Financial Aid Policy
Academic Affairs/Administration and Finance
Worcester State University will administer, award, disburse, refund, drawdown and account for all Financial Student Aid in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations.
- There is segregation of the duties between the awarding, disbursing, and refunding of student financial aid.
- The Financial Aid Office is responsible for submitting budgets, making awards, and monitoring student eligibility within the approved guidelines and limits;
- The Bursars’ Office is responsible for allocating the financial aid
awards on the Transmittal Registers to the authorized student’s account;
- The Accounting Office is responsible for requesting approved funds at
the proper time from various agencies, allocating and tracking these
funds to the proper trust. For more information, see 34 CFR
- Federal Financial Student Aid Funds are protected from unauthorized use or loss by means of data input controls and data security restrictions over the financial aid awarding, disbursing, and refunding processes.
In the Financial Aid Office, the Bursar’s Office and the Accounting Office, only designated employees of the department have permission and rights to access student education records in Colleague (the University Student Information/Financial System) using a sign in and user password protection. Additionally, student education records must be kept in secure locations in order to protect individual privacy rights. When student records are accessed electronically via Colleague, all security best practices associated with Colleague are observed at all times.
- Worcester State University maintains supporting documentation for determining student eligibility and awarding of aid to a student.
Per the Document Retention/Document Management for the Financial Aid Office, the department categorizes its document types to ensure that the University’s data retention guidelines are in compliance with federal, state and local mandates. The Financial Aid Office maintains student files in paper format for seven years following the last academic year during which the student was enrolled. All Document Types within the Department will be reviewed for compliance, at which time they will be available via the University’s electronic storage system.
- Worcester State University has written procedures relating to the disbursement of financial aid to students.
The Bursars Office has written procedures documenting the disbursement of Federal Financial Student Aid electronically through Colleague, as well as procedures documenting the processing of cancellations and institutional refunds.
- Accounting records and related subsidiary records are maintained for each financial aid program.
The Accounting Office maintains records consistent with government audit standards. Accounting reconciles general ledger accounts to the Cash Management System. The Accounting Office is responsible for administering other aspects of the Federal Perkins Loan Program such as oversight of, the Perkins Loan Servicer. The Accounting Office assists The Financial Aid Office in completing the Annual Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP).
- Worcester State University has procedures in place to ensure that Federal Title IV Refunds are returned to the program/ lender within the prescribed time frames.
Refer to Worcester State University “Return of Funds Policy” at http://www.worcester.edu/teamsites/Policies/Wiki%20Pages/Return%20of%20Funds%20Policy.aspx.
Additional award guidance for each program may be found at the funder’s website. The following links provide guidance on the subject areas referred to above: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html
Higher Education Opportunity Act - http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ315.110.pdf.