Refund of Fees

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (HEA98) represent a major shift in the return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid when a student withdraws from the university. The policy governs all federal grant and loan programs (Pell, SEOG, Stafford Loans, Perkins and PLUS loans), but does not include the Federal Work-Study program.

In general, the law assumes that a student “earns” approved (verified) federal financial aid awards in proportion to the number of days in the term prior to the student’s complete withdrawal. If a student completely withdraws from school during a term, the school must calculate, according to a specific formula, the portion of the total scheduled financial assistance that the student has earned and is therefore entitled to retain, until the time that the student withdrew. If a student receives (or the university receives on the student’s behalf) more assistance than he/she earns, the unearned funds must be returned to the Department of Education or to the Federal Stafford or parent’s Federal PLUS loan lenders. If a student’s charges are less than the amount earned, and a refund is due, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. Students who have not completed the verification process are ineligible to receive any financial aid.

The portion of the federal grants and loans that the student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days in the semester to the number of days that the student completed before he/she withdrew. The policy governs the earned and unearned portions of the student’s Federal Title IV Financial Aid only. It determines how much, if any, the student and/or the school may need to return. This policy does not affect the student’s charges. The university’s withdrawal policy will be used to determine the reduction, if any, in the student’s tuition and fee or room and board charges. The student is responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the university.