Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Military-Friendly Policies
“Call to active duty”
Special provisions are available to military personnel called to active duty while attending college. Options include (1) Full refund of tuition; (2) grade of incomplete with the opportunity to complete coursework through independent study or by retaking the course at no charge; or (3) a passing grade if warranted by coursework completed prior to departure.
- Minnesota State Procedure 5.12.1 Military Service and Veterans with Disabilities
- Minnesota Statute 192.502 Protections
Deferral policy for tuition, fees, and books
Consistent with Minnesota State Statute 197.775, students who are eligible and have applied for but not yet received veteran benefits are exempt from being charged a late fee. The law says: “A state college or university may not assess late fees or other late charges for veterans who are eligible to receive federal or state educational assistance and who have applied for that assistance but not yet received it, nor may they prevent these students from registering for a subsequent term because of outstanding tuition charges that arise from delayed federal or state payments.”
Credit for prior learning
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will consider prior learning attained in non-credit or experiential settings such as the military. Credit will be awarded for prior learning that is assessed as college-level learning as it applies to your chosen program and degree. Please contact Advising and Counseling for further assistance.
In-state tuition rates
Active duty military in Minnesota, veterans, and their spouses and dependent children pay tuition at the Minnesota in-state resident rate.
Transfer credit for military education
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities considers academic credit earned at accredited public, private and military colleges and will award transfer credit when courses from the accredited provider apply to your chosen program and degree. See information about military credit transfer for veterans and service members. Please contact Advising and Counseling for further assistance.
Return of Tuition Assistance (Unearned TA Policy)
Students who use Tuition Assistance (TA) are expected to remain enrolled in the course for its entire duration. If a student using TA withdraws or stops attending, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the benefit that was originally authorized. To remain in compliance with the Department of Defense’s policy, Rochester Community and Technical College will return any unearned TA funds through at least 60% mark of the course on a prorated basis. The amount of unearned TA that is returned is based on student-initiated date of withdrawal or last date of attendance noted by the instructor.
After 60% of the course has passed, TA will not be evaluated for a return to the DOD.
As an institution, we will bill the DOD after 60% of the course has passed to reduce the amount of incorrect TA funds being disbursed by the DOD to Rochester Community and Technical College. We will only bill for the amount the student earned given their enrollment.
Schedule for Returning Unearned TA
This return schedule applies to any course regardless of its duration.
Unearned TA funds will be returned on a prorated basis, depending on the length of the course and the amount of the course the student completed.
To determine the amount of TA that needs to be returned the institution will determine the date the withdrawal or date of last attendance, count the number of days the student completed and then divide that by the total number of days in the course to determine the percentage of TA that was earned by the student.
Example: The student enrolled in a course with a scheduled duration of 30 days. The withdrawal was submitted on the 14th day. The institution would perform the calculation to determine how much TA was earned by the student’s attendance:
(14 divided by 30 equals 46.6%. 47% of the TA authorized was earned by the student, which means 53% of what was authorized will be returned to the DOD)
Example: The student enrolled in a course with a scheduled duration of 120 days. The withdrawal was submitted on the 34th day. The institution would perform the calculation to determine how much TA was earned by the student’s attendance:
(34 divided by 120 equals 28.3%. 28% of the TA authorized was earned by the student, which means 72% of what was authorized will be returned to the DOD)
If the student completed more the 60% of the course, the full amount of TA authorize is considered “earned” and no refund is needed.
Information for Prospective Students
The College Scorecard is a consumer planning tool and resource to assist prospective students and their families as they evaluate options in selecting a school.
The College Navigator is a consumer tool that provides school information about tuition and fees, retention and graduation rates, use of financial aid, student loan default rates, and features a cost calculator and school comparison tool.
The College Financing Plan is a model financial aid award letter designed to simplify the information that prospective students receive about college costs and financial aid so they can easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. For a personalized College Financing Plan, log in to E-Services with your StarID and password, then click on the “Financial Aid” link. Additional information about RCTC’s tuition, fees, and financial aid information may be found on our website under How to Pay.
The Paying for College website contains a tool that can be used by prospective students to compare detailed financial information for up to three schools at a time. This site also includes general information about financial aid and financial literacy.
The designated point of contact for servicemembers is Othelmo da Silva, Academic Advisor. He may be reached at Othelmo.DaSilva@rctc.edu or 507-285-7566.
If you are receiving Tuition Assistance (TA) and are seeking access to disability counseling, please contact Travis Kromminga at email@example.com or 507-280-2968 to learn more about RCTC’s Disability Support Services.
State of Minnesota Statutes
Minnesota state statutes for veterans and service members inform the policy-making for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The statutes of most interest to veterans and service members are as follows:
Minnesota Higher Education Veterans Assistance Program
Minnesota State Statute 197.585 directs the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and Minnesota’s public colleges and universities to collaborate on establishing the Higher Education Veterans Program.
Minnesota State Higher Education Fairness
Minnesota State Statute 197.775 guides all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in developing veteran and military-friendly policies on courses, tuition rates and delayed payments.
Minnesota State Higher Education Fairness
Minnesota State Statute 195.502 specifies the minimum protections that public colleges and universities must provide to active duty military and veterans with a service-connected disability or related medical treatment when course participation is disrupted. These individuals may: (1) Withdraw and have tuition refunded, request an incomplete and finish coursework through independent study or by re-enrolling at a future date at no charge, or receive a grade of C or better if warranted by coursework completed prior to departure. (2) Receive a refund for room, board and fees while absent and attending to active duty or service-connected disabilities. (3) Re-admit and re-enroll in good standing without penalty when proper documentation is provided. Class sessions the student misses due to performance of active military service or due to the person’s medical treatment or medical condition must be counted as excused absences and must not be used in any way to adversely impact the student’s grade or standing in the class.
Prohibition of Aggressive and Dishonest Recruiting Tactics
Rochester Community and Technical College and its employees adhere to system and State policy/statute regarding ethical behavior (see policy and procedures links below). The policy prohibits acceptance of gifts and provides conflict of interest guidelines, including “using your position to secure any advantage that is not available to the public”. In addition, RCTC employees are required to complete the annual Code of Conduct Training for Minnesota State outlining ethical behavior and practices. Recruiters and staff are prohibited from misrepresenting RCTC, prohibited from using unethical or aggressive recruiting practice and also prohibited from accepting payment or incentive for taking part in those activities.
- Minnesota State system policy on Fraudulent or Other Dishonest Acts
- Minnesota State system procedure Employee Code of Conduct
- Minnesota Statute, Code of Ethics for Employees in the Executive Branch
Rochester Community and Technical College also commits to and complies with the VA Principles of Excellence.
All these policies, procedures, statutes and agreements above would prohibit the use of aggressive and dishonest recruiting tactics.
Please contact Veteran’s Services for further assistance or if you have questions about the policies listed above.