Federal Title IV Refund Policy

Definitions:

Payment period – the total number of calendar days that a student is scheduled to complete prior to ceasing attendance, including breaks in enrollment of less than five days. Note: During fall or spring semester, the entire semester is usually the payment period.

Module – a course that does not span the entire payment period.

Withdrawal -- a student is considered to have withdrawn if the student does not complete all the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete prior to ceasing attendance.

Payment period completed – the total number of calendar days within the payment period that a student completed prior to ceasing attendance, including breaks in enrollment of less than five days.

Percentage of the payment period completed – ‘payment period completed’ divided by ‘payment period’.

Academically-related activity – an exam, tutorial, online instruction (not just logging on), submitting an assignment, or attending a study group assigned by the College. Academic counseling and academic advising are not considered academically-related activities.

Policy/Regulation

When a student withdraws, ceases attending, or is administratively withdrawn during a semester, the College is required by Federal regulation to determine the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance (Federal Pell, FSEOG, Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan) that the student earned as of the student’s withdrawal date. The unearned portion of the Title IV aid must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program(s).

Determining enrollment status for Return of Title IV Funds

Adjustments to a student’s enrollment status made after the student ceases attendance have no bearing on the Return of Title IV Funds requirements.

  • If prior to ceasing attendance, a student drops modules that have not yet started, the dropped modules will not
    be included when determining the student’s payment period. Eligibility for Title IV funds may need to be recalculated.
  • If a student drops modules that have not yet started, after ceasing attendance in all courses, the dropped modules will be included in determining the student’s payment period.
Withdrawal date determination (in general)
  • The date the student officially notifies the Registrar’s Office, in writing or in person, of his or her intent to withdraw or,
  • The date the student begins the official withdrawal process in the Registrar’s Office.
  • If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification to the Registrar’s Office, the student may be administratively withdrawn and the withdrawal date will be one of the following:
    • The date the student last attended class or participated in an academically-related activity.
    • The mid-point date of the student’s payment period.
Withdrawal date determination for students taking one or more modules and no courses that span the entire semester
  • If a student fails to complete all modules scheduled for a semester, the student is considered a withdrawal at the time the student ceases attendance.
  • If a student withdraws from a module but indicates in writing to the Financial Aid Office that he or she will attend a later module during the same semester, the student is not considered a withdrawal.
    • If the student fails to attend the later module, the date of withdrawal reverts to the original withdrawal from the prior module. The later module will be included in the period of enrollment.
  • Without written confirmation of the student’s intent to attend a later module in the same semester, a student who withdraws from a module or has ceased attendance is considered a withdrawal.
  • If a student begins but fails to complete the final module(s) in a semester, the student is considered to have withdrawn.
  • If a student receives a failing grade for the final module(s) in a semester, the College must determine if the student ceased attending and is therefore considered a withdrawal.
  • The Return of Title IV Funds process will begin as soon as possible after it is determined that a student has withdrawn or ceased attendance. If the student returns for a later module in the payment period, the Return of Title IV Funds will be reversed.
Earned and unearned Title IV financial aid
  • Based on the withdrawal date, the College determines the percentage of the payment period completed.
  • Earned Title IV aid is calculated using the percentage of the payment period completed.
    • If a student completes more than 60% of the days he or she was scheduled to complete, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the Title IV grants or awards for the semester.
    • Earned Title IV aid may not be sufficient to cover the College charges and a balance due may result.
  • Unearned Title IV aid is the remaining Title IV aid that the student did not earn based on the date of withdrawal.
    • All unearned Title IV aid must be returned to the specific Federal program.
Repayment

The responsibility to repay the unearned Title IV funds to specific Federal programs is shared by the College and the student.

  • Federal regulation requires that Title IV financial aid be used to cover only the length of time the student was enrolled before withdrawal, dismissal, or ceasing attendance.
  • The College's share is the lesser of:
    • The total amount of unearned Title IV funds; or
    • Institutional (College) charges incurred for the billing period multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned.
  • The College's share is allocated among the Title IV programs in the following order of return:
    1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
    3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
    4. Federal Pell Grant
    5. Federal SEOG
    6. Other Title IV assistance for which a return of funds is required
  • The student's share is the difference between the unearned Title IV funds and the College's share.
  • Timeframe for the Return of Title IV Funds to the Federal programs:
    • Return of Title IV Funds process will begin as soon as possible after it is determined that a student has withdrawn or ceased attendance.
    • The College must determine the withdrawal date for a student who withdrew without providing notification no later than 30 days after the end of the semester.
    • The College must return funds no later than 45 days after the date the College determined that the student withdrew.

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