Return of Title IV Funds

Return of Title IV applies to all Title IV grant and loan recipients who withdraw from all classes, fail to participate in all classes, or leave school before completing 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment (usually this is the semester). Once receiving notification that the student has either withdrawn or stopped attending class, the Financial Assistance Office and Business Office must determine the amount of Title IV assistance the student has "earned" based on the length of time they were enrolled. The amount of "earned" aid is equal to the percentage of the semester completed. The number of days completed are divided by the total number of days in the enrollment period (semester). The total amount of Title IV aid received or eligible to receive is multiplied by the percentage of the enrollment period completed. That amount of aid is kept in the order listed below. All other funds are returned. Any period of time in a Leave of Absence is not included in the calculation for the days completed or the days in the enrollment period.

If a student earns no hours (0.0 GPA) for a payment period, the Registar must determine if the GPA was earned or if the student failed to participate throughout the payment period. If the GPA is earned, a return of Title IV aid is not required. If it is determined the student failed to participate through at least 60 percent of the payment period, Title IV funds must be returned to reflect the portion of the Title IV funds earned (portion of the payment period for which the student participated). The school is then responsible for returning any portion of the unearned Title IV funds to the appropriate Title IV program within 45 days.


Title IV Programs Include the following and are kept ("earned") in order from top to bottom:

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans

The definition of a student's withdrawal date is the last day of academic attendance or the date documented on withdrawal paperwork the student must complete to properly withdraw. Returns to Title IV are calculated by the Business Office. The student may owe money to the school upon withdrawal.

Students with direct loans are responsible for completing Direct Loan Exit Counseling when they graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Students should go to the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website to fulfill this requirement.

Additional Return of Title IV Funds Information for CGES Sessions

Some of the CGES courses are offered in sessions; therefore, Returns to Title IV for those courses have special calculation considerations. A course offered in sessions does not last the entire semester, but just for a portion of the semester. These are sometimes referred to as 8-week courses or 4-week courses (there may be others, also). For CGES, the semester is the payment period or period of enrollment. For example, there may be two 8-week sessions in a payment period or period of enrollment which would make up the entire 16-week semester. For all courses offered in sessions, a student is a withdrawal for Title IV purposes if the student ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the planned enrollment for the semester, unless the school obtains written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal that he or she will attend another session that begins later in the same semester (period of enrollment).

If a student is enrolled in sequential sessions in a semester and ceases enrollment in the second session of classes prior to the last day of the first session, the student's period of enrollment is shortened to less than the semester and would only consist of the first session. However, if a student ceases enrollment in the second session of classes after the last day of the first session, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the entire semester (both the first and second session), and returns to Title IV will be calculated.

For example, a student enrolls in two sequential 8-week sessions. If the student begins attending the first session and drops the second session during the middle of the first session, the planned enrollment is only considered the first session and no Return to Title IV is calculated. However, if the student ceases attendance or enrollment (drops classes or does not show up for classes) of the second session after the last day of the first session, a Return to Title IV calculation must be completed.