Topic Number2.4.10Effective Date

August, 2011 (rev)

January 18, 2017 (rev)

November 1, 2017 (rev)

ProcedureWWRC Education and Training Refund Policy Implementation Standards, Expectations, and Protocols
Purpose
  • To establish procedural guidelines for timely and responsive processing of refunds for payment of tuition, fees, and other institutional charges related to education and training services when applicable, in compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements. 
Accountability IndicatorsWWRC maintains compliance with Federal and Agency regulatory requirements regarding the processing of refunds for payment of tuition, fees, and other institutional charges related to education and training services, as documented through routine federal and state compliance reviews and/or audits.
Policy Reference

 

Detailed Governance ReferenceN/A
Executive Staff Contact

Pat Lancey, WWRC Fiscal Director/Purchasing Manager

Mike Kelley, Dean of Students and Director Residential Services/Rehabilitation Counseling Divisions

James Hall, Division Director, Career and Workforce Development

 

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Governance Procedure

 

It is the policy of the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) to bill identified funding sources after provision of designated units of service to consumers.  Therefore, refund processing of tuition, fees, and other related institutional charges for education and training services would be highly unusual.   However, rare exceptions may apply and this governance procedure defines applicable standards, expectations and business processes for such circumstances.

 

This governance procedure also applies to the return of state and federal financial assistance that may be required based on an adjustment in tuition, fees, or related institutional charges related to student withdrawal from an approved training program or a change in training program status after payment has been made. 

 

Standards, Expectations and Protocols

 

Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility for otherwise approved state and federal financial aid, including HEA Title IV PELL Grant funds and Veterans Education, Training, and Employment funds administered by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS).   Contact the Vocational Training Administration Office for a copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. 

Refunds are processed in accordance with established Commonwealth of Virginia policies and procedures and applicable state and federal laws/regulation.   Since WWRC's Training Programs operate on a year-round, continuous, open enrollment basis, there is no specific add/drop period.  

The total amount charged for tuition, fees and related institutional charges for education and training services will not exceed the verified number of clock hours required for completion of the training program.   If a student withdraws or does not complete a training program due to unsatisfactory progress or early program termination for another reason, charges will only apply for the length of the completed portion on a pro rata basis.   Refunds for withdrawal or termination from a WWRC training program due to unsatisfactory progress will be prorated based on the official date of withdrawal/termination and the total number of hours enrolled on that date. 

The following procedures apply for documentation of the official date of withdrawal or early termination and the total number of hours enrolled, including documentation and impact of a student leave of absence:

  • Procedures to Document Official or Unofficial Withdrawal from a WWRC Training Program There are several reasons why a student may officially withdraw from a WWRC training program, ranging from self-termination to early discharge from the campus due to a behavioral issue to the determination that the training program is not a "good fit" by the Rehabilitation Team, including the student.   When it is determined that a student has officially withdrawn from a WWRC training program, regardless of the reason, the assigned Rehabilitation Counselor, or designee, is expected to document a service note in AWARE, WWRC's official client data system, noting the reason for withdrawal.  The reason for withdrawal will also be noted on the Training Discharge Summary which is due within twenty-one (21) days of program termination.  
  • Procedures to Establish the Last Date of Attendance for Students Who Officially or Unofficially Withdraw
    The student's assigned Training Instructor is accountable to establish the last day of attendance for students who officially or unofficially withdraw as well as those who fully complete a training program.   Training Instructors are expected to document the last day of attendance for students who withdraw from or complete their training program in the 'Morning Report' submitted daily to the Vocational Training Administration Office.  The last day of attendance is then documented, within 2 business days, in an AWARE service note by a Vocational Training Administration Office designee.  

     
  • Leave of Absence Policy
    WWRC's policy is to discharge a student if scheduled to be on leave for more than thirty (30) days; exceptions are rare and must be approved by the Rehabilitation Counseling Division Director.  

    If a student is scheduled to be on leave for less than thirty (30) days, the student remains in "leave status" as documented in AWARE and this time is not counted against the student in calculating training program clock hours. 

    Any student who disagrees with a refund action taken by WWRC may file for a review through the Commissioner's Office, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

    Special Circumstances

    Part A:  Refunds or Charge Adjustments for Persons Receiving Benefits Under Education and Training Programs Administered through the VA

    The following assurances apply specific to the processing of federal education and training program benefits for veterans, in accordance with applicable federal and state policies and procedures: 
  • WWRC shall assign qualified Certifying Officials to serve as its liaison with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and shall maintain its status as an approved education and training provider for veterans, including disabled veterans, who are eligible for benefits under the VA, including maintenance of catalog and student records requirements, submission of policy and procedure updates, meeting all notification requirements in a timely manner, and timely submission of enrollment certifications and notices of change in student status through the VA-ONCE internet-based application.
  • Only the exact amount of charges for consumable supplies used will be applied; if paid in full for a given training program and the student withdraws or otherwise has an early termination from the training program before using all consumable supplies, the remainder will be refunded.
  • Refunds for books, supplies, and equipment furnished by WWRC will be made in full for the amount charged for un-issued books, supplies and equipment.    Issued items may be disposed of at a veteran's discretion.

 

Part B:  Refunds or Charge Adjustments for Persons Receiving Federal Financial Assistance under the HEA Title IV PELL Grant Program:

  • Billing Procedure and Process for Post-Withdrawal Disbursement 

    Title IV payment requests to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) are processed through the federal G5 online system, for half of eligible funds at the completion of the first half of the training program.   Title IV payment requests for the second half is made at program completion.   Both requests are net of adjustments.

    Adjustments to eligible draws for incomplete program halves are made prior to the payment request to USDOE via the federal G5 system.  As a result, short of a human calculation error, there should never be an occasion that would require a refund to USDOE or to a student.  Should an error in calculation result in the need for a refund to USDOE, the adjustment would be made in the G5 system for eligible grant funds available to WWRC for that award, thus reducing the amount of the next draw (at program completion).   If the award is completed when then adjustment is made and a refund is indicated, the WWRC Business Office would issue a revenue refund check to the USDOE, with an accompanying letter of explanation. 
  • Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned by the Student

    A staff member in the WWRC Admissions Department is designated as the Financial Aid Administrator and is accountable for establishing Title IV eligibility as well as calculation of the amount of Title IV Aid for students enrolling in WWRC's vocational training programs.  The designated WWRC Financial Aid Administrator is also accountable for identifying any needed adjustments to eligible draws during a person's period of program enrollment, documenting these adjustments in the federal G5 system, and notifying the WWRC Fiscal Director as to the net adjusted amount to be drawn per student.   The Fiscal Director is then authorized to draw down funds through the federal G5 system.  This process maintains required separation of duties.  

    Clock hour reports for each student are compiled every four months (September, January, May).  These reports document how many clock hours the student has completed and whether or not they are making satisfactory progress, as verified by the course Instructor. 

    If a student has completed more than half of the required program hours and is making satisfactory progress at the time of the report, WWRC will draw the first half of the eligible award amount for that student.   If a student has completed the full program successfully at the time of the report, WWRC will draw the second half of the eligible award amount, minus any needed adjustments (see examples).  

    Eligible draw adjustments for incomplete programs are based on the number of non-completed hours to available program clock hours for that half, expressed as a percentage and applied to the total dollars available for that half.  

    If a student withdraws from the program, a split proration method is applied.  The scheduled award amount is multiplied by:
    • the number of clock hours completed in the payment period/the total number of clock hours in the payment period; multiplied by the number of weeks completed in the payment period/the number of weeks in the program's academic year. 

       
  • Responsibilities for Return of Unearned Aid

    The WWRC Business Office and WWRC Admissions Department share accountability for ensuring that institutional refunds, including Title IV Aid, are made in full compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, as documented through internal program reviews and audits routinely conducted by state and federal agencies.
  • Order of Return of Title IV Funds

    WWRC participates solely in the Title IV PELL Grant Program.
  • Timeframe for Return of Title IV Funds

    Title IV funds will be returned as soon as determined that a refund is indicated.  When processing refund requests for Title IV refunds under the Higher Education Act, the WWRC Business Office will:
  • Provide a copy of WWRC's Refund Policy, upon request, and encourage students/clients to talk with their assigned Rehabilitation Counselor or other sponsor, to ensure understanding of the policy and refund requirements. 
  • Provide examples of how refunds are processed, as requested.
  • Provide refunds, when due, without requiring a formal, written request from the student.
  • Provide refunds, when due, within forty-five (45) days
    • of the last day of attendance if written notification of withdrawal has been provided to WWRC by the student; OR
    • from the date WWRC terminates the student's training program or determines withdrawal from the training program by the student.
       
  • Retain no more than $100 in tuition, fees, and other institutional charges collected in advance for a student who does not commence class.

    Note:  If a student completely withdraws or otherwise ceases attending WWRC after one-half of the training program has been completed, no refund of Federal Financial Aid is required.