Return of Title IV Funds

Return to Title IV (R2T4) is a requirement set forth from the Department of Education. When a student withdraws and/or ceases to attend all courses within a payment period or period of enrollment, the school is required to determine the student’s eligibility for Title IV grant and loan awards and potentially adjust award amounts. The R2T4 calculation is completed to determine how much federal financial aid the student has “earned” based upon how much of the student’s planned enrollment he/she completed. 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:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Stafford Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Parent Plus)

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

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.

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 also be others). 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.

There may be exemptions from Return to Title IV in certain scenarios, such as: student completed requirements for Graduation during the first session and no longer needs to attend later session(s) within the payment period, the student successfully completes courses that comprise at minimum 49% of the total payment period, and/or the student successfully completes courses greater than or equal to the institution’s halftime status for the payment period. Note that even if a R2T4 calculation is not required, CMU may be required to adjust Title IV awards to match the courses that a student began attendance.
CMU is required to follow federal guidelines on when to complete a Return to Title IV calculation and return funds as necessary per Department of Education regulations. As a result of this, withdrawal from a course(s) may result in a balance due to the University.