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Changes to Post 9/11 Tuition and Fee Debt for Drops and Withdrawals

On January 24, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) notified institutions about new legislation that was signed into law earlier in January: the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 [Public Law 116-315].

Section 1019 of this legislation, which took effect immediately when it was signed in January, changed how the VA administers debts for tuition and fee payments made to Eastern Florida State College (and other educational institutions) for beneficiaries that drop or withdraw from classes.

Previously, when a student dropped or withdrew after the first day of the semester the VA would notify the student that there was a tuition and fee overpayment for the course/s that were dropped or withdrawn from and that it was the responsibility of the student to repay the VA for reducing credits hours.

What has changed:

It is now the responsibility of the school to repay the tuition and fees that were paid by the VA. This means that Eastern Florida State College must return payment to the VA for courses dropped after the 100% refund period or withdrawn from and the student will now be responsible for paying EFSC the tuition and fees for the courses dropped or withdrawn from.

Book stipend and monthly housing allowance debts that are due to drops or withdrawals will still be the student’s responsibility to pay back to the VA. Section 1019 only changes the tuition and fee debt procedure. Essentially, the VA has made the school the debt collector for tuition and fees and puts the burden on the student to pay the school. 

For withdrawals or administrative withdrawals that are due to extenuating circumstances (VA Mitigating Circumstances) or for first time withdraws, up to 6 credit hours, the VA will take that into account and a debt could be avoided or reduced.

What this means for you:

There will need to be more careful consideration when reducing credits after the first day of class Add/Drop deadline or submitting a course withdrawal without extenuating circumstances. We encourage you to consult with the EFSC Military and Veterans Services Office at 321-433-7880 if you are considering reducing your credits after the Add/Drop deadline.