Tuition Refund Appeal Procedure

I. Authority for Procedure

This procedure is established pursuant to Virginia Code Section §23-9.2:3.7 C, SCHEV Guidelines, and VCCS Policy Manual Section 4.3.2.3. The Vice President of Finance and Administration at Blue Ridge Community College has been delegated authority to consider requests for and, if appropriate, approve appeals for refunds after the last published date for refunds. Such tuition refunds, if approved, will also include the refund of Auxiliary Service and Student Activity fees.

II. Submitting a Request

  1. Tuition refund appeals are accepted by the Vice President of Finance and Administration during normal hours of operation, by email, or by USPS mail. Return notification to the requester of the approval/declining of an appeal normally occurs by mail within one week. Blue Ridge Community College will promptly refund tuition and/or cancel a financial charge from a student’s account provided the student meets the requirements outlined below.
  2. Withdrawal from classes – Refund appeal requests will not be considered unless the student has officially withdrawn from the class(es). The Vice President of Finance and Administration does not have the authority to change a grade awarded by an instructor. If a student has a grade other than a “W”, the student must first contact the instructor and/or the academic dean to determine whether or not the student is eligible to have the grade in question changed to a “W”. If the change is granted, tuition appeals may then be submitted to the Vice President’s office.
  3. All tuition refund appeals must be in writing and submitted with written supporting documentation to the Vice President’s office within six months from the beginning of the semester for which the charge was incurred.
  4. Refunds may be granted for the reasons listed below, and will do so, as long as the appropriate written supporting documentation is provided:
    1. Major medical emergency - An extended illness or major medical emergency occurring during the semester in which you are registered which requires hospitalization, is life-threatening, or is contagious and is a danger to the remainder of the college community.
      • Documentation will be by a physician’s statement on the doctor’s official letterhead (copies of the student’s medical records will not be accepted). This must be an unscheduled medical emergency diagnosed after the last day to drop for tuition refund.
      • The physician’s letter must include the date the student was first seen for the medical condition, as well as the beginning and ending date the student was incapacitated or hospitalized and must state that the student was physically unable to attend classes during this period of time (which caused the student to miss 20 percent or more of the scheduled instruction).
      • A letter that does not specifically state, “the student was physically unable to attend classes” will not be grounds to approve an appeal.
      • Pre-existing conditions are not justifiable.
    2. Extreme financial hardship – involving the sudden, unforeseen loss of an extreme nature. An example of such an extreme hardship would be that caused by the loss of the student’s owned home through fire or flood.
    3. Death of a student’s immediate family member - with certification. A student’s immediate family is defined as father, mother, spouse, sibling, or the student’s child.
    4. Administrative errors by BRCC personnel -- The appeal for refund in these instances must be initiated through, and with the concurrence of, the BRCC employee providing you the advice and counsel.
    5. Military students – involving a military student whose service in the uniformed services requires their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment. For purposes of this section, military Service in the uniformed services is defined as service (whether voluntary or involuntary) on active duty in the Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve, when mobilized or deployed for a period of more than 30 days under call or order to active duty of more than 30 days.
      • Dependents of military members may also be given consideration under this policy. Dependents are defined as any civilian qualifying as a military dependent under 37 USC 401 currently or as otherwise amended.
      • At the option of the military student, such refunds may be retained by the college and be applicable to tuition and fees charged in the semester or term in which the student returns to study.
    6. These restrictions are established by Policy 4.3.2.3 of the Virginia Community College System.

III. Appeal Denial - Tuition refund appeals will not be approved in the following instances:

  1. Personal errors in judgment or irresponsibility involving transportation, availability of finances, academic ability, time management.
  2. Misinterpretation of college policies and procedures as published in the BRCC Catalog, BRCC Student Hand book, BRCC Schedule of Classes or the BRCC webpage.
  3. Lack of knowledge of college policies and procedures as published in the BRCC Catalog, BRCC Student Hand book, the BRCC Schedule of Classes or the BRCC webpage.
  4. Dissatisfaction with course content. Issues concerning academic instruction must be addressed with the appropriate academic dean.
  5. Dissatisfaction with academic progress in course.
  6. Non-attendance or minimal attendance of class.
  7. Inadequate investigation of course requirements prior to registration and attendance.
  8. Non-qualification, late application, or loss of eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.
  9. Non-receipt of mail due to obsolete address on file with the Enrollment Services Office.
  10. Notification of domicile status after the refund period.
  11. Changes of, or personal conflicts with, the instructor of record.
  12. Student errors resulting in the delay of administrative processes relative to registration or the delivery of financial aid funds.
  13. Voluntary/involuntary acceptance of employment or other activity impacting ability to attend class (i.e., lack of child care; work schedule/hours/location changed; vacation).
  14. Incarceration in a civilian or military facility.

IV. Further Appeals

  1. Determination - The Vice President of Finance and Administration is responsible for making the refund appeal decision. The decisions shall be based on information provided on the “Appeal for Tuition Refund for a Class Dropped After the Published Last Date for Refund", supporting documents, and/or any additional supporting provided by college faculty or staff. The Vice President shall follow Virginia Community College Policy in making determinations of eligibility for refund. The determination made by Vice President shall be in writing.
  2. Further Appeal - The decision of the Vice President of Finance and Administration is final and not subject to further appeal.

Approved by Dr. John A. Downey, President

Revised 10/29/13

Refund Appeal Form

Tuition Refund Appeal Form - PDF (requires Acrobat Reader)