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Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights

Financial Aid Responsibility

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for processing your aid application and administering your award in a timely manner. You have the right to expect equitable treatment in the consideration of your application for financial aid assistance. Each student’s file is evaluated on an individual basis and financial aid is awarded according to eligibility and packaging guidelines.

The staff reviews files in the order they are completed. Students who provide information to complete their files during peak business times (July, August & September) may experience a delay due to the high volume of files being processed. If you apply or complete your file late, please be prepared to pay with your own funds until your file is reviewed and awarded. Students who are in good standing and have submitted all requirements and are waiting for the financial aid office to review their file, may inquire with the Financial Aid Office staff to determine if they may be eligible to charge their textbooks to their Student Account. 

Confidentiality Statement

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the confidentiality of a student's education record, specify that the College may not release information from a student's record to anyone outside of the College without the express written consent of the student. This means that Western Dakota Tech must withhold information about a student's grades, financial obligations, or standing with the College from parents and others who believe their relationship with the student entitles them to have the information. Please understand that because of these laws, Western Dakota Tech cannot release this information without the express written consent of the student. If the student wishes to give consent to non-College employees, they must complete an Authorization to Release Financial Information form.

Please refer to the Western Dakota Tech FERPA Policy and related resources for details. Students may sign a release form, kept on file electronically, granting access to certain records by designated parties. The form needs to either be signed/witnessed by a College Employee or by a notary public. 

Financial Aid Disbursement

Financial aid (grants, fee waivers, scholarships, and Direct Student Loans) are credited to the student’s account and applied toward their institutional charges prior to fee payment, provided they are enrolled for the correct number of credits and their financial aid file is complete. If a student has a credit balance after all of their institutional charges have been paid, a check for the remaining amount will be released to the student. Credit balances become available to returning students the third week of fall and spring semester, the second week during summer semester. If a student is a first-time Direct Loan borrower, credit balance checks will be available after the student has been enrolled for 30 days.  Credit balance checks are available to be picked up at the Student Accounts Office located to the right when entering Enrollment Services. Checks that are not picked up from the Student Accounts Office for one week, will be sent U.S. Mail to the student’s current address on file.

All fees and other institutional charges are due at the beginning of each semester. If not paid when due, a hold may be applied to the student’s account restricting future registration for courses until the account is paid in full. The student is responsible for all fees and institutional charges when due, even if they expect to receive financial aid. When a student’s Pell Grant is late due to corrections, the Financial Aid staff can allow students to make arrangements with the Student Accounts Office to temporarily waive all or part of the payment of their bill until financial aid can be disbursed.

Bookstore charges may be available one week prior to classes starting, if all Financial Aid paperwork is complete, or written authorization has been received from Third Party agencies. Vouchers will be provided through the Student Accounts Office.


Student Responsibilities

If your enrollment plans change, you must notify the Financial Aid Office because your eligibility for financial aid may be affected.

If you receive any educational funding, such as Veteran’s Benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation, and/or Employer Assistance, or if you are awarded a scholarship, grant, or stipend, you must report this information to the Financial Aid Office in writing as soon as possible. A Financial Aid Administrator will re-evaluate your eligibility. If you are no longer eligible for part of the aid you have been offered, we will work with you to resolve any over-award as painlessly as possible. If it is necessary that you repay a portion of your financial aid, you will have to repay it before you are eligible for further aid.

After you leave school, you must stay current with your loan payments to the college or lender. If the Financial Aid Office learns that you are delinquent or in default on a loan from another school, your current award could be canceled.

Western Dakota Tech students who utilized Direct Student Loans and cease enrollment or graduate are required to complete Exit Counseling on the Federal Student Aid website.

General Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

All financial aid recipients must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be enrolled/accepted for enrollment in a degree, diploma or certificate program.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Be a citizen
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Cannot be in default on Perkins Loans or any Direct Loan at any institution.
  • Cannot owe an overpayment of Pell or SEOG.
  • If required, must register with the Selective Service.
  • Cannot have borrowed in excess of loan limits.
  • Have need, as defined by individual program requirements (except for unsubsidized Stafford
    Loans and PLUS Loans).
  • Meet any other program-specific criteria.


Request changes to your award

If you have additional expenses, such as dependent care or costs related to a disability that are not paid by another source (AFDC, Vocational Rehabilitation), you may request an adjustment in your budget. You will be required to provide documentation regarding the expenses. Standardized amounts for dependent care will be used, if you qualify.

If your previous year’s income or your parents’ previous year’s income will be considerably less than your current year’s income due to loss of employment or benefits, death, divorce, or reduction in employment hours, you may request a “Professional Judgment” re-evaluation of your financial aid eligibility. You or your parents will be required to document the change of income. Professional judgments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis in the order they are received after the student’s initial award letter has been processed. Changes due to income only will not be reviewed until after your current year’s income taxes have been filed, unless this is the result of a death or divorce. 
Download the 2016-2017 Professional Judgment Form
Download the 2017-2018 Professional Judgment Form

 

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