HomeNewsFinancial aid refunds mean saving for some, shopping for others

Financial aid refunds mean saving for some, shopping for others

The time has come for Tyler Junior College students to receive their financial aid refunds, and many students are scrambling to the ATM machines to get to their cash.

“As soon as I found out my refund money had been posted on my card, I went straight to get it,” said Dezarae Favors, TJC sophomore.

For many students this is the time to pay back any money, get necessities or even go shopping.

Students receive financial aid refunds from money left over from loans and grants.

“To be able to receive a financial aid refund, students must be enrolled in TJC, complete FASFA and be awarded, and meet SAP (satisfactory academic process) requirements,” said Devon Wiggins, director of Financial Aid.

Most students fill out the FASFA worksheet and submit the required documents to financial aid, and that determines how much they receive for class, books, and other school expenses.Although there’s no exact amount of money a student receives, it is all based on a student’s need.

“I couldn’t tell you how much a certain student receives in their refund because it all depends…there’s no average amount,” said Molly Williams, manager of Financial Aid.

While some might be wondering when refunds are dispersed, it doesn’t take as long as the financial aid process does.According to the TJC website, as early as Jan 25 of the spring semester students start to receive their refund money.

“There is an initial release and weekly thereafter, if all documents have been turned in to the financial aid office in time,” said Wiggins.

As the process begins, there are often speculations about what students do with the money they receive from their financial aid refund.

“I have plenty of friends that have spent their refunds on clothes, shoes and even cars,” said Favors.

Although nothing is for sure about what some students do with their own refund, people have their speculations.

“Many students use their refund for transportation reasons, some just blow it, and some non-traditional students use it as a supplement for loss of income,” said Wiggins.

Whatever they use it for, students seem to have no problem finding a way to spend their refunds.

“Financial Aid refund money usually goes quickly because students have no budget, and for some that do, it usually goes to bills such as rent, which makes the refund go quickly as well,” said Wiggins.

Although some might suspect that there are no problems that could come from receiving a refund, some concerns come to surface.

“Some students’ expectations for their refunds are set too high and some complain that they aren’t receiving their refund fast enough,” said Wiggins.

In fact, some students might not know that the financial aid refund has to go through three steps which include, TJC, Higher One, which is the account that disburses students’ refund, and then to students.

For instance, grants usually take 30 days to start disbursing into the Higher One account and loans usually start one week after school does.

Some have their own opinions about what students should do with their refunds.

“I believe students should save their refund, even though I know most don’t,” said Favors.

However, some students are acting responsibly.

“Some students make budgets when they receive their refunds and stick to their budget,” said Wiggins.

Setting a budget is one way to make the refund last longer.

“I know that if I had to set a sound budget, I would still have most of my refund money,” said Favors.

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