Category Archives: Disbursements

NOVA to Offer New Refund Options Including a Debit Card

Northern Virginia Community College has contracted with Tuition Management Services (TMS) to process electronic financial aid disbursements to students who are entitled to excess financial aid after all institutional charges for tuition, fees, and books have been paid.  You have the ability to receive excess financial aid disbursements via the following options:

  • A reloadable Visa prepaid debit card
  • Direct deposit into a checking account (ACH)
  • A check mailed to your mailing address listed in MyNOVA (the default option if a refund preference is not elected)

Select your refund preference by logging into the NOVA refund website at  You only need to set up your preference once for all future terms and you may make changes to your preference at any time.

Please note that students who elect to receive refunds on a reloadable Visa prepaid debit card or by direct deposit may receive their refunds a few days sooner than students who are mailed a check for their refund.  However, it may still take 10 – 15 business days for students to receive refunds once funds are disbursed since the Financial Aid Office, the Controller’s Office, the State Treasury Department, TMS, and the student’s bank (depending on the option selected) all have separate processes to perform before the student receives the funds.

Students who select the reloadable Visa prepaid debit card should retain the card for all future refund disbursements.  Visit the Visa Prepaid Card website to learn how to use the card without incurring fees and other features of the card. Students are encouraged to use the card at ATM’s within the AllPoint network and retail stores which accept Visa Debit.

Your prepaid debit card will be mailed to the mailing address listed in MyNOVA;   it is critical that your address is correct. Once you activate your card, you will be able to change your address directly on the Visa Prepaid Card website. This change does not change your address in MyNOVA.

If you’re not sure that NOVA has your current mailing address, log in to the NOVA Student Information System via MyNOVA and verify that your mailing address is correct. You can also visit your campus Student Services Center to verify and update your mailing address.

For additional questions about this new feature, contact or call TMS at 1-888-722-4867.

GREENBACK (Jan_15) Financial Aid Newsletter

Check out the latest issue of The Financial Aid GREENBACK, our quarterly Financial Aid newsletter. This issue: new electronic refund options, FAFSA to replace the Student Aid PIN, be proactive with your student loans, and more. This newsletter is designed to help students and staff members stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of financial aid.

Disbursement Update

Financial aid is disbursed after the census date passes for at least six credits during a particular semester (if there are no holds or incomplete requirements on the MyNOVA To Do List).  If students take less than six credits then aid will disburse once the census date passes for those credits.  Students must also be meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to be eligible for aid.  Before dropping or withdrawing from a course we encourage students to consult with the Financial Aid Office to determine how this will affect their financial aid eligibility.

In order to potentially receive aid for a particular course students must attend the course past its census date.  Also please note that eligibility for grants is determined based on enrollment at the main 16-week census date (or when students are awarded aid for the first time if they are awarded after the 16-week census); which means that grant aid eligibility for a particular semester cannot be increased after that time.  For loans, students must be enrolled in at least six credits at the time the loan is offered and disbursed.  For more information about disbursement requirements please review the Financial Aid Handbook or contact the Financial Aid Support Center.

Right after the 16-week census passes, the Financial Aid Offices verifies the enrollment of all students receiving financial aid and reduces aid if necessary based on a student’s enrollment at that time.  Since awards made prior to the 16-week census are based on anticipated full-time enrollment, students who are enrolled in less than 12 credits may potentially have their aid reduced.  This adjustment process typically takes about two weeks and then aid is disbursed for eligible students who have passed the census date as mentioned above.  If a financial aid adjustment causes a student to owe a balance the student will need to make arrangements to cover their remaining balance before enrollment cancellation resumes so they can avoid potentially being dropped from courses for non-payment.

If students have a credit balance on their account then they should receive a refund in approximately 10-15 business days after aid is disbursed.  Students may elect to receive refunds via the following options:

  • A reloadable Visa prepaid debit card
  • Direct deposit into a checking account (ACH)
  • A check mailed to your mailing address listed in MyNOVA (the default option if a refund preference is not elected)

Students may select their refund preferences by logging into the NOVA refund website at  Refund preferences only need to be set up once for all future terms and students may change their preference at any time.  If a refund for excess financial aid has not been received within 10-15 business days after aid is disbursed students may contact Tuition Management Services (TMS) at or 1-888-722-4867 to check on the status.  TMS can also assist students with setting up refund preferences.  Additional information about the refund process is available here.

Students should also verify that their mailing address listed in MyNOVA is correct.  Prepaid debit cards and checks are sent to the mailing address provided in MyNOVA.