Understanding Your Disbursement
Disbursement of Funds
The OSFA will credit funds from financial aid awards to the student's account beginning three days before the start of classes, according to a schedule updated each term. The majority of funds are credited by electronic funds transfer; the money is automatically transferred to the student's account. There are, however, some awards where the donor sends the Institute a check made payable to the student or to Georgia Tech and the student jointly. The student must endorse these checks. The student will be notified that the check is in the Bursar's Office, and if the funds are to be utilized to pay the amount owed the Institute, the check must be endorsed by the appropriate fee payment deadline. If a credit balance exists after all financial aid has been posted, the bursar will deposit these funds by means of direct deposit into the student's designated bank account, if the student has enrolled in direct deposit on BuzzPort. Visit the Bursar's Office Web site at www.bursar.gatech.edu for more information on direct deposit.
Funds from financial aid programs that are used to pay expenses owed the Institute must be deposited into the student's account by the fee payment deadline. A deferment (referred to as "anticipated financial aid" on the student invoice statement on OSCAR) can be used as a place-holder to guarantee enrollment. However, any expenses not covered by financial aid awards or deferments must be paid by the fee payment deadline. Any expenses not paid by financial aid awards must be paid by the fee payment deadline.
Monitoring Student Account/ Tracking Delivery of Funds
Missing documents/requirements will prevent the disbursement of certain funds. The OSFA will attempt to notify students of their missing documents/requirements. It is, however, the student's responsibility to be aware of any documents or requirements needed for the disbursement of funds. Students must review their financial aid status and student account on a regular basis to track requirements and disbursements. Visit https://buzzport.gatech.edu to review your account.
Please contact the Bursar's Office with any questions concerning the student account, and contact the OSFA concerning financial aid requirements.
If you receive financial aid and subsequently do not enroll (attend classes) at the Institute, or you enroll, attend classes, and then withdraw or cease attending all courses, you may be required to return financial aid funds received.
The OSFA will calculate the amount of financial aid "earned" prior to withdrawing. Any aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered "unearned" and must be returned to the programs from which they were disbursed. The liability of this amount is jointly shared by Georgia Tech and the student and is based on the official withdrawal date or the last date of class attendance. If you decide not to attend a term, you must notify the Institute of your change in enrollment plans.
Financial Aid and the IRS
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers some forms of financial aid to be income. For additional information, families should visit www.finaid.gatech.edu/taxes/ and www.irs.gov or contact their tax advisors.
Under current federal law, the amount of a student's total scholarships and/or fellowships that exceeds the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment is generally considered by the IRS to be taxable income. Federal Work-Study earnings are subject to federal, state, and local tax withholding. Students employed under the Federal Work-Study Program at Georgia Tech will receive a W-2 form documenting all earnings, and students must report those earnings as income on federal, state, and local tax returns.
Provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 offer many tax benefits to families investing in higher education. These benefits include the HOPE Scholarship Tax Credit, a Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, an interest deduction for student loan interest paid, new rules regarding withdrawals from education IRAs, and provisions related to employer-provided education assistance. Families are encouraged to consult their tax advisors for information on these benefits.