Financial Aid & Scholarships

Withdrawing from Classes and the Return of Federal Title IV Funding Requirements

Treatment of Federal Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws

By Federal regulations, financial aid recipients who withdraw from all courses or stop attending classes before the last day of class have not “earned” all of the financial aid received for that semester. The law specifies how a school must determine the amount of Federal Title IV funds that a student earns if the student withdraws from or stops attending school. The Federal Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) and Federal Perkins Loans.

When a student withdraws during a payment period or period of enrollment the amount of Federal Title IV financial aid that a student has earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received less Title IV financial aid funds than the amount that the student earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more Title IV financial aid than the student earned, the unearned Title IV funds must be returned by SUU and/or the student.

If a student officially withdraws from SUU the school uses the date the student withdrew as the last date of attendance.  A student officially withdraws when the student completes the online withdrawal process. Visit the SUU Registrars website (https://www.suu.edu/registrar/) and click on “withdraw from the semester” to begin this process.  If the student stops attending classes and does not officially withdraw they are considered an unofficial withdrawal and the student will receive an F or UW at the end of the semester.  SUU has 30 days from the end of the payment period or period of enrollment to determine the last date of attendance based on the student’s last academically related activity.  SUU professors who give an F or UW for non-completion are required to enter a last date of an academically related activity in the grade reporting software. This date is used to determine the last date of attendance for the Return of Title IV funds calculation. If none of the professors for a student can provide a last date of an academically related activity, the last date of attendance used in the Return of Title IV calculation will be the half way point of the payment period. 

The amount of Title IV financial aid funds that a student has earned is determined on a prorata basis. For example, if a student completed 30% of the student’s payment period or period of enrollment, the student earned 30% of the Title IV financial aid the student was originally scheduled to receive. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns all the Title IV financial aid that the student was scheduled to receive for that period.  SUU has 45 days from the date that the last date of attendance was determined to return any unearned Title IV financial aid funds to the Department of Education.

If a student did not receive all the Title IV financial aid funds that the student earned, the student may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student’s Post-withdrawal disbursement includes Title IV loan funds, SUU is required to send a consent form to the student within 30 days from the date the last day of attendance was determined. The consent must be executed and returned to SUU before the Title IV loan funds can be disbursed. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds. SUU may automatically use all or a portion of the student’s Post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs the student’s permission to use the Post-withdrawal Title IV grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission to apply Post-withdrawal disbursements to all charges on the student’s SUU account the student will be offered the Title IV grant funds.

There are some Title IV funds that the student was scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to the student once the student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if the student is a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and the student has not completed the first 30 days of the students program before the student withdraws, the student will not receive any Direct Loan funds that the student would have received had the student remained enrolled past the 30th day.

SUU will return unearned funds to their respective Federal programs in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • FSEOG Grants

If SUU is not required to return all of the unearned Title IV funds, the student must return the remaining amount.

Any amount of unearned Title IV grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is half of the grant funds the student received or were scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. The student must make arrangements with SUU or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds. Any Title IV loan funds that the student must return, the student (or the student’s parent for a PLUS Loan) repays in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student makes scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Returning unearned Title IV funds may create a balance on the student’s SUU account for which the student is responsible.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when the student withdraws are separate from SUU’s refund policy. Before withdrawing from SUU the student should obtain a copy of SUU’s refund policy and requirements for officially withdrawing from school. .

If the student has questions about the students Title IV program funds, the student 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 www.studentaid.ed.gov.