Financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of funds the student was originally scheduled to receive. This is also applicable if the student ceases attendance for any other reason prior to completing the clock hours in the payment period for which assistance was awarded.
Using the student’s withdrawal date, which is either the last date of attendance in a school-related activity or the date the student notified the school of his/her intent to withdraw (whichever comes first), the institution will determine how much of the payment period you were scheduled to complete. If you withdraw prior to being scheduled to complete more than 60 percent of your payment period, the institution will determine the amount of federal student aid unearned. If the total amount of Title IV assistance you earned is less than the amount disbursed to you, then the difference must be returned to the Title IV program in a specified order:
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
If you were scheduled to complete more than 60 percent of the clock hours in the payment period, you are said to have earned all of your federal assistance. You will be notified if you are eligible for any post-withdrawal disbursements.
In most cases, the school may have to repay the unearned financial assistance to the appropriate program. The school will bill you for any money you owe as a result. In other cases, you (the student) may owe money directly to the government program (e.g., the Federal Pell Grant program). The institution will notify you if you owe the money directly back to the government, and you are responsible for paying the overpayment within 45 days. If you do not repay the money within the allotted time, the overpayment may be transferred to the Debt Collection Services Department at the Department of Education. You will not be eligible for further federal student aid until the overpayment is resolved.
To determine the amount of money that must be repaid, the institution will calculate how many hours you were scheduled to complete at the time of your withdrawal and divide this by the number of hours in the payment period. If you withdrew after you were scheduled to complete 60 percent of the payment period, you are considered to have earned all the federal aid for the payment period. If you withdrew before you were scheduled to complete 60 percent of the payment period, the unearned portion of the financial aid must be returned. The amounts to be returned are determined by the calculation results in the Return of Title IV calculation.