STUDENT ACCOUNTS

Purpose

The mission of the Student Accounts Office is to provide services that enable students to manage financing their college career in a positive, friendly atmosphere. The Student Accounts Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM -- 4:30 PM with extended hours during registration periods. 

Fee Committee

In accordance with Board Policy 7.3.2.1, institutions must have a Fee committee; composed of at least fifty percent (50%) students, except in special circumstances when a general purpose fee is instituted system-wide by the Board of Regents. The committee shall include at least four students, who shall be appointed by the institution’s student government association (SGA). This committee is charged with reviewing and voting on the student fee request. The form shows the names of the student fee advisory committee members and their vote on the action. The Board of Regents does not require approval of the request by the committee. At GSW, the Director of Auxiliary Services serves as the Chair of our Fees Committee. In addition to the SGA appointed students, there are representatives from the following areas: Student Affairs; Academic Affairs; Admissions

Billing/Fee Payment

The Student Accounts Office is primarily responsible for processing student billing of tuition and associated fees. Notification of fee payment deadlines are posted on the RAIN system and published in the course schedule. All currently enrolled students are expected to participate in early registration and must comply with the fee payment deadlines. Fee payments are accepted daily in the Student Accounts Office. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work study are awarded by the Financial Aid Office. A student wishing to apply for financial aid should report to the Financial Aid Office for assistance. A student will receive financial aid awards by receiving credit on his/her tuition or in the form of a check. A schedule/bill is issued to a student specifying how the funds are to be received. A student who has a completed award package should submit the signed invoice or schedule/bill to the Student Accounts Office to authorize application of financial aid awards toward his/her fees. It is the responsibility of the student to submit the schedule/bill to the Student Accounts Office. A student should only expect to retain his/her schedule of classes when the signed schedule/bill has been submitted to the Student Accounts Office by the deadline and 100% of fees are covered with financial aid funds. Any student with difficulty submitting fee payment by the last day to pay fees is encouraged to seek advisement in the Student Accounts Office. 

A student who receives financial aid in excess of tuition and fees will be issued a check for the balance. Difference checks are available on the first day of class for any student who participated in early registration. A student who pays his/her tuition and fees on registration day will receive the difference within 7 working days after fee payment. A student may receive additional financial aid awards after he/she has submitted fee payment. In this case, the student should report to the Student Accounts Office in order to pick up their check. It is the policy of the Student Accounts Office to process checks on a weekly basis. 

A student who owes a repayment will not be permitted to register for subsequent semesters at the University or receive copies of his/her academic transcript. The policy concerning delinquent obligations is found in the current Bulletin . 

All checks from outside scholarship sources must be included in the student's financial aid package. The Student Accounts Office will forward copies of scholarship checks submitted by students to the Financial Aid Office so that they may be properly documented. 

Loan Collection

The Student Accounts Office is responsible for the collection of monies disbursed from eight (8) loan funds. Federal funds are provided for the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Nursing Loan. Private source contributions have enabled the Institution to provide funding for the long-term Jackson Loan, GSW Foundation Loan, Larry and Jane Comer Music Loan, J.C. Roney Revolving Loan, and SABU Revolving Loan. A student wishing to receive loans through these programs should apply in the Financial Aid Office. 

The Student Accounts Office must establish a timely pattern of borrower contact in order to collect outstanding loans. Federal regulations require that the Institution enforce certain policies and procedures in disbursing and collecting loans from the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Nursing Loan. In the spring of 1993, the Institution contracted with Academic Financial Services Association (AFSA) to provide for the billing and accounting for the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Nursing Loan, Larry and Jane Comer Music Loan, and the long-term Jackson Loan. Institutional loans have repayment requirements established in their respective promissory notes. As a general rule, institutional loans are collected using the same due diligence requirements as federal loans. A borrower with questions concerning the terms of his/her promissory note is encouraged to seek advisement in the Student Accounts Office. 

Default is defined as the failure of the borrower either to make an installment payment when due, or to comply with other terms of the promissory note or written repayment agreement. The default rate for the institution is computed by dividing the outstanding defaulted principal by the matured loans. The staff of the Student Accounts Office is committed to maintaining a low default rate for the federal and institutional student loan programs. 

Each borrower has a hold on his/her academic transcript. Prior to the release of an academic transcript, the Registrar's Office will contact the Student Accounts Office for approval to release the transcript. The Student Accounts Office may refuse to allow the release of the transcript when the account is delinquent or the borrower has not returned various paperwork for his/her file. The Student Accounts Office records the academic transcript request in the student file for future use. 

Private Source Tuition Billing

A student with written authorization for tuition billing from an outside source should report to the Student Accounts office for assistance. A student with authorization for Bookstore purchases can obtain documentation from the Student Accounts Office in order to receive the books. The Student Accounts Office/Business Office will forward copies of tuition billing authorizations/fee waiver notification to the Financial Aid Office for inclusion in the student's financial aid package. The Student Accounts Office will forward an invoice for tuition and books to the appropriate funding agency. 

Refund of Fees

Students who formally withdraw from the University prior to passing the 60% point in time during the term are eligible for a partial refund of fees. Refunds are made only when a student completely withdraws from the University, and no refunds are made when a student of his or her own violation reduces the course load after the add/drop period. Students may receive a refund resulting from a reduction of their course load during the add/drop period. No refunds for withdrawals will be made after passing the 60% point in time during the term. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially in accordance with University regulations. 

Withdrawal forms are available in the Counseling Service Office located in the Administration Building. A refund of tuition and fees, in accordance with federal, state, and institutional policies, will be issued within 30 days of receipt of completed withdrawal forms by the Business Office. 

Students who formally withdraw from the institution on or before the first day of class are entitled to a refund of 100% of the tuition and fees paid for that period of enrollment. (First day of class is defined as "classes begin" date published in the GSW Bulletin.) 

Students who formally withdraw from the institution after the first day of class but before the 60% point in time during the term are subject to guidelines established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. This policy states: 

The refund amount for students withdrawing from the institution shall be based on a pro rata percentage determined by dividing the number of calendar days in the semester that the student completed by the total calendar days in the semester. The total calendar days in a semester includes weekends, but excludes scheduled breaks of five or more days and days that a student was on an approved leave of absence. The unearned portion shall be refunded up to the point in time that the amount equals 60%.

Students that withdraw from the institution when the calculated percentage of completion is greater than 60% are not entitled to a refund of any portion of institutional charges.

A refund of all matriculation fees, and other mandatory fees shall be made in the event of the death of a student at any time during the academic session (BR Minutes, 1979-80, p.61; 1986-87 pp. 24-25; 1995 p. 246)

The University is required to determine how much student financial aid was earned by students who withdraw during the term. If students have "unearned aid" because they were disbursed more than they earned, it may be necessary for the unearned portion to be returned to the appropriate student financial aid fund. If the students have "earned aid" that they have not received, they may be eligible to receive those funds.