

VETERANS CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT STATUS

All recipients of VA Educational Benefits must immediately notify the Veterans Coordinator of any change that may affect their pay status. Such changes include change of program, change of schedule (dropping/adding classes), and change of address.

GRADING

The following rules apply to students receiving VA Educational Benefits:

  • Non-Punitive Grade: A non-punitive grade is a grade that does not count as earned credit and is not considered in progress standards for graduation. A withdrawal after the drop period is non-punitive if it is not calculated into the student’s GPA, or it is not considered in academic progress criteria. Payment is not allowed for a course in which this grade is awarded. Students receiving a “W” should consult with the Veterans Coordinator if there are any mitigating circumstances.
  • Grade of “I”: For evaluation of VA Satisfactory Progress, the grade of “I” (incomplete) will be computed as an “F” when calculating the program GPA. Once the permanent grade is assigned, the student should contact the Veterans Coordinator to review his/her status. Enrollment cannot be certified to VA for a course with a current “I” grade.
  • Grade of “AU”: This is a grade that indicates audit of a course. Enrollment cannot be certified to VA for any course with a grade of “AU.”

CONDITIONS FOR INTERRUPTION OF VETERANS FINANCIAL BENEFITS DUE TO UNSATISFACTORY PROGRESS:

Traditional College Programs (IHL)

  • Each veteran certified for benefits will have an evaluation of his/her academic progress at the end of each term. This will be determined according to the College’s Determination of Academic Progress as defined in this Catalog under Academic Information.
  • If the student is placed on Academic Probation, this status will be reported to VA in a report at the end of each term as required by federal regulations. Students on Academic Probation are eligible to receive educational benefits unless otherwise notified by the VA.
  • If a student previously on probation returns to Academic Good Standing, the student is eligible for certification.
  • If a student previously on probation is changed to Academic Suspension, the student is no longer eligible for certification at this institution. Any certification for the upcoming semester will be terminated with a reason of “Unsatisfactory Conduct or Progress” in accordance with federal regulations.

CERTIFICATION FOR ONLINE COURSES

In order to meet VA certification requirements for off-campus courses, such as courses offered via the Internet or other modes of distance learning, the College acknowledges that these courses are part of the College’s approved curriculum, are directly supervised by the College, are measured in the same unit as other courses, are required for graduation, and are part of a program of study approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (state approving agency). The College requires that the faculty teaching these courses use a grading system similar to the grading system used in resident courses and include statements in the course syllabus that indicate that appropriate assignments are needed for the completion of the course and that the student is expected to demonstrate, at least once a week, that he/she is actively involved in the class. Examples of activities that can be used to demonstrate this involvement include, but are not limited to, the following: posting/receiving e-mails, participating in online class discussions and class chat rooms, and completing and submitting course assignments. Further, the College requires that these courses have schedules of time for training and instruction which demonstrate that students shall spend at least as much time in preparation, instruction, and training as is normally required by the College for its resident courses.

VERIFICATION OF ENROLLMENT

Students who are receiving benefits under the following VA educational programs must verify their monthly enrollment at the end of each month.

Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill for active duty service)
Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill for selected reserve)
Chapter 1607 (selected reserve called to active duty in response to war or national emergency)
Chapter 35 (GI Bill for eligible dependents non-degree programs only)

Verification of enrollment can be completed either by phone at 877-823-2378 or on the Internet at www.gibill.va.gov (follow the link for WAVE - Web Automated Verification of Enrollment).

DIRECT DEPOSIT FOR EDUCATION PAYMENTS

Veterans receiving benefits by direct deposit can initiate or make changes to their direct deposit by calling 877-838-2778.

Direct Deposit of education benefits is now available for Chapter 35 (Dependents Educational Assistance, DEA) recipients. Students can sign up to have benefits delivered via direct deposit by calling the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551. Students will need to know the type of account (checking or savings) they want their direct deposit sent to, their routing number, and their account number.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Federal and Other Student Aid Programs

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Students receiving Federal Financial Aid must be making satisfactory academic progress towards a degree, diploma, or certificate.  Students receiving financial aid through state programs will, at a minimum, meet the same standards when specific criteria are not prescribed.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a federal government requirement and is measured by a number of factors, including the following:

Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

  • A student must maintain an institutional grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (C) or better to remain eligible for Federal Financial Aid.
  • At the end of the first term that a student’s institutional GPA is less than 2.00, the student will be placed on Federal Financial Aid Warning for one term. A student may still receive Federal Financial Aid during the warning term.
  • If a student decides to appeal, he/she is required to meet with his/her academic advisor during the warning term to complete an Academic Improvement Plan in Degree Works.
  • If the institutional GPA falls below a 2.00 (C) during the warning term, the student will be placed on Federal Financial Aid Suspension.  A student will not receive Federal Financial Aid while on suspension.
     

Cumulative Credit Hours (Quantitative Measure)

  • A student must successfully complete 67% of all attempted hours, including developmental and transfer credits.
  • Students who do not complete at least 67% of all attempted hours will be placed on Federal Financial Aid Warning for one term. A student may still receive Federal Financial Aid during the warning term.
  • If a student decides to appeal, he/she is required to meet with his/her academic advisor during the warning term to complete an Academic Improvement Plan in Degree Works.
  • If the student fails to complete 67% of all attempted hours thereafter, he/she will be placed on Federal Financial Aid Suspension.
  • Attempted hours are not considered passed if a student receives a W, I, WF, or an F. These grades factor into the 67% completion requirement.
     

Maximum Timeframe (Quantitative Measure)

  • A student may only receive Federal Financial Aid for a limited number of credit hours. Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid is terminated after a student has attempted 150% of the hours required for his/her program of study.
  • The attempted hours include all coursework including developmental and transfer credits accepted by the College.
  • Any accepted transfer credits will be considered toward the 150% limit.
  • There is a possibility that a student may be ineligible for aid, based on academic progress and performance, before the student applies. The College considers a student’s complete enrollment history when establishing eligibility, including dual enrollment and transfer hour credit.
  • If a student decides to appeal, he/she is required to meet with his/her academic advisor during the warning term to complete an Academic Graduation Plan in Degree Works.
     

Exceptions/Appeal/Reinstatement

Exceptions to this policy will be reviewed based on an appeals process. The appeals process is under the umbrella of professional judgment. Students with documented appeals may be given exceptions on a case-by-case basis. An appeal with all necessary components must be submitted and approved for reinstatement of federal financial aid.

  • Students are limited to two financial aid SAP appeals.
  • A student on Federal Financial Aid suspension may appeal by: 
    • Completing a Financial Aid Appeal Form (available on the college’s website under Financial Aid Forms), indicating unforeseen circumstances that were beyond the student’s control and provide an explanation of why he/she did not meet the SAP standards.
    • Completing an Academic Improvement Plan or an Academic Graduation Plan.
    • Providing official documentation of the extenuating circumstances mentioned in the appeal response.
  • Acceptable reasons for an appeal include circumstances the student could not have foreseen at the beginning of the term and which are completely beyond his/her control.  Examples of such circumstances may include:
    • ​Personal/Family Illness
    • Family Situations
    • Death of a Loved One/Family Member
    • Other: Contact the Financial Aid Office for clarity
  • Incomplete appeals will not be accepted and could result in an automatic denial.
  • The appeals deadline will be posted prior to the beginning of each term. A notification of suspension will be sent to students via eTC e-mail.
  • Appeals must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than the published deadline for the term in which the student is requesting aid. Late appeals will not be accepted.
  • Appeals are reviewed by the SAP Coordinator and/or the Director of Financial Aid to determine whether to grant the appeal. If necessary, the appeal will be forwarded to the SAP Appeal Committee.
  • Appeal decisions will be made prior to the start of classes, and students will be notified via eTC e-mail.
  • Students may have their Federal Financial Aid reinstated with the approval of an appeal. Students reinstated by appeal approval will have to adhere to specific terms and conditions, outlined with the notification of approval.
  • All appeal decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Students whose appeals are denied must regain eligibility prior to receiving additional Federal Financial Aid.
     

Summary

  • It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her Satisfactory Academic Progress status. This can be done using eTC. The status is updated at the end of each term once grades are finalized by the Student Records Office.
  • At the end of each term, the Financial Aid Office will review the GPA, completion rate, and maximum timeframe for every student enrolled.  Students on warning or suspension will be notified via eTC e-mail; Students who are suspended will also be notified via the U.S. Postal Service.  Students should check their status regularly as appeal times may be limited due to the start date of the upcoming term.
  • Students on suspension will be ineligible for all Federal Financial Aid, including Federal Stafford Loans. State financial aid may also be affected.
     

Withdrawing from a Semester

Students who receive financial aid and withdraw, officially or unofficially, regardless of circumstances, may fall under the “Return of Title IV Funds Policy,” depending on their last date of attendance.  See section titled “Earned Aid Policy” for additional information.

Earned Aid Policy

The Federal Title IV Earned Aid Policy is based on the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998 and states that students must remain enrolled in college in order to earn his/her federal financial aid awarded for that specific term. Completely withdrawing from college can negatively impact federal financial aid eligibility and can cause a student to owe funds back to those federal programs and/or the college. Students must complete at least 60% of the term to earn full federal financial aid for that term. There are several ways that federal financial aid eligibility can be affected by a withdrawal:

  • Students may have to repay some of the Federal Financial Aid funds received for that term. These programs include the Federal Pell Grant, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Stafford Loans. This may cause balances owed by the student to the College and/or the Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office will perform the Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation to determine if repayment is required. The R2T4 calculation cannot be performed during the withdrawal process due to the necessity of data collection from other departments. Students will be informed by mail approximately three weeks from the date of the complete withdrawal. Students must have a valid permanent address on file with the Student Records Office. If a student owes a repayment to the college, transcripts will not be released until that repayment has been made.  If the student owes a repayment to the Department of Education, he/she cannot receive Federal Financial Aid funds at any college until that repayment has been made.
  • Students could lose eligibility for future Federal Financial Aid. Students are required to make Satisfactory Academic Progress to continue receiving Federal Financial Aid. While withdrawals may not affect a student’s GPA, they can impact a student’s completion rate. See section titled “Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid” for additional information.
  • Before withdrawing, students should contact the Financial Aid Office (Pendleton Campus, Miller Hall, Room 150) to learn about options and how withdrawing may affect their Federal Financial Aid.