When a student withdraws during a period in which he or she is receiving federal financial aid, the amount of Title IV funds (other than FWS) that must be returned to the Title IV programs is based solely on the length of time the student was enrolled prior to withdrawing.
A student's withdrawal date is defined as the date that the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the school; the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw; or, for the student who does not begin the school's withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw, the midpoint of the payment period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless the university can document a later date).
The university has additional latitude to determine the withdrawal date of a student who dropped out without notifying the university due to circumstances beyond the student's control, such as illness, accident or grievous personal loss.
The amount of funds earned by the student is directly proportional to time enrolled, through 60 percent of the period of enrollment. After 60 percent, the student is considered to have earned all federal aid. Unearned federal Title IV aid must be returned to the programs.
The university bears the responsibility of returning funds up to the lesser of the unearned amount or an amount determined by multiplying institutional costs by the unearned percentage. The student must return any unearned amount that is not the responsibility of the university to return. Unearned funds are returned first to Stafford Loans, then to Perkins Loans, and then to PLUS Loans.
Once loans are satisfied, remaining unearned funds are distributed to Pell Grant, then to FSEOG, then to other Title IV funds that require a refund.
The student repays unearned funds owed to a loan program under the terms of the promissory note. Repayments to grant programs are made according to grant overpayment regulations. If a student received aid from other (private, state) sources, refunds to them will be made in accordance with the policy of the donor(s).
The refund remaining after any funds are returned to federal and outside programs will be divided between the student and university financial aid programs in the same ratio as these sources were credited to the student's account (for example, if a student paid one-half of the bill, one-half of the remaining refund will be returned to the student and one-half will be returned to the university financial aid programs from which the student received assistance).
For students whose financial aid awards exceed the university's charges (for example, students who live off campus), funds that were disbursed to support educationally related expenses (for example, room, board, books, etc.) must be repaid on a prorated basis determined by the university.
Further information on the refund policy for aided students and the calculation for any specific case is available from the Office of Student Financial Services.