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How Aid is Disbursed

A “disbursement” is when your financial aid awards are paid into your account. It is possible to have different disbursement dates for different types of financial aid (Grants/Loans etc.)

Financial aid disbursement dates vary per student and can be delayed for different reasons (verification, FAFSA review etc.)

Your financial aid is awarded and disbursed by term (Fall, Spring etc.) and generally, aid is disbursed after a term begins and the “add/drop period” has closed. Until disbursement and as long as you meet all eligibility requirements, your financial aid awards will be on “pending” status. Once disbursed, these awards will change to “applied” status. You can check the status of your awards on Student Finance, which can be accessed through Ocean Connect.

All financial aid awards are disbursed electronically directly to your account, regardless of whether you have an outstanding balance at the time of disbursement.

  • State Grants: Disbursed to your account within days of the end of the term’s “add/drop” period (the 14th day). State Grants can only be applied to tuition.
  • Federal PELL/SEOG: Disbursed to your account within days of the end of the term’s “add/drop” period.
  • Student (and Parent) Loans: Disbursed to your account within days of the end of the term’s “add/drop” period. If you are a first-time borrower, the first disbursement will be released within three days of the 30-day delay as required by law. All Federal Loans MUST be made in two separate disbursements. If you borrow for one term only, your loan proceeds will be disbursed at the beginning and midpoint of the term. Registration in Quick Term will delay the disbursement as their “add/drop” periods are later in the year.
  • Work Study: Payroll checks are issued bi-weekly directly to you via mail/direct deposit.
Disbursement amounts can vary from the amount given on your financial aid award letter for several reasons.

  • Grants (PELL, TAG etc.) are usually awarded pre-enrollment based on a default full-time schedule. These awards will be pro-rated if you enroll less than full-time.
  • Student Loans may carry up-front “administrative” charges from the lender, which are deducted from your award pre-disbursement.

You can access your Financial Aid Award Letter at any time on WebAdvisor, which is accessible through your Ocean Connect Account. Any changes to your award amounts will reflect on your award letter immediately. It is your responsibility to periodically check your award letter for any changes before and during the term. You can also check the status of your financial aid awards through Student Finance.

Financial aid awards will be cancelled if you fail to maintain eligibility requirements through the academic year. This can be as a result of a withdrawal from class(es), unsatisfactory academic progress, selection for verification etc.

It is important to provide accurate information at the time of applying for financial aid and during an application review (verification) as new or conflicting information throughout the academic year can affect your awards retroactively.

If your financial aid awards exceed the total charges for tuition, fees and bookstore expenses following disbursement you will be issued a “refund check” within 14 days of the date the award(s) is applied to your account.

PLEASE NOTE: If your refund check results from the disbursement of Title IV funds and is not cashed within 240 days, Ocean County College is required to escheat the funds to the Department of Education.

All checks will be mailed to the address listed on your account. It is therefore very important to keep your contact information up to date with the Ocean County College Registration & Records Department and update them of any changes to this information as soon as possible.

Refund Policy (PDF)

Refund Policy Attestation (PDF)

In most cases, a disbursement cannot be used to pay an outstanding balance from a previous term. If the Ocean County College Cashiers Department agrees to this transfer however, you will be required to authorize the use of these funds with them.

If you reduce your enrollment credits pre-disbursement, your financial aid awards will be adjusted accordingly and may no longer be enough to cover your expenses.

If you officially withdraw from all classes or stop attending all classes during a term, there may be financial consequences. The Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned based on the percentage of the classes completed, and any remaining disbursed funds will be returned to the financial aid programs.

Any withdrawal may result in charges to your account and a bill owed to the College. It is very important to consider this before withdrawing from a class(es) and discuss it with an Advisor, or the Financial Aid office.

For more information, see Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Funds Policy.

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