Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy
What is a Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)?
Federal regulations require Title IV financial aid funds to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was awarded. When a student withdraws from all courses for any reason, including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive. The return of funds is based upon the premise that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. A pro-rated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds he/she will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Thus, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Once 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.
When is a Return of Title IV Funds required?
If a student’s enrollment status changes for an entire term; (i.e. official, unofficial, and administrative withdrawals), the school must recalculate the student’s awards to determine the amount of aid he/she will have earned based on the date of withdrawal.
If a student does not begin attendance in all of his/her classes, the school must recalculate the student’s awards based on the lower enrollment status. For instance, a student registers for a full-time course load (15 credits) but only begins attendance in three classes (9 credits); in this case the student’s awards must be recalculated based on the lower enrollment status (9 credits).
Timeline for a Return of Title IV Funds
Financial Aid & Student Employment must determine the amount of aid that was earned and how much was unearned; the unearned aid is returned to the U.S. Department of Education by WCSU on your behalf. WCSU is required to recalculate Title IV Funds within 30 days from the date of withdrawal. In the event that funds need to be returned, WCSU is required to return funds within 45 days from the date of withdrawal.
The amount of unearned aid will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education. Due to the fact that the institutional refund policy is different than the Financial Aid Return of Title IV Funds policy, any return of funds may result in a balance due to WCSU. This is posted as a charge to your WCSU student account and must be repaid immediately.
How is the Return of Title IV Funds calculation done?
Financial Aid & Student Employment must first determine the number of calendar days in the semester, as well as the number of calendar days a student attended class. The percentage of earned Title IV Aid is calculated based upon the number of days a student attended class, compared to the number of calendar days in the semester.
Institutional charges are calculated, and the amount that must be returned to each Title IV Program is determined. Funds are then returned to the programs according to regulatory requirements. Financial aid awards are adjusted as needed, which may result in charges due to WCSU.
In what order are Title IV Funds returned?
WCSU Financial Aid & Student Employment must return funds to aid programs in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Federal Work-Study earnings are not affected by Title IV regulations concerning the return of unearned federal financial aid, but the student cannot continue employment.
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned prior to your date of withdrawal, you may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If your Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, WCSU must get permission before it can disburse them by collecting a Post-withdrawal Disbursement Permission form. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you do not incur any additional debt. WCSU may automatically use all or a portion of your Post-withdrawal disbursement grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). WCSU needs your permission to use the Post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give permission you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow WCSU to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
When is a Return of Title IV Funds Not Required?
If you withdraw from one or more courses during a semester but remain enrolled in classes, a Return of Title IV Funds is not required. Withdrawing from one or more courses can however affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress and in turn your financial aid eligibility for future semesters.
WCSU Summer Withdrawal/R2T4 Policy
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) has been determined as a Non- Attendance Taking institution for the Summer Sessions.
WCSU does not initiate Administrative Withdrawals during and/for Summer Sessions as Summer Sessions are elective sessions and not required terms as are Fall and Spring.
Consistent with the academic year Withdrawal/R2T4 (Return of Title IV Aid) policies in place at WCSU, students must initiate attendance (initiated attendance is defined as "attended class sessions or participated in on-line class assignments or other instructional activities") in their courses for which financial aid was calculated and awarded prior to disbursements. To ensure such and in the absence of attendance taking during the summer sessions, WCSU will not disburse Title IV funds until all final grades are posted for all courses for which aid was calculated and awarded.
Should a student be assigned a grade of "W", "WF", or "F" for one or all of the courses for which aid was calculated and disbursed, aid will not be disbursed until the respective faculty confirms that the student initiated attendance with the Office of Financial Aid & Student Employment. Confirmation by faculty of initiated attendance will need to be made within seven (7) business days of the request. Should faculty fail to confirm initiated attendance, the Title IV aid will be prorated or cancelled prior to disbursement for the effect courses for which aid was calculated and awarded.