Financial Aid refund process, timeline

Students will receive email communications each semester from HCC and Higher One when aid disbursements and refunds have been processed and made available to the student.

Financial aid funds are not released to students until they are earned. Students earn financial aid funds by successfully attending classes for a period of time. Students will begin to receive excess aid funds when they have been attending classes for at least 5 to 6 weeks (all classes, including late start).

See Glossary of Terms for further explanation of financial aid terminology.

About awards, disbursement, refunds

Process, timelines

Financial Aid awarded

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completed
  • All required paperwork provided
  • Eligibility requirements met
  • Pell grants are awarded at full-time enrollment status until actual enrollment is confirmed
  • Student loans are offered and are either accepted or declined by the student
  • Awards are available online to view through myHCCS

Charges generated on student billing account

  • Register for classes

Funds Authorized

  • Anticipated aid appears on student account 20-30 days prior to the start of a semester

Bookstore credits Available

  • 10 days prior to the start of a semester
  • Purchases charged on billing account

Enrollment Confirmed

  • 15 days after the start of a semester or session
  • Faculty return enrollment rosters

Late-start Sessions reviewed Aid Disbursed

  • Verify eligibility requirements
  • Aid is adjusted to actual enrollment when student changes schedule
  • Aid is delayed for late start classes
  • Pell and State Grants disbursed three weeks after the start of a semester or late-start session Loans require actual attendance in 6 or more credits and completion of online MPN and Entrance Counseling Loan disbursed 30 days after the start of a semester or late-start session

Aid Refunded

  • Billed charges paid by disbursed aid
  • Excess cash is released to
  • Higher One within 14 days of disbursement Higher One email notification when refund has been posted to Eagle Card or EFT to Bank
  • Refer to the Academic Calendar for semester and session start and end dates.

Note:  The HCC financial aid department strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible; the department makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions.

Aid processing: Student example 1

Fall Semester (situations and dates vary by student and enrollment)

  • Completed FAFSA and Aid Paperwork on May 1, 2013
  • Awarded on May 15, 2013 as full-time (not yet registered) – Pell = $1500
  • Accepted student loan and completed online loan processes – Loans = $3500 (net of $3460)
  • Registered for 2 courses (6 credits) on June 30, 2013 for Fall semester beginning August 26, 2013
  • Charges for 6 credits generated - $1000
  • Aid authorized on student account August 1, 2013 - $5960
  • Bookstore credit available August 16, 2013 - $500
  • Books charged against aid - $250
  • Classes begin August 26, 2013
  • Attendance confirmed September 16, 2013 for all 6 credits
  • Pell disbursed September 17, 2013 - $1500
  • Charges paid - $1250
  • Eligibility for refund confirmed on September 18, 2013 - $250
  • Refund generation process completed on September 20, 2013
  • Refund records transmitted to Higher One on September 23, 2013
  • Higher One approves refund on Eagle Card or Transmits to Bank via EFT on September 24, 2013
  • Student loan disbursed on September 26, 2013
  • Eligibility for refund confirmed on September 27, 2013 - $3460
  • Refund generation process completed on September 30, 2013
  • Refund records transmitted to Higher One on October 1, 2013
  • Higher One approves refund on Eagle Card or Transmits to Bank via EFT on October 2, 2013

Aid processing: Student example 2

Fall Semester (situations and dates vary by student and enrollment)

  • Completed FAFSA and Aid Paperwork on October 15, 2013
  • Awarded on November 20, 2013 as half-time (registered 6 credits) – Student is not Pell Eligible
  • Accepted student loans and completed online loan processes – Loans = $3500 (net of $3460)
  • Charges for 6 credits generated - $1000
  • Aid authorized on student account December 1, 2014 - $3460
  • No Bookstore credit available – No Pell Eligibility
  • Classes begin January 13, 2014 and March 17, 2014
  • Attendance confirmed January 20, 2014 for 3 credits - remaining 3 credits in late-start
  • Attendance confirmed March 27, 2014 for the late-start class
  • Student loan disbursed on April 17, 2014 · Charges paid - $1000
  • Eligibility for refund confirmed on April 18, 2014 - $2460
  • Refund generation process completed on April 21, 2014
  • Refund records transmitted to Higher One on April 22, 2014
  • Higher One approves refund on Eagle Card or Transmits to Bank via EFT on April 23, 2014