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Title IV Refund Policy
The Office of Student Financial Assistance and Education is required by federal statute to determine how much financial aid was earned by students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence before completing 60 percent of a payment period or term.
For a student who withdraws after the 60 percent point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, a school still must complete a Return Calculation to determine whether the student is eligible for a postwithdrawal disbursement.
The calculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula: Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage also is the percentage of earned aid.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.
If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student would be required to return a portion of the funds. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to them, the institution would owe the student a postwithdrawal disbursement that must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.
The institution must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.
Refunds are allocated in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a Return of funds is required
- Other assistance under this Title for which a Return of funds is required (e.g., LEAP)
Should a student cancel their enrollment as opposed to withdrawing, no Return of Title IV calculation will be performed. Instead, all aid disbursed will be canceled and returned to the appropriate aid programs.