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Financial Aid: Return of Title IV Funds

Return of Title IV Funds

Students who withdraw, drop, or otherwise do not complete all of the courses that they are scheduled to attend in the term may have disbursed funds returned to the federal government. This includes students who stop engaging in academically related activities in any or all courses during the term.

Federal regulations established by the U.S. Department of Education require the Office of Financial Aid to apply a formula, entitled Return to Title IV (R2T4), to determine the percentage of federal financial aid a student has earned up through the last date of academically related activity in any or all courses during the term. 
The following enrollment changes may trigger R2T4:

  • Withdrawal to zero credits (official withdrawal through the university policy)
  • Official Leave of Absence during the term.
  • Lack of engagement in academically related activities for at least 14 consecutive days in the term.
  • For consecutive enrollment within a term, withdrawal from an earlier course with no confirmation of return in a later course.
  • For consecutive enrollment within a term, dropping, not attending, or withdrawing from a later course, even after the completion of an earlier course.
  • For consecutive enrollment within a term, failure to earn a passing grade in the last course in the term, even after passing an earlier course.
  • Failure to earn a passing grade in all courses attempted in the term.

The last date of academically related activity, as determined by the university, is used as the financial aid withdrawal date to determine the completion percentage for R2T4. Students who complete more than 60% of the term are considered to have earned 100% of the federal financial aid disbursed to them for the term. Students who do not complete more than 60% of the term will have all or a portion of disbursed funds returned to the federal government.

The withdrawal date for federal financial aid purposes is not the same as the withdrawal date processed by the Registrar to determine tuition adjustments.  Federal student aid may not cover all charges due to the university that result from the return of funds upon the student’s withdrawal.
Prior to withdrawing or making any enrollment changes, students should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if the change will result in a return of funds and to understand the financial options to get back on track for future terms.

Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to apply a formula established by the US Department of Education, entitled “Return of Title IV Aid,” (R2T4) to determine the amount of federal financial aid a student has earned as of the student’s withdrawal date. The amount of the federal financial aid returned to federal aid programs is determined by the amount of time a student spends in academically related activity. After 60% of the term has passed, students have earned 100% of the federal financial aid disbursed to them.

Students withdrawing from all courses in the term prior to the completion of 60% of the quarter/semester may find that funds are owed to the university as a result of the R2T4.

Students who stop engaging in academically related activities during the term, without officially withdrawing from the courses, are subject to the R2T4 calculation. In such cases the last date of academically related activity, as determined by the university, is used as the withdrawal date for the term.

Prior to withdrawing from all courses in the term, it is suggested that students contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of federal aid that must be returned. Federal student aid may not cover all unpaid charges due to university upon the student’s withdrawal.

Understanding the Facts about Financial Aid and Course Participation