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COVID-19 Waivers for Return of Title IV Funds

Applies to: Original Policy Date: Date of Last Review: Approved By: 
Students and Financial Aid Staff May 2020 January 28, 2022

Dr. Marco Carvalho, 
Executive Vice President and Provost

Policy Owner: Office of Financial Aid

Policy Purpose

This policy details Return of Title IV Guidance for interruptions of study related to COVID-19, as posted in The Department of Education Electronic Announcement 5.15.2020.

Policy Scope

This temporary policy extends flexibilities to students who withdraw, officially or unofficially, as a result of a qualifying emergency related to COVID-19. This policy applies to periods that include March 13, 2020, or begin between March 13, 2020 and the later of the last date that the national emergency is in effect.

Policy Statement

When a student withdraws during a term, either officially or unofficially, the amount of Title IV program assistance the student has earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or the school or parent received on the student's behalf) less assistance that the amount the student earned, the student may be eligible to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than they earnedm the excess funds must be returned by Florida Tech and/or the student.

Procedures/Guidelines

For students who dropped courses prior to COVID-19 guidance being issued by the Department of Education, and funds are already returned, no further action will be taken. If the student contacts the university and indicates that the withdrawal was related to COVID-19, we will evaluate our ability to reverse the return of funds to be in line with the Department of Education's COVID-19 guidance.

For students who have withdrawn, and funds are not yet returned, financial aid staff will review the withdrawal documentation to determine if the withdrawal was a result of a qualifying emergency related to COVID-19. If the documentation indicates as much, a Return to Title IV Calculation will be performed; however, funds will not be returned as would be required under the standard policy, rather, the student will retain the funds, and both their institutional file and the COD System wil be noted appopriately.

If the withdrawal form indicates the withdrawal is not related to COVID-19, the calculation and return will be processed under normal policy.

Definitions

Withdrawal: For purposes of this policy, a student is considered to have withdrawn if the student ceases to be enrolled in all courses in a given term or semester (also referred to as payment period or period of enrollment).

Unofficial Withdrawal: A student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn if the student ceases to attend and does not provide notification to the school.

Title IV Aid:

  The Programs that are covered by this law are

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  • TEACH Grants
  • Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Supplemented Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs)

COD System: The Common Origination and Disbursement System, through which Title IV aid as listed above is processed

Compliance Reference

Section 3508 of the Cares Act

Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the student to disclose that their withdrawal was a result of a qualifying emergency related to COVID-19.

Enforcement

Failing to comply with regulations to properly return unearned Title IV funds appropriately could result in additional oversight from the Department of Education, restrictions on Title IV Participation and/or adminstrative fines for Florida Tech.

Employees who fail to comply with this policy may face disciplinary action.

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