New DVA Tuition Overpayment Letters in Mail (11 Jan 2011)
In the last few days of 2010, the DVA started sending out letters to schools with copies sent to the veteran student claiming that the school was overpaid tuition* for that student and the funds must be immediately repaid. If you receive such a letter, this may have a direct impact on you.
First, please be assured that we will verify any such debt before taking action. There are three alternative scenarios for these tuition overpayments:
Tuition was refunded to the student. The DVA's stated policy is that for minor amounts of overpaid tuition, schools are to "refund" that overpayment to the student. If our records show we refunded the overpayment to the student, SWC will inform the DVA with a copy to the student. The DVA will then seek the overpaid tuition from the veteran student.
Tuition was repaid directly to the DVA. For larger amounts of overpaid tuition or if the student never actually attended classes, the tuition may have been directly returned to the DVA. If this is the case, SWC will let the DVA (and student) know when the repayment was made in order to clear the case. No action will be required by the student and the DVA should not come after the student for the overpaid tuition.
Late drops cause debt to SWC. In the final situation, a veteran student who dropped a course AFTER the SWC tuition refund date may receive a bill from SWC. For the DVA's purposes, tuition paid for a class that wasn't attended must be returned. From the SWC standpoint, a class that was dropped after the drop date still requires the tuition to be paid. It may be that the student is currently showing a zero balance at SWC because the overpaid tuition is covering the owed tuition. However, when the overpaid tuition is returned to the DVA, the student will now personally owe SWC for the class that was dropped late.
The actual circumstance faced by an individual student will be outlined in the copy of DVA reply letter SWC will send to the student. We have just started working on these cases and we get more in every day. We will let you know more as futher guidance is received from the DVA.
*This only refers to TUITION overpayment actions. Normally such changes in tuition may affect the BAH stipend as well. Overpayments of the book or BAH stipend are between the DVA and the veteran student and are in addition to any tuition overpayment action.