Return Of Title IV Funds
Effective Date Jul 1, 2014
Return of Title IV Funds Policy
Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about the return of Title IV Funds. The office can provide a draft Return of Title IV funds calculation to help you determine the financial impact of a complete withdrawal.
This policy applies to any student who withdraws from all courses after the last day to withdraw with a full tuition refund (view the Florida Tech Online calendar) OR any student who is considered to have unofficially withdrawn from all courses. If the student receives all non-passing grades (F, I, W, or no grade), attendance in the term cannot be verified and as a result they are determined to have unofficially withdrawn. The Financial Aid Office will contact the student’s professors to confirm attendance and, if applicable the last date of attendance. If no attendance can be verified, then all aid must be canceled.
Unofficial withdrawals are determined within 30 days of the end of term, and the return to Title IV calculation within 45 days of the end of the term.
What is Return of Title IV Funds?
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each term, you earn the funds as you complete the term. If you completely withdraw or unofficially withdraw during the term (your school can define these for you and tell you which one applies to you), the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/ or you. The latter of the two scenarios is most common.
What aid is Title IV aid?
The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
- TEACH Grants
- Direct Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs)
*Bright Futures recipients should be aware that the Bright Futures program will not pay for withdrawn courses; therefore, if a student withdraws from any courses, the university is required to return all (100%) of the Bright Futures funds disbursed based on enrollment in that course. The repayment may result in a balance on the student’s account that must be paid to remain in good standing.
How is the Return of Title IV Funds calculated?
The university is required to return the amount of Title IV aid that is considered unearned, and to calculate this, they will first determine the amount of aid you earned. The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period; therefore no aid is returned.
If you receive (or your school or parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
- the entire amount of excess funds (i.e. Title IV funds times earned aid percentage).
The school must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
Please note that the requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the university’s tuition refund policy; therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Your school may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know your school’s refund policy, you should ask your school for a copy. Your school can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
How are the funds returned?
The school will return the Title IV aid to the Department of Education electronically. Funds will be returned in the following order until the full amount of unearned aid has been returned: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Direct Graduate Plus Loan, Direct Parent Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Once the funds are returned, the student will be responsible for any balance on their account that is created by the return of Title IV funds. In the event that a credit is created by a combination of a tuition refund and Title IV return, the funds will be refunded to the student via check or direct deposit. Once the return is completed, the student will receive an email notifying them of the action and returned amounts.
If your school is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount.
For any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Direct PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
In the unlikely event that you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other institutional charges. If you do not give your permission (some schools ask for this when you enroll), you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, please contact the Financial Aid Office. You may also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/.
Financial Aid received withdrawal forms that indicated the reason for the withdraw. While some forms have been received that indicated the withdraw was related to COVID-19, all fell after 60% of the term, so no return of funds would be calculated. No special action is necessary.
All other withdraws will be processed under normal policy.
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 us 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 contact the student to inquire about the reason for the withdrawal. If the student indicates the withdrawal was related to COVID-19, we will request signed statements from the student and other documentation if appropriate for the circumstance. The documents will be indexed to Xtender, and a return calculation will be completed. No money will be returned.
If the student responds and the withdrawal is not related to COVID-19, the calculation and return will be processed under normal policy.
If the student fails to respond before the 30-day return deadline, funds will be returned.
For supplemental withdrawals, the withdrawal forms will indicate the reason the withdraw was approved. Supporting documentation for these requests is collected by Online Learning. If the form indicates the withdraw is COVID-19related, Financial Aid staff will request the supporting documentation from Online Learning. The documents will be uploaded to the student's file, and a return calculation will be completed; however, no money will be returned. The student will be added to the R2T4_COVID spreadsheet for tracking and reporting purposes.
If the form indicates the withdrawal is not related to COVID-19, the calculation and return will be processed under normal policy.