Return of Title IV Funds
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Not Attending/Not Participating in Class(es)
Students who receive a Federal Pell Grant award and who do not begin attendance or participation in class(es) will have the award returned to the federal government. The federal government will not allow students to keep financial aid without attendance and/or active participation in courses. College instructors report this information to our office and we are required by the federal government to take action on those notices even if the semester has ended.
Withdrawing from All Classes
In a given semester (period of enrollment), students earn a portion of their awarded federal financial aid for every day of attendance or active participation in academically-related activity. Eligibility for aid must be recalculated for a student who withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of the period of enrollment. If, due to the withdrawal calculation, the student owes the federal government a portion of the loans or grants received at the beginning of the semester, the university will automatically pay this to the government on the student's behalf. This may result in a debt placed on the student account and an institutional hold, preventing registration or release of official transcripts until resolved. Students will be subject to any collection costs incurred according to UAA Office of the Bursar's policies (see the "Holds and Collections" section).
There are three types of student behaviors that will result in a recalculation review:
- Official Total Withdrawal: Students who withdraw from all courses on UAOnline or in writing after the Add/Drop Deadline has passed are eligible for a percentage of financial aid based on the percent of the semester completed. For example: a student who totally withdraws after completing only 30% of the term will have “earned” only 30% of any federal financial aid received. The school and/or the student must return the remaining 70% to the government.
- Unofficial Total Withdrawal: Students who do not officially withdraw but they instead stop attending or participating in class, or fail to earn a successful grade in any of their semester classes will also be reviewed. Failure to successfully complete coursework after receiving federal financial aid will result in a recalculation of earned aid based on faculty-reported last date of attendance submitted for students who earn an "F", "NB", or "NG" during grade submission. Federal regulation permits institutions to use the midpoint (50%) of the semester during the calculation of Unofficial Withdrawals unless the student did not commence attendance in the course(s).
- Noncommenced Attendance: If faculty report that a student did not attend/participate in any portion of a course, the student has earned zero (0%) percent of financial aid and all aid will be returned to the government. Note: A student may submit instructor-certified documentation of attendance within five (5) business days in order to keep a prorated portion of federal funds. Until the calculation is completed, affected students will be subject to an "Unofficial Withdrawal Hold", preventing future financial aid disbursements.
A student thinking about withdrawing from classes should contact the Office of Financial Aid to see how the withdrawal will affect their current and future aid eligibility.
How the Return of Title IV Funds is Calculated
The Return of Title IV Funds Calculation is based on the number of calendar days a student attended, divided by the number of days within the enrollment term. For distance education courses, "attendance" is based on "participation in academically-related activity" under the direction of the instructor. Please note: Logging into the UAA BlackBoard portal does not indicate active participation.
UAA Return of Title IV Funds Policy & Calculation Guide
Following is the full UAA policy regarding the return of Title IV funds.
The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 changed the formula for calculating the amount of aid a student and school can retain when the student totally withdraws from all classes. Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing more than 60% of an enrollment term will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the term completed. For example, a student who totally withdraws after completing only 30% of the term will have “earned” only 30% of any Title IV aid received. The school and/or the student must return the remaining 70%. The Office of Student Financial Aid encourages you to read this policy carefully. If you are thinking about withdrawing from all classes PRIOR to completing more than 60% of the semester, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to see how your withdrawal will affect your financial aid.
- This policy applies to all students who withdraw, drop out, are expelled from the University of Alaska Anchorage or otherwise fail to complete the period of enrollment for which they were charged, and who receive financial aid from Title IV funds:
- The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the Federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Unsubsidized Stafford loans, Subsidized Stafford loans, Federal PLUS loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG grants.
- A student’s withdrawal date is:
- the date the student completed the course withdrawal form, or the date the student officially notified the Enrollment Services Office (this notification may take place via email, letter, phone or personal contact); or
- the midpoint of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution; or
- the student’s last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity.
- The term “period of enrollment” includes every day, including weekends, that the student is enrolled, excluding breaks of at least five consecutive days (the length of the break is determined by counting the first day of the break through the last day before classes resume).
- The percentage of Title IV aid earned shall be calculated as follows:
Number of days completed by student / Total number of days in term = Percent of term completed
- The percent of term completed shall be the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student.
- The total number of days in term excludes any scheduled breaks of more than five days.
- The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (i.e., to be returned to the appropriate program) shall be 100% minus the percent earned.
- Unearned aid shall be returned first by UAA from the student’s account calculated
Total institutional charges X percent of unearned aid = amount returned to program(s)
Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the following programs in the following order: Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loans, Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, other Title IV grant programs. Exception: no program can receive a refund if the student did not receive aid from that program.
- When the total amount of unearned aid is greater than the amount returned by UAA from the student’s account, the student is responsible for returning unearned aid to the appropriate program(s) as follows:
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Loan amounts are returned according to the terms of the promissory note.
- Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, other Title IV grant programs. Amounts to be returned by the student to federal grant programs will receive a 50% discount.
- If a withdrawing student is determined to have earned more aid than was actually disbursed by the official withdrawal date, UAA may apply “post-withdrawal disbursements” to current year charges and to minor prior year charges that the student owes without specific permission of the withdrawing student, providing the student would have otherwise been fully eligible for the disbursement on the date of withdrawal.
- If earned but not disbursed amounts remain after a post-withdrawal disbursement is applied to outstanding eligible institutional charges, withdrawing students (or their respective PLUS borrower) will be offered, in writing, post-withdrawal disbursements of the remaining amounts within 30 days of the date of UAA’s determination that the student withdrew. The withdrawing student or his/her parent must accept the balance of the “post-withdrawal disbursement” within 14 days of being notified. If the student or parent accepts the offer of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 14 days, UAA must provide the funds within 90 days of the date on which UAA became aware of the withdrawal. If the student or parent does not respond within the 14-day window, UAA is not required to make the disbursement, but may do so at its discretion.
- Written offers of post-withdrawal disbursements, refunds and adjusted bills will be sent to the student’s home address on file in the Office of Records and Registration following withdrawal. Students are responsible for any portion of their institutional charges that are left outstanding after Title IV funds are returned.
- If the student subsequently ceases to attend UAA prior to the end of the period of enrollment, the student’s rescission is negated and the withdrawal date is the student’s original date, unless a later date is determined.
- UAA’s responsibilities concerning the return of Title IV funds include:
- providing each student with the information given in this policy;
- identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for those students;
- returning any Title IV funds based on federal calculation regulations that are due the Title IV programs.
- The student’s responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds include:
- becoming familiar with the Return of Title IV policy and how complete withdrawal affects eligibility for Title IV aid;
- returning to the Title IV programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.