The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 established the concept that financial aid must be earned through class attendance. When you totally withdraw from all classes, The Student Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to withdrawing. Any Title IV aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. Unearned aid must be returned to the respective Federal Aid program(s).
How will a withdrawal affect my federal financial aid?
Title IV (federal) financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will remain enrolled for the entire academic semester for which funds were awarded and disbursed. When a student withdraws from all courses, regardless of the reason, they may no longer be eligible to receive the full amount of federal financial aid for which they were originally awarded. The return of these funds to the federal government is based on the idea that a student earns financial aid based upon the length of time for which they were enrolled. A pro-rated calculation determines the amount of federal financial aid that they earned. Once the 60% point in the semester is reached, a student is considered to have earned all of their financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.
A calculation is required if any of the following criteria are met:
- The student completely withdrawals from the college
- The student stops attending before the semester ends
If the Roanoke student does not attend any classes during a given semester, they are not eligible to receive any federal funds for that semester and must repay all of the aid which was originally received.
How does the calculation work?
Aid recipients earn the aid they receive by remaining in classes. The amount of aid earned is based upon a pro-rated calculations. Students who withdraw or do not complete all of the classes in which they were enrolled may be required to return some of the aid originally awarded. All calculations are done using the “Return of Title IV Funds on the Web” software provided by the Department of Education.
The following is an explanation of the formula used to determine the percentage of aid that must be returned to the federal government:
- The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the payment period
- The payment period for most Roanoke students is the full academic year (Fall and Spring semesters)
- The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent less the percent earned.
- Breaks of 5 days or longer are not included in the count of total days in the payment period.
Amount of Title IV Aid Earned
- The amount of Title IV Aid earned is calculated by multiplying the student’s total federal aid eligibility by the percentage of the term completed. Total aid eligibility is federal aid that was disbursed plus federal aid that could have been disbursed for the term.
What is a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement?
When the return of Title IV calculation results in the student's being eligible to receive either Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan proceeds, they will be notified by Roanoke's Financial Aid Office within 30 days of withdrawal. Students will have at least 14 days to respond to accept or decline these funds. If it is determined that student is eligible for Federal grant funds, Roanoke must disburse these funds to the student within 45 days of the withdrawal. If, after the R2T4 calculation has been completed, it is determined that the student is owed a credit balance, the College will process that credit balance within 14 days of that calculation.
How is the Withdrawal Date calculated?
The date of withdrawal used to compute refunds is the date the student last attended class, as recorded by the Registrar's Office.
Is there a specific order in which federal funds are returned?
All Federal Direct Loans will be returned in first in the following order: Unsubsidized Student Loans, Subsidized Student Loans, Federal PLUS Loans. Pell Grant funds will be returned next followed by Federal SEOG and TEACH Grant funds, respectively. All institutional funds will be returned after federal funds are returned.
Is there a specific timeframe in which a return of Title IV funds must be done?
Title IV funds must be returned as soon as possible after a withdrawal. They must be returned no later than 45 days after the school determines that the student has withdrawn.
If all of my loan funds are not returned, how will my repayment work?
The refund calculation may result in the student or the parent being responsible for some portion of loan funds. The loan grace period on these loans will begin upon withdrawal from Roanoke (or when they drop below half-time enrollment). If the student does not re-enroll at Roanoke or another institution during this time, their loan will enter into repayment. The student should contact their loan servicer to make arrangements for repayment.
What happens if the calculation results in an amount to be returned greater than the school's portion?
In the instance that the R2T4 calculation results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school's portion, Roanoke College will send the student a bill for this amount. This billing statement will be mailed within 30 days of completion of the calculation.
What happens to my aid if I want to return to Roanoke in the future?
As long as the student left Roanoke in good academic standing as outlined in our SAP policy, the Financial Aid Office will reinstate all institutional funds in full. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for consideration of need-based assistance from the Federal Government.
What do you mean by date of determination
This is the date Roanoke College determines that a student is considered an official or unofficial withdrawal. The date must be determined no later than 30 days after the end of the term, and will be one of the following:
- The date on which the student has provided notification of withdrawal
- The date on which the institution becomes aware that the student ceased attendance
Return of Title IV Calculations
Title IV Return calculations will be done within 30 days of the Date of Determination.
Notifications to Student
Notification of the results of the Title IV Return process will be sent to the student in writing by the Bursar’s Office within 45 days of the Date of Determination. The notice will include the following:
- Information regarding any grant overpayments owed to the federal government
- Eligibility for post withdrawal disbursement of student loan funds
- Amount owed to the College as a result of the Title IV Return process
- A copy of the return calculation worksheet
How are withdrawals for students receiving Veteran's Benefits processed?
Roanoke College Students who receive veteran's benefits fall under this same policy and procedure.