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Effective Fall 2000


The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 include new regulations governing the return of federal financial assistance for financial aid recipients who completely withdraw from school in any semester. This policy governs all Federal loan and grant programs, including Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and other Title IV programs except Federal Work-Study.

These regulations govern the return of aid disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term or payment period.  During the first 60% of the period/semester, a student "earns" aid in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. The percentage of time that the student remained enrolled determines the percentage of disbursable aid for that period that the student earned.  If the student received more assistance than earned, the unearned excess funds must be returned to the federal programs. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point earns all aid for the period.

Students planning to withdraw need to start at the Registrar's Office to request a Withdrawal Form.  Institutional charges and financial aid will be adjusted once the Withdrawal Date has been determined.  For students receiving financial aid, the refund must first be repaid to the Title IV programs, state grants, and institutional funds in accordance with existing regulations in effect on the date of withdrawal and with respect to various types of aid.  It is likely that the student who withdraws will still have an outstanding balance due to the University.

The Withdrawal Date is determined as follows:

  • Official Withdrawals - the later date of when the student began the institution's official withdrawal process OR officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw;
  • Unofficial Withdrawal - the midpoint of the period, or the last date of an academically related activity, for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.

If the student has to leave without notification because of circumstances beyond the student's control, the institution may determine a withdrawal date related to those circumstances.  The institution has the option to always use the student's last day of attendance at a documented academically related activity.

The University takes the responsibility on behalf of the student to return unearned federal financial aid funds that were applied directly to institutional charges.  The student is responsible for return of unearned federal financial aid funds that were disbursed directly to him/her.  To prevent undue hardship, allowances have been made if the unearned assistance repayment owed by the student is due to a loan program.  Funds due for repayment to a loan program permit the student to repay according to the terms of the promissory note.  In addition, if the student is directly responsible for repayments of unearned assistance to a federal grant program, only one-half (50%) of the calculated repayment is required.

Federal grant money determined to be returned by the student is considered an overpayment.  The student must repay that amount in full, or make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education.  The student must make repayment arrangements within 45 days of the date the University notifies the student of the overpayment status.  The student is ineligible for future Federal financial assistance if a satisfactory repayment arrangement is not met.

Unearned federal financial aid must be returned to program funds up to the amount of assistance that the student has received from the program, in the priority order established by regulation: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Student Loan, PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and other Title IV programs.