Policy: Student Financial Responsibilities

Fulfilling financial obligations is a matter of honor and justice for the Trinity community and the failure to meet those obligations has severe consequences for the entire community, not just for the individual.

  • Students are expected to pay Trinity in a timely way for the tuition and fees incurred each semester.  Students are expected to know the schedule of fees published in the catalog and published separately each semester; to know the deadlines for drop/add and other actions that impact upon fees; and to follow the directions given for payment arrangements.  Even if a parent, family member or third party pays the bills, the student is responsible to know the details of the financial obligations incurred and to ensure full compliance with the expectations those obligations entail.
  • After the add/drop period published each semester, Trinity may drop students from courses for non-attendance, and this will include cancelling financial aid.  Students undertake a financial and legal responsibility to Trinity at the time they register for courses, regardless of whether they attend class.  Students who wish to drop a class without financial obligation must do so according to the procedures and the deadlines published each semester in the course catalogue.

Payment Plans, Unpaid Balances, Registration Holds

Trinity expects students to pay their bills in a timely way, and to enter payment arrangements for balances owed.  The staff of Enrollment Services work with students to create their payment plans and to secure student agreement to those plans.  The staff work within these guidelines:

Unpaid balances:  Students with unpaid balances may continue to enroll from semester to semester so long as they have made a good faith effort to adopt a payment plan and are making payments toward the balance, subject to the limits below.

Balances in excess of $10,000:  Staff may advise a student to stop enrolling if the student balance grows in excess of $10,000, even with a payment plan, if, in the judgment of staff based on available financial information through the FAFSA or other documentary evidence, the student has no reasonable means of paying down the balance.  Trinity may stop a student from further enrollment if the balance continues to accumulate and the student fails to present evidence of their ability to pay.  Such evidence may include failure to file a FAFSA if the student is otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, or refusal to accept the recommended financial aid package when there is no alternative for payment.

Failure to adopt a payment plan:  Students who do not adopt a payment plan, or who do not make payments according to the plan, may be stopped from further enrollment until they pay down the balance or adopt an acceptable payment plan.

Undergrads within 24 credits of graduation:  Undergraduate students within 24 credits of graduation whose balances are in excess of $5,000 may not continue to enroll until they bring their balances below $5,000.

Graduate students within 12 credits of graduation: Graduate students within 12 credits of graduation whose balances are in excess of $5,000 may not continue to enroll until they bring their balances below $5,000.

Any outstanding balances/final semester:  Students may not enroll in their final semester before graduation until they have adopted a satisfactory payment plan for any remaining outstanding balance.  Graduation is not final until the student resolves any outstanding balance.

Transcripts:  Note that students may obtain their transcripts for credits they have earned at Trinity at any time regardless of a balance owed.

Financial Penalties

  • A bad check passed on campus will not be tolerated, whether the check is payable to Trinity, one of the vendors on campus, or another organization doing business with Trinity.  Similarly, stopping payment on a check after receiving the goods and services the check paid for (e.g., books in the bookstore) is actionable.  A fee of $30.00 will be charged to the student’s account and a hold will be placed on the account until the obligation is satisfied; the student will also be subject to immediate suspension and possible legal action.
  • Failure to meet financial obligations may result in the delinquent account being placed with a collection agency.  Trinity will charge the delinquent student account all attorney fees, interest charges and collection costs necessary for the collection of past due accounts.

Sanctions for Financial Dishonesty

Trinity reserves the right to send cases of financial dishonesty for disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct; to notify appropriate external authorities as necessary, including law enforcement agencies; and to dismiss students for financial misconduct. Dishonesty in financial transactions with Trinity or financial institutions working in support of Trinity’s financial aid system may result in immediate cancellation of a tuition payment plan and a demand for immediate payment of all remaining financial obligations to the University.  Such dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, passing bad checks or stopping payments on checks to Trinity or Trinity vendors; accepting federal loan funds and then withdrawing from all courses, using such funds for personal purposes instead; failure to provide accurate information on financial aid applications; defaulting on federal loan payments; and other forms of financial misconduct that are intended to deceive or to avoid payment of obligations.

Financial Assistance

Trinity recognizes the large financial burden that students and families assume to pursue a higher education, and Trinity extends support as well as financial aid to the extent that the University’s resources permit.

Students and families who need financial assistance are expected to work directly with the Office of Enrollment Services; to treat all requests for family financial information with the utmost honesty and full disclosure; and to accept loan obligations as a profound duty to repay in a timely way.  Students who rely on federal or institutional financial aid (including loans or grants) to pay all or part of their charges are expected to complete the financial aid application process each year by published deadlines and to know the conditions for renewal of their aid.

For further information about this policy statement and available financial services, please call 202-884-9530 or visit the Office of Enrollment Services, Main Hall Room 154 or www.trinitydc.edu.