Billing and Financial Aid Policies

  • Legal Residence Verification Policy

    Policy Statement

    To provide a uniform procedure to verify the legal residence of students in determining their domicile.


    1. Verification of a student’s legal residence is conducted during the registration process for each academic year which is noted in the student’s electronic record by asking to review proper documentation. Documentation may include the following:
      • A valid driver’s license
      • A valid state I.D. card
      • A voter’s registration card
      • A current auto certificate or registration
      • A property tax receipt
      • A current rent receipt
    2. If during the registration process residence verification is unsuccessful a notation is entered in the student’s electronic record (RVA-residency verification attempted). The student is asked to submit proper documentation of residency to the Records/Registration Office. Sending the grade mailer also verifies residency for these students as well as students registered over the telephone. For any student who has a RVA notation in their electronic record, residence verification is conducted for a subsequent semester registration.
    3. If a residency discrepancy is discovered by a grade mailer being returned as undeliverable, this will be marked in the student’s electronic record as “Bad Address”. During registration for a subsequent semester, the student is required to provide documentation to verify residency.
    4. A student may verify a change in residency status during registration by providing appropriate documentation to the registration personnel or by completing a Change of Name, Permanent Address and/or Temporary Mailing Address form in the Records/Registration Office. This form is filed in the student’s paper file noting the appropriate documentation reviewed.
  • Student Accounts Policy


    Current and past bills can be viewed online any time in the Bill and Payment Center. To visit the Bill and Payment Center, log in to Wired, click the Student Resources tab, and then Bill and Payment Center from the drop down menu.

    You will receive a Statement of Account Balance approximately two weeks before the initial tuition due date. This statement will be mailed to the mailing address we have on file for you.

    Your bill will also be emailed to your SMC email address once a week.

    The student bill will include all charges and credits or pending credits at the time the bill was generated.

    Changes in your schedule or financial aid may have an effect on the amount that you are responsible to pay. Changes that might modify your account balance include:

    • Adding or dropping a class
    • Changes to your financial aid package
    • Changes to your anticipated outside funding (loans, scholarships, etc.)
    • Changes to your housing status
    • Additional charges or fees (payment plan fees, ID replacements, etc.)

    If you make changes to your registration or housing status after the semester due date, and these changes result in an additional balance due, you are responsible for payment at the time the change occurs.

    Financial Aid

    Your student bill will reflect your financial aid eligibility only after you have completed any necessary documents. Check the Student Dashboard on SMC Wired to view any outstanding financial aid requirements. Pending financial aid will appear under the “Memos and Authorizations” section of your bill and will reduce the amount you are expected to pay.

    Student Loans

    Pending Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) will appear on your bill as authorized items. If you are a first time borrower at Southwestern Michigan College you will need to complete the necessary steps prior to the disbursement of your first loan(s). 

    Plus Loans

    Pending Parent Plus Loans will appear on your bill as authorized items. If you are a first time borrower at Southwestern Michigan College you and your parent will need to complete the necessary steps prior to the disbursement of your first loan(s).

    Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)

    A pending TIP award will appear on your bill as an authorized item. You must receive an official award letter from the State of Michigan; your award will be paid after SMC has certified your eligibility. TIP will pay a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester at the in-district tuition rate and a maximum of $250 in fees. Any additional balance due is the responsibility of the student.

    College Work-Study

    A work-study award may be a part of your financial aid package. However, this award is not a guarantee of employment and will not be deducted from your bill. If you are employed in a work-study position you will be paid through SMC payroll as you work.

    Outside Scholarships

    If you are awarded a scholarship, loan, or grant from an outside organization which will not be paid by the semester due date, you must present a voucher or letter from that agency stating the terms of the payment. In absence of the voucher or letter, you will be responsible for payment. This includes a third-party payment from an employer or other source.


    You are responsible for full payment of your account balance, minus any pending financial aid. If you do not pay or enroll in a payment plan by the due date, you will be dropped from your classes.

    If you register for classes after the tuition due date, payment is due in full at the time of registration. This includes completion of any required financial aid information.

    You can pay your bill online using the Bill and Payment Center, by mail, or in-person at the cashier’s window on either campus.

    Online Payment

    To pay your bill online, log in to Wired, click the Student Resources tab and then Bill and Payment Center from the drop down menu. You will be redirected to the Bill and Payment Center website. Click Make Payment to pay in full or Payment Plans to enroll in a payment plan.

    The following forms of payment may be used online:

    • Electronic check/ACH transaction from a checking or savings account (processed using your bank account number and routing number)
    • Discover
    • MasterCard
    • Visa
    • American Express

    Note: A 2.85% convenience fee is added to all credit and debit card payments. There is no additional charge for any other form of payment.

    In-person Payment

    You may pay your bill with cash, check, or money order at the cashier’s window on either campus. Those wishing to pay in-person by credit card or ACH transaction will be directed to a computer on which they will be shown how to pay their bill using the online Bill and Payment Center.

    The cashier’s window is located in the Briegel Building on the Dowagiac Campus and in the Student Service Center on the Niles Campus.

    Mail-in Payment

    Mail payment to ATTN: Cashier, 58900 Cherry Grove Rd., Dowagiac, MI 49047.

    Payment Plans

    You can pay your bill in full or you can set up a payment plan to pay your bill in smaller increments throughout the semester.

    There are two payment plan options:

    Monthly Payments

    Payments are due once a month. You choose whether to pay on the 1st or 15th of each month.

    Twice-a-month Payments

    Payments are due twice a month on the 1st and 15th of each month.

    Payment plans set up on or before the tuition due date will include four months of payments. Payment plans set up after the due date are subject to a shorter period of payments. Summer semester may vary.

    Payment plans require a non-refundable $35 enrollment fee and a 10% down payment of your total balance at the time of set-up.

    Late payments will be charged a one-time $10 late fee. Returned electronic check payments will be charged a $15 returned check fee.

    Log in to Wired, click the Student Resources tab and then Bill and Payment Center from the drop down menu. You will be redirected to the Bill and Payment Center website. Click Payment Plans to enroll in a payment plan.

    You can give others (like a parent) permission to view and pay your bill by adding them as an Authorized User on your account. To do this, log in to Wired, click the Student Resources tab, and then Bill and Payment Center from the drop down menu. After you’ve been redirected to the Bill and Payment Center, click Authorized Users from the home page.

    Refund Policy

    If there is an overpayment on your account, a refund will be issued during our weekly refund process. Each semester, the refund process will begin after the add/drop period ends. Refunds resulting from Financial Aid awards will not be refunded until Financial Aid is disbursed to student accounts during the sixth week of the semester. Refund checks are not available for pickup. You may choose to receive your refund through direct deposit by setting up a direct deposit account in the Bill and Payment Center under the Refund option. Those who do not have a direct deposit account selected will receive their refund check via standard mail. Checks are mailed to the current mailing address you have on file with the college. If you are a housing student, your refund check will be delivered to your housing mailbox.

    If the college cancels a class, the student will receive a 100% refund of all tuition and fees.  If the student officially drops a class within the drop period, 100 % of the tuition and fees will be refunded.  If the student officially withdraws after the drop period ends, no tuition or fees will be refunded.  It is vital to understand that a student is considered enrolled in a class UNTIL they have dropped their class. Consequentially a student is financially liable for the tuition/fees associated with a registered class until it is officially dropped. Non-attendance is NOT considered as official notice of dropping a class and does not constitute the basis for a refund.

    Tuition is charged to provide instructional services and, as such, refunds must be limited once those services have begun. Registration fees are used to establish the initial schedule, process student registration papers and complete the withdrawal process. Technology fees are used to partially defray the costs of providing academic and administrative computing services and resources. Both are refundable following the tuition refund policy. Special fees are listed in the college schedule each semester where they are explained and notations indicate under what circumstances they are or are not refundable.

    Drop/Withdraw Policy

    After students have registered for classes, they may modify their schedule by adding or dropping classes until the end of the add/drop period for the term. The course catalog provides important dates for dropping and adding classes. In order to withdraw from classes after the term has begun and the last date to drop classes has passed, students must complete a Course Withdrawal Form available in the Office of First Year Experience in the David C. Briegel Building. No refund of tuition and fees will be received for a course withdrawal, and students remain responsible for the entire cost of the course. A grade of “W’ will be issued on the student’s academic transcript. Note: Students who simply stop attending class without an official withdrawal transaction may receive a failing grade which cannot be removed from their transcript.

    Request for Exception for Late Refund or Withdrawal

    Southwestern Michigan College realizes that on occasion students may need to request an exception to the withdrawal/refund deadlines as published in the schedule of classes. Written requests can be made if the student meets the extenuating circumstances outlined below. In all cases, the circumstance must have interrupted the student’s ability to (1) attend class(es) for a substantial length of time, (2) complete the semester, and/or (3) adhere to the usual withdrawal or refund procedures. Students must complete the Request for Late Refund or Withdraw. All exception requests must be submitted by the student. Exceptions submitted by a parent, legal guardian or spouse will be accepted only if the student is incapacitated. Approval of these Requests is not “automatic.” Each one will be considered on its own circumstances and merits. The typical response time for the Exception Request Committee is several weeks. The decision of the Committee is final and will be communicated to the student in writing.

    Examples of extenuating circumstances may include: severe illness or medical emergency, death of immediate family member, U.S. military active duty or induction.

  • Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
  • Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Administrators
  • Terms of Student Loans