11. Disbursements | KCTCS

11. Disbursements

The distribution of student refund checks is the responsibility of the KCTCS College Business Office. Refund checks are issued as a result of the transactions created by various units, e.g., business, registrar and student financial aid.

Except for the FWS Program, the disbursement requirements apply to all FSA programs. In paying student wages under the FWS Program, colleges must follow the disbursement procedures in 34 CFR 675.16. Institutions are required to follow the disbursement procedures provided in this section for paying a student FWS Program wages (and not the disbursement procedures in 34 CFR 668.164(a), (b), and (d) through (g), and 34 CFR 668.165). For making direct FWS payments to students, colleges must follow 34 CFR 668.164(c). Requirements for handling return of FWS funds that are not received or negotiated by a student are found in 34 CFR 668.164(h).

Before disbursing FSA funds, the college Financial Aid Director, or their designee, must first determine whether a student may receive the funds. The college must confirm that:

  • the intended recipient is an eligible student;
  • the student is enrolled for classes for the PAYMENT period;
  • for loans, the student is enrolled at least halftime; and
  • if the disbursement occurs on or after the first day of classes, the student has begun attendance.

KCTCS students are sent an email from the System Office when awards are packaged. The email refers them to their Student Self-Service where they can view and print the Financial Aid Notification (FAN) which details the types and amounts of financial aid the student is eligible to receive for the academic year.

KCTCS System Office Financial Aid is responsible for the annual updates of the FAN within PeopleSoft tables. The KCTCS System Office Financial Aid is also responsible for coordinating and establishing a list of disbursement schedules and dates; the setup, maintenance and distribution of college disbursement dates and schedules within PeopleSoft. KCTCS College Financial Aid Directors are responsible for publishing the disbursement schedules on their websites

The academic/financial aid year for all KCTCS college consists of two standard and one non-standard term. The three terms in an academic/financial aid year are fall (standard term) semester, spring (standard term) semester, and summer (non-standard) term.

Financial aid disbursements for all Title IV funds, except Direct Loan and Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds, will be made generally in one-time payment per semester. Direct loans may be made in two payments. FWS funds are disbursed to the student on the 15th and 30th of each month after an initial two-week arrearage period.

KCTCS financial aid students must select a refund preference before any refund due them can be processed. KCTCS students are offered 3 options to receive their financial aid refunds through the KCTCS Easy Refund Program (KERP). The KCTCS System & College Business Offices are responsible for administering this program. The KCTCS Easy Refund Program is a partnership with Higher One, a financial services and payment company focused on higher education, to offer KCTCS students faster delivery options for receiving refunds. Students will select their refund preference from one of the following three options:

  1. ACH transfer to a bank account of the KCTCS student’s choice (FAST) - (receivedapproximately within two days of being released by KCTCS)
  2. KCTCS Easy Refund to the OneAccount (FASTEST) An FDIC insured checking account offered by Higher One- (received the same day as being released by KCTCS)
  3. Paper check mailed to your address on file- (received within five to seven days of being released by KCTCS).

The Financial Aid Office (System/College) is not responsible for this program. See the KCTCS Business Office or visit www.kctcsdebitcard.com for more details. 

All KCTCS financial aid students may access an online Student Self-Service information system website and complete an electronic Financial Aid Release (FAR) form. All financial aid recipients must provide approval or denial on a FAR form before any financial aid will be disbursed. The completed FAR determines whether the student’s current year financial aid funds that are to be credited to their account can be applied toward current award year charges for tuition, fees, books, and other institutionally-provided educationally-related goods and services. The FAR is also available.

11.3.1 Disbursing FWS Funds to Pay Current Award Year Institutional Charges for Tuition, Fees, Contracted Room and Board, and Other Educationally-Related Goods and Services

KCTCS does not offer any group of students the services covered by the authorizations offered by this section.

11.3.2 Disbursing FWS Funds to Pay Prior Award Year Institutional Charges

KCTCS does not offer any group of students the services covered by the authorizations offered by this section.

11.3.3 Disbursing Title IV Funds (Other Than FWS) to Pay Current Year Educationally-Related Institutional Charges Other than Tuition, Fees, and Contracted Room and Board

Each college determines whether a financial aid recipient can use current year financial aid funds to credit the student’s account and can be applied toward current award year charges such as but not limited to books, library fine, or parking fees and other institutionally-provided educationally related goods and services.

11.3.4 Disbursing Title IV Funds (Other than FWS) to Pay Prior Award Year Educationally-Related Institutional Charges Other than Tuition, Fees, and Contracted Room and Board

In general, Federal Student Aid funds may only be used to pay for the student’s costs for the period for which the funds are provided. However, a school may use current-year funds to satisfy prior award year charges for tuition and fees, room, or board (and with permission, educationally related charges) for a total of not more than $200. A school may not pay prior year charges in excess of $200. Federal Student Aid funds may not be used to repay a student’s loan. Loan payments are not part of the cost of attendance for the period of enrollment.

The costs of education and other services a school provides a student are associated with the “year” for which the education and services are provided. A school has discretion over how it defines a “year.”

  • If a student’s aid package includes a Direct loan, the “year” is the loan period.In this scenario, costs for the current year are defined as charges for education and services the institution will provide during the current loan period for which the school certifies or originates a Direct loan. Current charges are charges assessed by the school for the current award year or the loan period for which the school originated a Direct Loan. (34 CFR 668.164, Vol. 3, 1-7-2013)
  • If the student does not have a Direct Loan, the “year” is the award year, and costs for the current year are defined as charges for education and services the school will provide during the current award year.

11.3.5 Holding Excess Title IV Funds (Credit Balances)

KCTCS will not hold excess Title IV funds (Credit Balances). KCTCS College Financial Aid Directors must disburse all FSA credit balance to a student within 14 days of the date the funds are applied to the student’s account.

KCTCS must notify all financial aid students of the amount of funds the student and/or his or her parents can expect to receive under each Title IV program, including the amount of FWS authorized to be earned, and how and when the funds will be disbursed. This notification is made through the Student Self-Service Center.

KCTCS must notify all financial aid borrowers of a Title IV Direct Loan’s anticipated disbursement date and amount, the right to cancel all or a portion of the loan, and the procedures and time frame for requesting cancellation if the school disburses the loan proceeds by crediting the student’s account. KCTCS will provide notifications of all the above either by mail, email, electronically via the Student Self Service Center, or a combination of one or more of these methods.

11.4.1 Amounts of Expected Title IV Funds and Disbursement Information

The total financial aid (federal and nonfederal) assistance offered to KCTCS student is sent to them via mail, email or by electronic Financial Aid Notification or Award Letter from KCTCS System Office Financial Aid (or their colleges in some cases) detailing the types and amounts of financial aid he/she is eligible to receive for the current Academic Year. The student’s signature may be required to accept the offered financial aid packaged amount.

11.4.2 Crediting Title IV Loan Proceeds and the Borrower’s Cancellation Right

KCTCS Financial Aid (System) will notify loan borrowers of their cancellation right before loan funds are disbursed. This is done through an automated batch process.

11.4.3 Crediting TEACH Grant Funds and the Student’s Cancellation Right

KCTCS does not offer any group of students the services covered by the authorizations offered by this section.

The responsibility for canceling/voiding of student refund checks is the responsibility of the KCTCS System and College Business Offices. See KCTCS Business Procedures Manual, Sections 7.1.4 (College Responsibilities – Undeliverable Student Refund Checks) and 7.1.5 (System Office Responsibilities – Undeliverable Student Refund Checks).

In general, KCTCS is not required to take attendance. However, faculty are responsible for reporting students who do not begin attending class during the first week of classes and, for online classes, students with whom they have had no academic contact during that period of time (merely logging in to the class does not constitute attendance or academic contact). These students are considered to be a “no-show” (non-attendance) and are designated as such in the PeopleSoft system by faculty.

As dictated by federal regulations, KCTCS may only use current year federal financial aid to pay prior award year expenses of not more than $200. Prior year is defined as any award year or loan period prior to the current one, as applicable. Below are examples for each scenario assuming the student owes a balance from fall and is enrolled spring.

  • For a student who only receives a Direct Loan, the current year is the current loan period.
    • If a student has a spring term only loan, the institution can pay no more than $200 towards the balance from the fall term even though it is considered the same academic year.
  • For a student who does not receive a Direct Loan, the current year is the current award year.
    • If a student does NOT have a Direct Loan but other Title IV aid (Pell, SEOG, etc.), the current year and current award year are the same and TIV aid can be used to satisfy any prior balance.
  • For a student who received a Direct Loan and any other Title IV assistance, the current year is either the current loan period or the current award year. KCTCS will use the more generous definition of current award year.
    • If a student does have a Direct Loan and other Title IV aid (Pell, SEOG, etc.), the current year and current award year are the same and TIV aid can be used to satisfy any prior balance.