Refunds will be distributed to students after the deadline to add any courses, and after the deadline to drop any course without any record of attempted hours. This is a change from previous practices, and means the refunds will be distributed after the financial aid freeze date*. This means students will receive any refunds** two weeks later than in previous terms.
Why are these changes being made, and how will students be impacted?
This change is a result of aligning UTM with the practices of other UT campuses so that our THEC (Tennessee Higher Education Commission) reporting data are consistent with each other. UTM is allowing an extra week to drop classes, therefore, financial aid will not be locked in until students have had a chance to finalize their schedules. Financial aid will then disburse*** according to the final student schedule.
Another reason for the change is that it will benefit UTM students. Our recent research shows that 22% of students who received a refund had a balance on their account after the refund was received. And there were 545 instances of tuition charges being placed after the refund was received. This change in our practice will greatly reduce any tuition charges being placed after refunds are given.
How will this affect all students?
Refunds will be received two weeks later than in previous terms. This will affect all students receiving a refund from excess financial aid, including scholarships. First-time freshmen will still have to wait 30 days after classes begin before student loans disburse (this is not a change).
I use my refund check to purchase books; what do I do now?
The UTM Bookstore offers a book voucher program, offering up to $750 using your excess financial aid and offers price matching with select vendors such as www.amazon.com and www.bn.com. Information on the price matching program can be found here: https://bnc.pgtb.me/MMt77F.
More information on the UTM Bookstore voucher program can be found here: https://utm.bncollege.com/
UTM also offers a computer voucher program offering up to $1,250 for the purchase of a computer using your excess financial aid. More information on the computer voucher program can be found here: https://www.utm.edu/offices-and-services/skyhawk-card-office/computer-store-loan.php.
I use my refund check to pay rent; what do I do now?
The Financial Aid & Scholarships Office will provide you a letter that you can give your lessor. This letter will be personalized to you and outline the amount of refund you will receive, and the date you will receive it. Additionally, local rental companies and the City of Martin will all be notified of this change to our refund policy. They will know to expect your letter.
If you would like one of these letters, please contact the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office at 731.881.7040. Letters will be available after July 15
Are there other changes related to dropping/adding classes?
Yes. The last day to add a class will still be the end of the first week of classes. However, the last day to drop a class without any record of attempted hours will be after the 14th day of the semester. Additionally, students will now receive full tuition refunds at 100% for the first 14 days of class. Starting the third week of class, that refund percentage drops to 60% and 40% after the fourth week of class.
Can you elaborate on Financial Aid Freeze and what it really means?
UTM uses a freeze date each semester to determine your enrollment status for awarding financial aid. The courses you are registered for on the freeze date determine your financial aid eligibility, as long as the completed results from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are on file by that date.
If your completed FAFSA results are received after the freeze date, your financial aid will be based on your enrollment on the date the completed FAFSA results are received. “Completed FAFSA results” means that an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been calculated by the US Department of Education. This EFC may change once all documentation is submitted and processed.
Financial aid will only pay for courses that are on your schedule on or before the freeze date each semester.
If you plan to register for any part-of-term courses, they must be on your schedule at the beginning of the semester to be included for financial aid eligibility.
Federal and state aid will not be available for courses added after the freeze date.
Who do I call for answers to my questions?
Questions about your refund check, personalized letters for your landlord, effect on your financial aid for adding or dropping a class: Financial Aid & Scholarships Office at 731.881.7040.
Questions about how to add or drop classes: Registrar’s Office at 731.881.3050.
Questions about refunding amount paid for a class after dropping: Bursar’s Office at 731.881.7810.
Questions about the book or computer store voucher program: Bursar’s Office at 731.881.7810.
Questions about your billing statement: Bursar’s Office at 731.881.7810.
Any other suggestions?
Yes. E-Refunds will give you access to your money faster than waiting on a check. If you have not yet signed up for E-Refunds, you can do so here: www.utm.edu/offices-and-services/office-of-bursar/set-up-an-e-refund-account.php.
*Financial Aid Freeze – The point in time that financial aid eligibility based on enrollment will not adjust due to the adding or dropping of classes.
** Refunds – Any amount of money greater than $0.00 on the student account after all charges have been paid.
*** Disburse – Financial Aid pays on the student account.