Title IV funds are awarded based under the assumption the student will be in attendance for the entire payment period. If a student withdraws from all classes, officially or unofficially, he/she may be subject to the federal Return to Title IV (R2T4) policy. The student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of financial aid that was originally awarded and disbursed.
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws
The law specifies how HIU must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
How HIU determines your withdrawal date
Students are expected to follow HIU’s official withdrawal policy. The withdrawal policy requires students to officially withdraw from the University in writing by completing the University course withdrawal form. For the purposes of calculating the return to Title IV, the University will use the date the students begins the withdrawal process or the date the student otherwise provides notification as the students withdrawal date.
Students who do not follow the official withdrawal policy may be administratively withdrawn from the University if the University determines that they stopped attending all of their scheduled courses. For the purposes of calculating the return to Title IV, the University will determine the withdrawal date for students no later than 30 days after the end of the semester and in accordance with the University’s withdrawal policy.
The University will determine if a student who fails to follow the official withdrawal procedure has withdrawn from the institution.
A student who does not receive an earned grade of A, B, C, or F will be evaluated by the Registrar’s office at the end of each semester. Students in this category may receive an I – Incomplete as a result of not completing some of their coursework in a class. Students who do not complete coursework within the designated timeframe will receive a WF unless otherwise indicated by the faculty member on the Incomplete Grade Form.
Students who did not officially withdraw from the course but who, in the opinion of the instructor, failed to provide sufficient evidence for evaluation of academic performance are awarded a grade of “WF.” A WF grade indicates the student stopped attending but did not officially withdraw from the class, did not complete the coursework and failed the class as a result. A student whose transcript reflects a combination of all W and/or WF grades for a semester will be reviewed by the financial aid office to determine if they have withdrawn from the University. Students determined to have withdrawn will be processed as a withdrawal effective as of either the midpoint of the semester or the last date of an academically related activity in which the student participated, as documented by a school official or faculty member. For more information, please review the University's withdrawal policy.
Timeframe for the return of Title IV funds
Per federal regulations, HIU must return unearned funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the date the institution determined a student has withdrawn.
Explanation of the calculation
Though your aid is posted to your account at the start of each period, you earn the funds as you complete the period. If you withdraw during the semester, 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 HIU 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 amount of assistance you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example if you completed 30% of the semester, you earn 30% of the assistance that you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the semester, you earn all the assistance you were scheduled to receive for that period. If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement.
The amount of title IV loan assistance that is earned by the student is calculated by determining the percentage of title IV loan assistance that has been earned by the student, and applying this percentage to the total amount of title IV loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed, to the student, or on the student's behalf, for the payment period as of the student's withdrawal date.
The percentage of title IV loan assistance that has been earned by the student is equal to the percentage of the payment period that the student completed as of the student's withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before completion of 60 percent of the payment period or 100 percent, if the student's withdrawal date occurs after completion of 60 percent of the payment period for a program that is measured in credit hours.
Post Withdrawal Disbursements
If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, HIU 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. 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 did not complete the required loan documents before leaving school, it may not be possible to disburse a loan on your behalf due to title iv financial aid regulations.
The percentage of loan assistance that has not been earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of title IV loan assistance earned by the student. 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 as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew.
Unearned funds returned by the institution or the student, as appropriate, must be credited to outstanding balances on title IV loans made to the student for the payment period for which a return of funds is required.
Those funds must be credited to outstanding balances for the payment period for which a return of funds is required in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans;
- Federal Direct PLUS received on behalf of the student.
If you receive (or HIU receives on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, HIU 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.
The school must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.
If HIU 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 repay them 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.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from HIU’s refund policy. Please refer to the refund policy for information about how your charges are handled when you withdraw. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges.
HIU may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know HIU’s refund policy, you should ask for a copy. HIU can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
For questions please contact the HIU Financial Aid Office or call 860-509-9511.
If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you can 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/.