Tuition and Fees

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Institutionally Financed Grants, Scholarships and Loans. The Council recognizes that most accredited institutions offer or administer grants, scholarships and loans for students. Institutions must meet appropriate guidelines for such programs in order to ensure their legitimacy. Participation in ethical institutional grant (See Appendix E), institutional loan, and scholarship programs requires adherence to the following:

 

(a) In addition to administering federal or state student aid programs, institutions may offer the following types of student financial aid:

(i)  grants funded by the institution and awarded to all students within a qualifying category or to all  students who demonstrate a need in accordance with published standards;
(ii)  scholarships funded by the institution or a third-party and administered by the institution to provide  aid to students who demonstrate academic achievement in accordance with published standards;
(iii)  loans funded by the institution and available equally to all students.

(b) Institutionally financed or administered grants, scholarships and loans must be described in the current catalog with a description of the criteria for the award, the application procedures and deadlines, and amounts that may be awarded. All information must avoid false, misleading or exaggerated statements.

(c) Institutionally financed loans may vary in amount depending on the student’s need. The terms and conditions for loans, including forbearance and repayment, must be described in the current catalog. All institutionally financed loans must be collected in accordance with sound and aggressive business practices for the collection of student loans. Institutions must counsel students concerning their loan repayment obligations.

Tuition and Charges. Institutions may charge varying amounts of tuition and fees for different programs. All charges should be consistent for similarly circumstanced students enrolling at the same time and in the same programs, however, and detailed financial records should indicate at all times the financial obligation of the student to the institution. The following are minimum expectations:

  1. The tuition and other charges, including the period for which the student is financially obligated, shall be clearly stated in the catalog of the institution. The existence of any separate or comparable publication containing tuition rates must be referenced specifically in the catalog. The schedule of charges must be uniformly administered to similarly circumstanced students.
  2. The financial records of the students shall clearly show the charges and dates for the posting of tuition, fees, and other charges; the payments and dates of payment; and the balance after each transaction.
  3. Announcements of changes in tuition or fees must state the effective date of the change and be uniformly administered.
  4. Terms of payment may be varied by the institution so long as the tuition charges are uniformly administered.

Refund Policy. The institution must have a fair and equitable refund policy that is applicable to all students and that is published in the institution’s catalog. Specific governmental policies may apply.

Administration of Student Financial Aid. Participation in governmental student financial aid programs requires serious administrative responsibility. The Council expects all institutions participating in such programs to be knowledgeable of and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The following requirements govern how such activities are evaluated by MEMAAC:

  1. An institution participating in student financial aid programs shall designate at least one competent person at the site to administer student financial aid. The extent of this activity and the personnel needed shall be governed by the size and classification of the institution. The person who determines the amount of student awards cannot be responsible for disbursing those awards.
  2. The person or persons assigned to administer student financial aid programs must in all cases be a part of the administration. Administrative personnel involved in student recruitment as their major activity shall not have the final decision-making authority in the approval or awarding of student financial aid.
  3. There shall be professional awareness on the part of the financial aid administrator as shown by membership and participation in financial aid associations and by other educational activities designed to keep the administrator up to date on procedures and changes in the field.

Cash Discounts. Any institution providing discounts for cash received in advance of the normal payment schedule must have a written policy. That policy must be provided in writing to all student applicants prior to enrollment.

The institution must demonstrate that the policy:

  1. is available to all students at the institution; and
  2. bases the size of the discount on the financial benefit the institution receives from the payment of cash earlier than otherwise would be required under the institution’s normal tuition payment schedule or applicable retail installment contract.