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Refunds and Return of Title IV Aid

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998, as well as the program integrity regulations in 2010, set forth regulations governing the treatment of Title IV funds when a student withdraws from an institution.

There are two types of withdrawals that fall under the return to Title IV (R2T4) federal calculation regulations:

  • Withdrawals (W) – student initiates the withdrawal process by contacting the Office of Student Development (Fayette Campus students) or completing the Registrar's Electronic Withdrawal Form available on the UIU website.

  • Administrative Withdrawals (AW) - If a student begins to attend class, receives federal Title IV aid, but then ceases to attend class without providing official notification to the University, the student is considered administratively withdrawn. For Title IV purposes, the withdrawal date for students who are administratively withdrawn is considered to be the last date of attendance that can be determined. However, if the University determines that a student did not provide official notice of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond the student's control, the University may use a date that is related to that circumstance. The refund rules for Title IV aid recipients who withdraw are then followed to determine the unearned portion of Title IV aid that must be returned to the appropriate aid program(s).

Until a student has passed the 60% point in the semester/term**, only a portion of the student's disbursed aid has been earned. If a student completely withdraws or is expelled prior to the 60% point, then the Return of Title IV funds policy applies. Title IV funds refer to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and include the following programs: Direct Unsubsidized loans, Direct Subsidized loans, Direct Plus loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, and Federal TEACH Grant. Though the Federal Work-Study Program is also included in Title IV funds, it is not included when calculating the Return of Title IV funds.

Return of Funds Policy for Title IV Aid Recipients Who Completely Withdraw

When a student is considered to have completely withdrawn during an enrollment period in which they have begun attendance and received federal Title IV financial aid, Upper Iowa University (UIU) is required to determine the amount of earned and unearned Title IV aid. A student is only eligible to retain the percentage of Title IV aid disbursed that is equal to the percentage of the enrollment period that was completed by the student (calculated daily). The unearned Title IV aid must then be returned to the appropriate federal aid program(s). If more than 60% of the enrollment period has been completed by the student, no Title IV aid needs to be returned.

The percentage of the period that the student remained enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the enrollment period (*excludes Self-Paced Degree Program). Calendar days are used; breaks of five or more days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator. Scheduled breaks are measured from the first day of the break to the next day that classes are held. If a break begins on Wednesday and no classes are held the following weekend (classes resume on Monday), the five day break would be excluded from the calculation.

*For Self-Paced Degree Program students, eligibility is determined by the percentage of coursework completed during the payment period to determine Title IV aid eligibility and tuition charges. A withdrawal calculation will be required for students who do not successfully complete the assignments within each 6 month enrollment or for students that do not re-enroll in the second set of courses within 45 days of completing the first set of courses for the payment period.  If more than 60% of the payment period has been completed by the student, no Title IV aid needs to be returned.

The following steps will occur when determining the amount of Title IV aid to be returned upon a complete withdrawal:

  • Determine percentage of enrollment period completed by student. Divide the number of days attended by the number of days in the enrollment period. If the calculated percentage exceeds 60%, then the student has earned all Title IV aid for the enrollment period.
  • Calculate the amount of earned Title IV aid. Multiply the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the total Title IV aid disbursed (or could have been disbursed as defined by late disbursement rules).
  • Determine amount of unearned aid to be returned to Title IV aid program accounts. Subtract the amount of earned federal aid from the total amount of federal aid disbursed. The difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV aid program(s).
  • Return of Title IV funds by institution and student:
    • UIU will return unearned Title IV aid.
    • If the student's portion of aid to be returned is a loan, then the student is not immediately required to repay the loan. The terms of the original loan repayment agreement will apply.
    • If the student's portion of aid to be returned is an overpayment of a grant, the student is required to only repay the amount exceeding 50% of the total grants. UIU will restore the grant funds to the appropriate federal account, with a resulting charge to the students account. The student will be responsible for repaying UIU for the grant overpayment.
    • Unearned Title IV Funds will be returned to federal programs in the following order:
      1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
      2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
      3. Federal Perkins Loans
      4. Federal Parent PLUS Loan
      5. Federal Pell Grants
      6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
      7. Federal Teach Grants
      8. Iraq and Afghanistan Grant
      9. Other Grants

Financial aid from private scholarship programs is returned to those programs per their individual regulations. Private loans and payments made by students and parents are not subject to the earned aid percentage. These funds are used to pay the remaining balance after adjustments to federal, state, institutional aid, and institutional charges have been completed. Any credit balance remaining is returned to the student/parent. The total amount of unearned Title IV funds, other than Federal Work Study, must be returned. Unearned Title IV aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned under the federal formula.

If a student withdraws before Title IV funds are disbursed, the institution will follow the procedure for calculation of the Title IV funds to determine if funds could have been disbursed. It could result in making a post-withdrawal disbursement for a student who has satisfied the account balance due prior to adjustments.

According to university policy, when a student withdraws and receives a 100% tuition refund from the university, all of that semester/term's** federal Title IV grant aid (SEOG, Pell Grant, Federal Teach Grant) will be billed back to the students account. Most non-federal aid will also be billed back to the students account.

Example of a Title IV return of funds calculation for a Title IV recipient who is considered to have withdrawn: 

$15,761.24 = Institutional Charges

$6,707 = Title IV Loans
$3,525 = Title IV Grants

$10,232 = Total Title IV aid

Student withdrew on 54th day of a 117 day enrollment period.

Percent Earned    54/117 = 46.2%

Percent Unearned 100% - 46.2% = 53.8%

Amount of Title IV aid earned $10,232 x 46.2% = $4,727.18

The total aid returned is the total Title IV aid that was disbursed less the Title IV earned aid

$10,232 - $4,727.18 = $5,504.82 total amount to be returned

UIU will return aid as follows:

  • Title IV Loans $5,505
  • Title IV Grants $ 0

***A student is not considered to have completely withdrawn if UIU obtains written confirmation from the student at the time that would have been a withdrawal date that he or she intends to return for the following module within the semester. As a result, a complete withdrawal calculation would not be done.

Example of a Title IV return of funds calculation for a Title IV recipient who is considered to have withdrawn: (Self-Paced Degree Program)

$4,420 = Institutional Charges

$4,420 = Title IV Loans
$0 = Title IV Grants

$4,420 = Total Title IV aid

Student withdrew after completing 1 out of 14 assignments.

Percent Earned    1/14 = 7.1%

Percent Unearned 100% - 7.1% = 92.9%

Amount of Title IV aid earned $4,420 x 7.1% = $313.82

Unearned Title IV due to the school $4,420 x 92.9% = $4,106.18

Amount for school to return: Compare the amount of Title IV aid to be returned ($4,106.18) to the amount of unearned charges ($4,106.18), and return the lesser amount.

UIU will return aid as follows:

  • Title IV Loans $4,107.00
  • Title IV Grants $0

The examples shown above do not reflect every student refund situation that may exist. More detailed calculation examples are available in the Financial Aid Office.

The University reserves the right to amend the Title IV Return of Funds Policy at any time in order to comply with Federal regulations. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss individual circumstances.

UIU will return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination of the withdrawal. Students who withdraw that had school charges previously paid by FSA funds may be required to pay Upper Iowa University for debited student FSA funding as a result of withdrawal.

Students withdrawing from UIU should do so by initiating their intent to withdraw by completing the exit process through the Office of Student Development (Fayette Campus students) or completing the Registrar's Electronic Withdrawal Form available on the UIU website.

Enrollment Changes (other than complete withdrawals)

Students may be billed for a portion or even all of their financial aid awards if they drop credits or do not carry the minimum number of credits required for aid eligibility.

Students will be billed for aid adjustments caused by changes in enrollment status.

In addition to billing for the dropping of credits associated with withdrawal, there may be additional billing, particularly if a student has received federal financial aid funds (including Federal Stafford Loan) which were to have covered the entire semester's educational costs.

The bill calculated as a result of withdrawal will depend on the official date of withdrawal and/or the last date of attendance and the percentage and amount of institutional refund to be received.

Withdrawal for any semester/term** during the academic year may result in cancellation of a student's financial aid award for the remainder of the academic year.

Tuition and financial aid will be adjusted based on the percentage of the weeks completed in a course for enrolled students. Depending on the course withdrawal date, a portion of the tuition charge may be credited to the student's account. The tuition refund percentages are available in the Upper Iowa University Catalog.

**For the SPDP coursework, the use of the word "semester/term**" represents "enrollment".

Disclaimer:
The financial aid programs are designed to financially assist students seeking a degree in higher education. We hope the information available here will assist you in discovering your financial aid opportunities at Upper Iowa University. Our staff is available to assist you in achieving your higher education goals at Upper Iowa University. 

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