Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education:
The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to schools that we may use a variety of options to assist students in obtaining or purchasing books and supplies. They have suggested that these options may include cash disbursements, bookstore vouchers, stored value cards, school credit, check and EFT transfers to the student's bank account. Essex County College has chosen to use the book voucher process for students to purchase books and supplies. Further, the U.S. Department guidelines state that if a student uses the way provided by the institution to get the books and supplies, the student is considered to have authorized the use of Title IV funds and does not need a written authorization for this purpose only. However, Essex County College does require students to sign off on an authorization, which is included on the voucher at the time of the purchase.
To ensure that students have timely access to books and supplies, the Book Voucher Policy at Essex County College is based on the guidelines and regulations of the U.S. Department of Education.
The ECC Book Voucher Policy
Book Vouchers are issued to students with funds remaining from their award(s) after all charges are paid in full. If the student meets this requirement, a book voucher is issued and posted on the ECC Portal. The students will be directed to access their account on the Portal, to determine if a voucher has been issued. If there is a voucher issued, the student must print two copies (one for the book store and one for their record) and must take both copies to the Book Store to purchase their books and supplies. Detailed information about the book voucher program is sent and posted for students through the Financial Aid Monthly Newsletter, which is emailed to all students and this information is also posted outside the office and on our website each semester/ term.
The policy for using the voucher is written on the voucher. The available book voucher amount is based on the student's award at the time the voucher is issued. Changes to student's initial semester enrollment (drops, withdrawal, not in attendance etc.) or changes in the student's eligibility for aid will cause an adjustment to the available book voucher amount. The voucher is only valid for use in the ECC Main or West Essex Campus book stores. However, students always have the option of not using the book voucher program; they must then wait until the balance of their funds is disbursed later in the semester/ term. If they do not wish to use the voucher, they are responsible for purchasing their books and supplies until the balance of the funds are disbursed.
Book voucher availability for the semester/ term is approximately two weeks before the first day of classes. The book store maintains records of the amount charged by each student and submits this data to the Bursar. The book store provides this data to the Bursar and the Bursar deducts these charges from the student's account.
Using the Book Voucher:
The Financial Office will make a determination and provide appropriate information to the eligible students. By using a book voucher, the student is authorizing Essex County College to deduct all bookstore charges from any amount of aid in excess of tuition and other charges. Excess financial aid awards will be reduced as a result of these charges. The student is responsible for paying all book store charges not covered by excess financial aid funds. Misuse of financial aid funds is in violation of federal regulations. No exceptions are made to this policy.
If the student's financial aid eligibility changes or if awards require re-calculation due to a change in the student's course schedule; the student will be responsible for the balance created on his/her student account from this book voucher. If the student does not receive financial aid or withdraw prior to receiving financial aid, all outstanding charges including the books charged will be the student's responsibility.
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