Student Withdrawal and Return to Title IV Funds

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Student Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds Policy

In accordance with the federal code of regulations 34 CFR668.22, when a federal financial aid recipient withdraws from all classes(officially or unofficially, as defined by regulations) during a term,University of the Southwest must determine the withdrawal date and use a federally mandated calculation to determine the amount of grant and/or loan assistance that the student earned.  If a student received less assistance than what was earned, s/he may qualify for those funds.   If the student received more assistance than earned, the unearned “excess” funds must be returned by the school and/or aid recipient to the appropriate federal aid program.

Note: The Return of Title IV Funds calculation is different from the University of the Southwest tuition and fee refund calculations.

Academic Calendar

University of the Southwest operates on credit hours with standard terms (16 week semesters for undergraduates and 16 week trimesters for graduates). On-line students enroll in two 8 week modules which comprise a semester.

Payment Period and Total Number of Calendar Days

A return of title IV funds (R2T4) is computed for a payment period.  A payment period is a semester of either Fall or Spring for undergraduate students or a trimester of Fall or Spring or Summer for graduate students.

For R2T4, the total number of calendar days in a semester is defined by the student’s scheduled course enrollment, i.e., start and end dates of courses, excluding scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.  The days are counted from the start date of the earliest course to the end date of the last course scheduled to complete(i.e., has the latest end date), excluding scheduled breaks.  This may be less than the full length of a term that is 16 weeks in the fall and spring and 10 weeks in the summer.

Scheduled Breaks

Scheduled breaks must be at least five consecutive days to be excluded in the R2T4 calculation.  It includes periods when University of the Southwest is not scheduled in session,e.g., holidays, and when the student is not scheduled to attend a course within the term.

Treatment of Drop/Add Courses

In the count of total days in the payment period, a course that is officially dropped prior to a student ceasing attendance is not included as days that a student was scheduled to attend, unless the student remained enrolled in other courses for those days.  A course that is officially added prior to the student ceasing attendance is included, even if the student never began attending.  Note:  There is more than one drop/add period in a semester due to modules.

Does Not Require Taking Attendance

University of the Southwest does not require attendance betaken, as federally defined.

Designated Official(s) or Office(s) to be Notified of College and Course Withdrawal

University of the Southwest has designated the Registrar’s Office to be notified of a University or course withdrawal.

Withdrawal from the University

In accordance with the federal code 34 CFR 668.22(a)(2)(i),a student is considered to have withdrawn from a semester/module if the student does not complete all the days in the semester/module that the student was scheduled to complete.

Completed Scheduled Days – Not a University Withdrawal

A student has completed a term if:

  • passing grades are received in all courses that the student was scheduled to attend during the term

  • a non-passing grade in the last course or courses the student was scheduled to attend, and it can be documented to have been completed.

Did Not Complete Scheduled Days — University Withdrawal

For federal aid purposes, a student will be treated as a University withdrawal, unless determined otherwise, if a student:

  • submits course withdrawal(s) from all courses scheduled for the semester/module.

  • submits a course withdrawal from the last course or courses scheduled to attend, i.e., the course with the latest end date in the scheduled enrollment, whether or not any other course(s) was completed prior to ceasing attendance.

  • takes all non-passing grades in the courses scheduled for the semester/module

  • takes a non-passing grade in the last course or courses scheduled to attend


Withdrawal Date 

For the purpose of calculating Return of Title IV Funds(R2T4), a student’s withdrawal date depends on the type of withdrawal.


Student-Initiated Notification – Official Withdrawal

An official withdrawal occurs when a student withdraws(and/or drops) from:

  • all courses in the term or

  • all course(s) scheduled to complete for which a grade(s) is yet to be assigned.

The withdrawal date will be the date the Registrar’s Office receives notification from a student of his or her intent to withdraw via personal, postal, electronic, or fax delivery, or a phone call.  The written notification may be a University of the Southwest Course Withdrawal Form or a written request.

*The last day of official withdrawal from a course is included in the academic calendar of each term. See Academic Calendar.


No Student-Initiated Notification – Unofficial Withdrawal

An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student:

  • receives all non-passing grades in courses scheduled to complete

  • receives a non-passing grade in the last course(s)scheduled to complete

The withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the term.

If there is no student-initiated notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, i.e., illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances, the date related to the onset of that circumstance will be used as the withdrawal date. A student should file an appeal to the Financial Aid Office for special circumstances review committee consideration.  The student will be notified of the committee’s decision within 14 days.


Last Date of Attendance

The University may always use as the withdrawal date the date that is reported as the last date of attendance at an academically related activity by a faculty member on a class roster, grade roster/sheet, online grading system, or other documented source.  The faculty member will maintain the documentation of the last date of attendance.  The date will be stored in University of the Southwest’s administrative database.


Date of Determination of Withdrawal 

The date of determination that a student withdrew varies depending upon the type of withdrawal.

Student-Initiated Notification – Official Withdrawal:

For an official withdrawal, the date of determination of withdrawal is the same date as University of the Southwest recorded as the withdrawal date.

No Student-Initiated Notification – Unofficial Withdrawal:

For an unofficial withdrawal, the date of determination of withdrawal is the date of the report used to identify that a student had withdrawn.  The date will be within 30days of the end of the term.

If circumstances beyond a student’s control cause an unofficial withdrawal, the date of determination is the date the Vice President of Student Finance’s review committee for special circumstances makes a decision and establishes a university withdrawal date.

 

Calculation of Earned Title IV Assistance 

Federal Aid Used in R2T4 Calculation

Federal aid used in the R2T4 calculation includes Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG), Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS loans that have been disbursed or are yet to be disbursed.  Federal Work Study is excluded.

Percentage of Title IV Aid Earned

The amount of Title IV federal aid assistance earned by the student is determined on a pro-rata basis up to the end of 60% of the term. For example, if the student completed 30% of a term, 30% of the aid originally scheduled to be received funds would have been earned. Once a student has completed more than 60% of a term, all awarded aid has been earned.

Total Days Scheduled to Complete

Total days scheduled to complete is the denominator in the calculation of percentage of earned aid. The days are counted from the start date of the earliest course to the end date of the last course scheduled to complete (i.e., has the latest end date), excluding scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.

Total Days to Date of Withdrawal

Total days to date of withdrawal are the numerator in the calculation of percentage of earned aid. The number of days reported is the total from the start date of first course to the withdrawal date, excluding scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days.

Amount of Title IV Aid Earned

After calculating the percentage of aid earned, a calculation of the amount of aid earned will be performed.  The total aid disbursed and yet to be disbursed for the term is multiplied by the percentage earned rounded to the nearest dollar amount.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements 

 If the total amount of the Title IV grant and/or loan assistance earned as of the withdrawal date is more than the amount that was disbursed to the student, the difference between the two amounts will be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. In the event that there are outstanding charges on the student’s account, University of the Southwest will credit the student’s account for all or part of the amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant assistance (not loan), up to the amount of the allowable charges (i.e., tuition, fees, and authorized book and other charges).

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of Grant Funds

A post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds is applied towards outstanding term charges on the student’s account and may pay up to the amount of the allowable charges (i.e., tuition, fees, and authorized book and other charges).

Any remainder of grant aid is paid to the student.  The student will be notified within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal of the post-withdrawal disbursement.   A refund will be sent as soon as possible but no later than 45 days of the date that University of the Southwest determined that the student withdrew (officially or unofficially).

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement of Loan Funds

A post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds may be paid if the student is eligible to receive the funds. The student (or parent if a PLUS loan) will be notified within 30 days of the date of determination of withdrawal that loan funds are available. The student will be given the opportunity to accept, decline, or reduce the amount of loan.  Upon receipt of a timely response from the student (or parent), University of the Southwest will disburse the loan funds as soon as possible but no later than 180 days of the date of determination of the student’s withdrawal date.  Loan funds will be applied towards the outstanding term charges on the student’s account.  The funds may pay up to the amount of the allowable charges (i.e., tuition, fees, and authorized book and other expenses).  Any remainder will be paid directly to the student (or parent).

University of the Southwest maintains the right to decide whether or not to make a post-withdrawal disbursement if the student (or parent if a PLUS loan) responds after 14 days of the date that the notification was sent.  If University of the Southwest decides not to make the post-withdrawal disbursement, it will inform the student in writing within 15 days of the decision.

Return of Unearned Funds to Title IV 

 If the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance that was earned as of the withdrawal date is less than the amount that was disbursed to the student, the difference between the two amounts will be returned to the Title IV program(s) and no further disbursements will be made.

Funds Returned by University of the Southwest

Amount of Funds to be Returned:

If a student has received excess funds, University of the Southwest will return the entire amount of the excess funds to the appropriate aid program.

Order in Which Funds are Returned:

The funds will be returned in the order below as prescribed by federal regulations, within 45 days from the date of determination that a student withdrew.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans

  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans

  • Federal Direct PLUS loans

  • Federal Pell Grants

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

 

A student will be notified of any funds returned by University of the Southwest within 75 days of the date of determination that the student withdrew.

Unearned Aid Returned and Repayment by Student

All funds returned by University of the Southwest to Title IV programs will be charged back to the student’s account at USW.

Enrollment After Title IV Funds Have Been Returned

When a student returns to the University within a semester/module after withdrawing, and unearned Title IV funds have been returned to their respective program accounts, the aid may be reinstated if University of the Southwest is able to recover the funds for disbursement and the student is eligible.

NOTE:  The return of Title IV funds is separate from the College’s tuition and fee refund policy.