The policy for the Return of Federal Financial Aid Funds follows these steps:

1.  Determine the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student.

If the calculated percentage is equal to or greater than 60%, the student has “earned” all aid for the enrollment period and no adjustment in financial aid occurs.

Days Attended ÷ Days in Enrollment Period = Percentage Completed


2.  Apply the percentage completed to the Title IV aid offered to determine the student's eligibility for financial aid prior to the withdrawal.

Total Aid Disbursed   x   Percentage Completed   =   Earned Aid


3.  Determine the amount of unearned financial aid to be returned to the appropriate Title IV financial aid program.

Total Disbursed Aid - Earned Aid = Unearned Aid to be Returned

  • If the aid already disbursed equals the earned aid, no further action is required.
  • If the aid already disbursed is less than the earned aid, a late disbursement will be made to the student.
  • If the aid already disbursed is greater than the earned aid, the difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV aid program.


4.  Distribute the responsibility to return funds between the institution and the student.

The return of federal financial aid is based on the type of financial aid disbursed and occurs in the following order:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Direct (Subsidized) Stafford Loan
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan (for graduate students)
  • Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of undergraduate students)
  • Pell Grant
  • Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
  • SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)
  • TEACH Grant (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant)

If the type of financial aid the student is responsible for returning is a loan, the student is not required to immediately repay the amount since the grace period for the loan (generally six months) is invoked. Occasionally, a loan must be fully canceled. The canceled loan amount will appear on the student's University bill.

If the type of financial aid the student is responsible for returning is a grant, the student will incur a charge on a University bill. Federal return of funds regulations require that the student only repay one-half of the grant amount that is unearned. Any refund or repayment obligation will be clearly outlined for the student in writing and will also appear as a charge on the University bill.