When a student is the recipient of federal financial aid, the funds are intended for educational purposes only. Therefore, when a student does not complete the entire period of enrollment (semester), a portion of the federal funds received may have to be returned to the federal government. The Financial Aid Office is require to recalculate Title IV (federal) financial aid if a student withdraws, drops out, is dismissed, or takes a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, usually a semester. In these circumstances, the Financial Aid Office uses the Return of Title IV Funds formula to recalculate the student’s eligibility for Title IV Funds, meaning the amount of federal aid the student earned. Ths formula is only applicable when the student withdraws from all classes and this policy is separate and distinct from the Carlow University Drop and Withdrawal Refund Policy.

STEP ONE – To determine the percent of financial aid that a student earned, the formula takes the number of days completed in the semester, divided by the total number of days in the semester, excluding five or more consecutive days that Carlow University is closed such as Spring Break or Thanksgiving Break.

STEP TWO – To determine the amount of financial aid that must be returned, the formula takes the percentage earned in Step One, times the amount of federal aid disbursed or to be disbursed.

Federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Federal Direct Student Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan. Unearned financial aid is returned in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Graduate PLUS and Parent PLUS)
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  6. Federal TEACH Grant

If the calculation generates a credit on the student’s account, a refund will be issued to the student within 14 days. Carlow University has 45 days from the date it is determined that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible. We are also required to notify the student if they owe a repayment via written communication. A notification will be sent to the student that explains any returns that have been made to the Title IV programs as a result of the withdrawal, and that remaining unearned Title IV loan funds must be repaid by the student in accordance with the terms of the loan as outlined in the Master Promissory Note.

If the Return of Title IV Funds calculation determines that the student received less federal financial aid than the amount earned, Carlow University will advise the student in a written communication.

In the case of federal grants, Carlow University will make the post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 calendar days from the date the student withdrew.

If the post-withdrawal disbursement is a result of a federal student loan or Parent PLUS Loan the borrower will be notified within 30 calendar days about the offer and will have 14 calendar days to accept the post withdrawal disbursement. If a response is not received from the student or parent within the allowed time frame or the disbursement is declined, the Financial Aid Office will return any earned funds to the applicable Title IV programs.

All post-withdrawal disbursements are applied to the student account first, and any resulting credit balance is handled as noted above.

Non-attendance in classes does not constitute an official withdrawal and may result in full financial obligation. Students seeking to drop all classes and withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University must complete an online Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar.

Students who are considering withdrawal should investigate the financial implications prior to any action by contacting the Financial Aid and/or Student Accounts Office.

For complete withdrawal from all classes in a semester, final determination of tuition and fee refund amounts will be made by the Office of Student Accounts and will be based on the date that the student initiated the withdrawal process by contacting the Office of the Registrar or by submitting the withdrawal form. Students who do not return from a leave of absence or who are not registered for four consecutive semesters will be unofficially withdrawn from the university. Students who are unofficially withdrawn are still responsible for oustandgin tuition balances.

Federal regulations require schools to identify students who may have withdrawn during a semester without providing official notification. These students are classified as unofficial withdrawals for that semester and their eligibility will be recalculated. Per federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office will use the midpoint of the semester as the withdrawal date, unless we become aware that the student ceased attendance on a specific date.

If a student awarded Title IV Financial Aid does not begin attendance in a period of enrollment, the student is ineligible for any Title IV Aid.

View or download the Return of Title IV Funds Policy [pdf].

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