Disbursement of Financial Aid Funds

Scheduled Disbursement Dates

Charter Oak State College releases financial aid funds on a payment period basis during the semester. This means that scheduled disbursement dates are dependent on when a student begins his or her first semester course with the College (i.e., FS, T1, T2, S1, S2, S3). Financial aid dollars are released in a single disbursement by crediting the student's account for allowable charges such as: tuition, fees, prior year charges not exceeding $200, and books (if a book voucher was processed on behalf of the student).

NOTE: Students who withdraw, stop attending, or drop classes may be required to return all or a portion of their disbursed financial aid dollars. This is true even if a student has received a financial aid refund check or EFT. This is because students earn financial aid through attendance. The percentage of aid earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period that a student completes.

Disbursement schedules and related policy information can be viewed by accessing the College's student portal, ACORN.

Academic Engagement

Students must be academically engaged prior to the disbursement of federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid funds. Academic attendance and attendance in an academically-related activity includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Submitting an academic assignment;
  2. Physically attending a course where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and student (consortium students only);
  3. Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;
  4. Attending a study group that is assigned by the instructor;
  5. Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; and
  6. Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
*Logging into an online course without active participation, or participating in academic advisement or counseling, is not considered attendance.

Official Enrollment Levels and Financial Aid Packaging

Financial aid awards are always based on the number of degree applicable courses that a student is registered for in any given semester.

Enrollment LevelFull Time3/4 TimeHalf TimeLess Than 1/2 Time*
Undergraduate Credit Load12+9-116-81-5
Graduate Credit Load9+N/A6-81-5

*Students enrolled less than half time are not eligible for federal loans (5 credits or less).

Financial aid will be adjusted to reflect the number of actual credits that a student is registered for. For example, if a student received aid for full time enrollment at the beginning of the fall semester and drops credits or never attends class(es), aid will be adjusted to reflect the student's new fall enrollment level. These adjustments may include reductions or cancellations of financial aid and result in an owing balance to the College.

Financial Aid Policies and Updates

Financial aid policies, along with new or revised policies, are published in the Financial Aid Policies section of ACORN, our student portal. Students should always check ACORN for timely financial aid announcements, and updates to policies and procedures during the course of the award year.