As a student consumer, you have the right to:
- Confidentiality: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects students' rights to confidentiality and limits the College from releasing information about a student's file or award(s). Therefore, information released over the phone must be limited to general information. Students must submit a written request if they need information about their financial aid released to an outside agency or to another person.
- Knowledge: Financial aid recipients have the right to know what the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has done and what is expected of them. Students who have questions have the right to contact Financial Aid.
- Fair and Equal Treatment: Financial aid awards at Seminole State are made without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or marital status. Need is determined using a nationally recognized formula. Students who are concerned that they were not treated equally or fairly should discuss the situation with the director of the financial aid office.
- Award Notification and Disbursement of Funds: An award letter that states the types of aid, amounts and conditions of recipients' awards will be available through their secure MySeminoleState accounts. The disbursement of financial aid funds will begin after the add/drop period every semester and after faculty members certify attendance in scheduled classes. Financial aid first will be applied to outstanding financial obligations the student may have with Seminole State, such as tuition, as well as fees and book charges. Any remaining balance that is due to the student will be disbursed via direct deposit, debit card authorization or paper check. Students who are anticipating a refund will receive information from the company HigherOne to declare their preference on how the refund will be processed. Since this process takes place after the term begins, it is essential that financial aid recipients set aside personal funds to cover expenses at the start of each term.
- Disbursment of Funds for Students with Staggered or Irregular Class Starting Dates: A student's eligibility for the disbursement of financial aid funds is partially based on the credit hour enrollment as well as the start date of classes. Students should be aware that certain courses of study and programs might have classes that have staggered or irregular starting dates that are not the same date as the beginning of the standard semester. Examples of such programs with staggered start dates are Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Certifcate, Nursing Program Career Transition Track, etc. Students enrolled in these courses are not eligible to receive their entire financial aid award until the classes have started or can be verified. Students enrolled in a semester with staggered class start dates are encouraged to check with the Official of Financial Aid and Scholarships for information concerning aid disbursement dates.
As a student, it is your the responsibility to:
- Return Title IV funds: Any federal financial aid recipient who completely withdraws or ceases attendance prior to completing more than 60 percent of any given term will be required to repay all or a percentage of the aid received. Students who find themselves in a situation where they must withdraw should make an effort to pass at least one course. The last date of attendance for withdrawn courses must be documented to minimize any over/repayment of federal funds. Failure to repay or make arrangements to repay these funds will make the student ineligible for future federal assistance from Seminole State or any other institutions. The Department of Education has not made any provisions for extenuating circumstances, and there is no appeal process.
- Notify the Financial Aid Office of program changes: All financial aid recipients must notify the Financial Aid Office when making any changes in their program. This includes the completion of a degree. Failure to do so may cause loss of aid. Students who are receiving aid should check with the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from courses.
- Provide complete and correct information: If inaccurate or incomplete information is provided, applications cannot be processed. This will result in delays or could make the student ineligible for aid. Students who deliberately provide false or misleading information may be prosecuted for federal fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
- Abide by Agreements: As part of their financial aid application, students are asked to sign agreements that they understand the eligibility criteria associated with their aid programs. These signature requests can be either manual signatures or e-signatures using the student's unique PIN. Financial aid recipients should fully understand all forms before signing agreements.
- Maintain Standards of Academic Progress (SAP): Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate to be eligible to receive financial assistance. Academic progress for financial aid applicants will be checked at the end of each term, regardless of whether the student had received financial aid. See Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid for more information.