Return of Title IV Funds - Regulatory Summary of 668.21 and 668.2
Summary of Sec. 668.21
Treatment of Title IV funds when a student withdraws, drops out, or is expelled before the first day of class.
If a student officially withdraws, drops out, or is expelled before the first day of class of a payment period, all funds paid to the student for that payment period for institutional or non-institutional cost under the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), and Federal Perkins programs are an overpayment. If an institution is unable to document the student's attendance during the payment period, the student meets the drop out definition.
The institution is required to return the overpayment to the respective Title IV or Higher Education Act (HEA) programs in the amount that the student received in each program.
Summary of Sec. 668.22 Treatment of Title IV funds when a student withdraws
When a student who is a recipient of Title IV loan or grant assistance withdraws during a payment period or period of enrollment in which the student began attendance, the institution must determine the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned as of the student's withdrawal date.
If the total amount of Title IV grants or loans, or both, that the student earned is less than the amount of Title IV grants that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a parent PLUS loan as of the date of the institution's determination when the student withdrew, the difference must be returned to the Title IV program. No additional disbursements may be made to the student for the payment period or period of enrollment.
If the total amount of Title IV grants or loans, or both, that the student earned is greater than the total amount of the Title IV grants or loans disburse to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a parent PLUS loan as of the date of the institution's determination when the student withdrew, the difference between these amounts must be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement.
A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made from available grant funds before available loan funds. If outstanding charges exist, the institution may credit the student's account up to the amount of outstanding charges with all or a portion of any post-disbursement grant funds. Post-disbursement loan funds to pay outstanding charges require the confirmation of the student or parent for a parent PLUS loan.
The institution must notify the student and parent in the case of the parent PLUS loan within 30 days of the institution's determination that the student withdrew to offer to disburse any grant or loan funds directly to the student or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan that is not credited to the student's account. The funds may be accepted or declined. The parent or student has 14 days from the date of notification being sent to respond. With a timely notification from the student or parent in the case of a PLUS loan to confirm a post-withdrawal disbursement, the institution must disburse the funds within 120 days of the institution's determination that the student withdrew. For a late response from the student or parent in the case of a PLUS loan, the institution may make or decline to make the post-withdrawal disbursement.
Title IV Grant or Loan Assistance Definition
The following programs are defined as Title IV grant or loan assistance:
- Direct Loan – Federal Direct Loans and Direct PLUS loans
- Federal Pell Grant
Federal SEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) programs, not including the non-Federal share of FSEOG awards if an institution meets its FSEOG matching share.
The withdrawal date for a student who withdraws from an institution that is not required to take attendance (e.g. IUE) is earlier date of:
- the date the student began the institution’s prescribed withdrawal process; or
- the date the student otherwise provided the school with official notification of the intent to withdraw; or
- the date the institution becomes aware the student ceased attendance; or
- the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed if the student ceases to attend without official notification and withdrawal.
Percentage of Payment Period Completed
Calculate by dividing the total number of calendar days in the payment period into the number of calendar days completed as of the student's withdrawal date.
Calculation of Title IV Assistance Earned by the Student
The percentage of Title IV assistance earned is equal to the percentage of the payment period completed as of the withdrawal date. If the withdrawal date occurs after the 60 percent point, then the percentage of Title IV assistance earned is 100 percent. This percentage is then applied to the total amount of Title IV grant and loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed) to the student, or on the student's behalf in the case of a parent PLUS loan, for the payment period for which it was awarded.
Calculating Aid Earned - Example
The percentage of the semester completed is the percentage of aid earned. This is calculated by the number of days the student attended divided by the number of days in the payment period (i.e., semester). For example, if a student withdrew on the 20th day of a semester 114 days in length, the student would have earned only 17.5% of the aid he received. (20/114=0.175).
Students who remain enrolled through more than 60% of the payment period (semester) are considered to have earned 100% of the aid received and will not owe a repayment of Federal Title IV grant funds.
Students who receive all FN's, all FNN's or a combination of FN's, FNN's and W's during one academic period, and receive federal aid for the same academic period, may be required to repay all or part of any aid received.
Calculation of Title IV Assistance Unearned to be Returned
The unearned amount of Title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student from the amount of Title IV aid that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a parent PLUS loan.
Responsibility of the Institution for Return of Unearned Aid
The institution must return the lesser of the calculated total amount of unearned Title IV assistance or an amount equal to the total institutional charges the student incurs for the payment period multiplied by the percentage of awarded Title IV grant and loan assistance that has not been earned by the student.
Institutional charges are tuition, fees, room and board (if the students contracts with the institution for room and board), and other educationally-related expenses assessed by the institution.
Responsibility of the Student for Return of Unearned Aid
The student returns unearned Title IV assistance minus the amount the institution returns. Any Title IV loan program is returned in accordance with the terms of the loan and any Title IV grant program as an overpayment of the grant. However, a student is not required to return the portion of a grant overpayment amount that is equal to or less than 50 percent of the total grant assistance that was disbursed for a payment period or a grant overpayment amount of 50 dollars or less that is not a remaining balance.
Repayment of the Overpayment by the Student and Title IV Eligibility
A student who owes an overpayment remains eligible for Title IV and HEA program funds through the earliest of 45 days from the institutional notification of the overpayment or 45 days from the date the institution was required to notify the student of the overpayment if, during the 45 days, the student repays the overpayment in full to the institution or enters into a repayment agreement that is satisfactory with the institution with a maximum payment in full within two years.
Student Notification for Repayment
The institution must notify a student within 30 days of the institution's determination that the student withdrew and owes a Title IV or HEA overpayment in order to recover the overpayment. The notification provides the student with terms to permit the student to repay the overpayment while maintaining Title IV and HEA program funds with repayment of the full amount of the overpayment within two years of the date of the institution's determination the student withdrew.
Loss of Title IV Eligibility
In the context of Return of Title IV funds, a student is no longer eligible if they do not enter into a repayment agreement with the 45 day period or fails to meet the terms of the repayment agreement.
Order of return of Title IV funds:
Unearned funds returned by the institution or student are credited to outstanding Title IV loan balances made to the student or on behalf of the student for the payment period. Excess funds must be credited to outstanding balances in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans
- Federal Direct Subsidized loans
- Federal Direct PLUS loan received on the behalf of the student
If unearned funds remain to be returned after repayment of all outstanding loan amounts, the remaining excess must be credited to any amount awarded in the payment period to grant programs in the following order:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal SEOG
Timeframe for the Return of Title IV Funds by the Institution
An institution must return the funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of its determination that the student withdrew. An institution must determine the withdrawal date for a student that does not provide notification to the institution no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the payment period or period of enrollment.