Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use financial aid to pay for my tuition, fees, and books?

Students who have completed the entire application process by the priority deadlines for each term and who have been awarded financial aid (grants or loans) prior to registering for courses will have tuition and fees automatically deducted from their account and will have the option to charge books and required supplies at Durham Tech's bookstore. Students who have not completed the entire application process by the priority deadlines must be prepared to pay for tuition, fees, books, and supplies independently.

Students whose tuition and fees will be paid by other programs or agencies must take their bill to the Business Office cashier before the payment deadline. Documents that authorize charging tuition to a third party must be on file with the college's Business Office before registration charges can be transferred to the sponsoring agency.

A limit of $2,800 is the maximum amount that can be charged to a student's account per term. This limit is broken down into the following categories:

  • Textbooks  $1,500
  • Supplies $300
  • Software  $1,000

Additionally, the following items have been excluded and may not be charged at the bookstore using financial aid funds:

  • Gift cards of any kind
  • Mobile phones
  • Clothing

If your required textbooks and supplies exceed the limit, email Ms. Nadine Ford, Director, Financial Aid & Veterans Benefits to request an exception.

How will I receive the semester disbursement of my financial aid award funds?

Your funds will be directly deposited into your bank account. View directions for how to Enroll in Direct Deposit for Financial Aid Refunds through your Self-Service account.

It is important to note that any student taking a combination of regular length and Mini-Session II courses in the same semester will receive two disbursements of funds in the same semester. The college cannot disburse funds for classes that have not yet started.

Why does it take about six weeks to disburse my financial aid funds?

Durham Tech, like all other North Carolina community colleges, must disburse funds differently from North Carolina universities and private colleges. We disburse funds (grants and loans) later than these other institutions because we are required by the state to verify your attendance in all classes prior to releasing any funds to you.

Currently, there are three steps to verifying attendance. First, the college creates rosters after the 10% period of the semester (which occurs about two weeks past the first date of the term). Then, after all of our faculty have recorded attendance data on these official rosters (due about four weeks after the term), we enter the individual data for each student in our student information system. Once this manual data-entry process is complete, the Financial Aid office works with the Business Office to authorize funds and to prepare checks. As such, the entire process takes about six weeks given the large volume of students with awards.

This attendance check is in place to ensure that no fraud occurs for someone that tries to get federal financial aid funds without actually attending or completing college classes. The federal government has established rules for verifying attendance that Durham Tech must follow.

As such, it's important to plan ahead for your immediate financial needs during the first six weeks of the term. If funds are due to you after your tuition, fees, and bookstore charges are paid, they will be disbursed to you, but not at the beginning of the semester.

Disbursement dates for Fall Semester 2018 are October 19, November 20, and December 17, depending on when your paperwork has been completed. Mini-Session II refunds are disbursed on November 20.

Can I receive financial aid for the summer term?

If you plan to enroll in summer term classes and requesting financial aid support, complete the Summer Term Financial Intent eform so the Financial Aid office may review your aid eligibility. Please note that If you received full time Pell grant in both fall and spring, you must enroll in at least six credit hours.

What do I need to do to maintain satisfactory progress for my financial aid?

To maintain satisfactory progress, students receiving financial aid must have an overall 2.0 grade point average (GPA) and have a 67 percent cumulative credit hour completion rate. More information is outlined in the Satisfactory Progress for Financial Aid section.

If I decide to not attend Durham Tech after I have registered and been awarded financial aid, what do I do?

You must officially withdraw from all courses for that semester. Failure to formally withdraw from courses will result in you owing the full amount of tuition and fees to Durham Tech, and your financial aid award cannot be used to pay for that bill.

What happens to my financial aid if I stop attending or have to withdraw from classes?

Withdrawing from classes negatively impacts the 67 percent satisfactory academic progress completion rate you must maintain to keep your financial aid award. If you stop attending class, you may receive a failing grade ("F") for lack of attendance. This failing grade negatively impacts your completion rate and your grade point average. If you cannot continue a class, make sure that you complete the official withdraw process.

Do I have to be enrolled full time to receive federal financial aid (Pell Grant)?

In most cases you do not have to be enrolled full time. Students are eligible for different amounts of Pell Grant awards based on household income. Occasionally a student is only eligible for a small amount of Pell because the household income is higher. The amounts are determined by federal formulas. All Pell Grant awards are adjusted according to the number of credit hours the student registers for each term. For instance, if a student registers half time, their award will be adjusted to half time. If you have questions about your financial aid award, please visit the Financial Aid office in the Wynn Center.

For how many hours must I be enrolled to receive my full-time federal financial aid award?

You must be registered for at least 12 credit hours in each semester to receive a full-time award for that semester. The 12-hour requirement for full-time status also applies to the summer term.

What do I need to do to receive money from the North Carolina State Community College Grant and the North Carolina State Education Lottery Grant?

If you have completed your federal financial aid application (FAFSA) and entered Durham Tech’s school code (005448) on the application, the Financial Aid staff will automatically evaluate the results of your application to see if you qualify for any of these state funds. To receive any state funds, you must register for at least 6 credit hours in the fall or spring semester.  Money is not available from these two state grants in the summer term.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

As a student, you have rights and responsibilities concerning your financial aid along with loan rights and responsibilities. Read more about your rights and responsibilities.

Refunds for Financial Aid Recipients

Durham Technical Community College applies its fair and equitable refund policy to all students and the refund requirements as prescribed by federal regulations. All financial aid recipients who withdraw or cease to attend all classes before the 60 percent point of the term must pay back part of the unearned portion of their reward. Copies of these policies and sample refund calculations are available in the Financial Aid office upon request. The Business Office is responsible for accepting and documenting repayments to ensure the return of the refund to the proper agencies. (Students who do not repay the funds are referred to the U.S. Department of Education for collection.)

Questions about financial aid should be directed to:

Financial Aid Office
Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

The Durham Tech refund policy for tuition and fees is available on the Tuition and Fees page of the website.