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Financial Aid Staff

William O'Shea
Financial Aid Director
Ph: 207.454.1033
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Return of Title IV Funds Policy

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 withdraws 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 Financial Aid Office encourages you to read this policy carefully.  If you are thinking about withdrawing from all classes PRIOR to completing 60% of the semester, you should contact the Financial Aid Office to see how your withdrawal will affect your financial aid.

1. The policy shall apply to all students who withdraw, drop out or are expelled from Washington County Community College, and receive financial aid from Title IV funds:

a) 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 Federal Family Education (FFEL) Loans, subsidized FFEL loans, FFEL Plus loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Equal Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Grants (Maine Student Incentive Scholarship Program (MSISP)).

b) A student’s withdrawal date is:

The date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notifies the institution of intent to withdraw, 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.

2. Title IV aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis up to and including the 60% point in the semester.  Title IV aid and all other aid is viewed as 100% earned after that point in time.

a) The percentage of Title IV aid earned shall be calculated as follows:

Number of days completed by student = Percent of term completed / Total number of days in term*
 
The percent of term completed shall be the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student.

*The total number of calendar days in a term of enrollment shall exclude any scheduled breaks of more than five days.

b) The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (i.e., to be to the appropriate program) shall be 100% minus the percent earned.

c) Unearned aid shall be returned first by Washington County Community College from the student’s account calculated as follows:

Total institutional charges times percent of unearned aid = amount returned to program(s)

Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the following programs in  the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Stafford Loan 
  2. Subsidized Stafford Loan  
  3. Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students 
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal SEOG
  6. Other Title IV grant (PLUS) programs  

Exception:  no program can receive a refund if the student did not receive aid from that program.

d) When the total amount of unearned aid is greater than the amount returned by Washington County Community College from the student’s account, the student is responsible for returning unearned aid to the appropriate program(s) as follows:

  1. Unsubsidized Stafford Loan*
  2. Subsidized Stafford Loan*
  3. Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students (PLUS)*
  4. Federal Pell Grant**
  5. Federal SEOG**
  6. Other Title IV grant  programs**

 * Loan amounts are returned with the terms of the promissory note.
**Amounts to be returned by the student to federal grant programs will  receive a 50%  discount.

3. Refunds and adjusted bills will be sent to the student’s home address on file in the Registrar’s Office following withdrawal.  Students are responsible for any portion of their institutional charges that are left outstanding after the Title IV funds are returned.

4.  Institutional and student responsibilities in regard to the return of Title IV funds

a) Washington County College College’s responsibilities in regard to the 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 returned students;

Returning any Title IV funds that are due the Title IV programs.

b) 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.
   
5. The fees, procedures, and policies listed above superseded those published previously and are subject to change at any time.

6. Any notification of a withdrawal or cancellation of classes should be in writing and addressed to the Registrar’s Office.  Such notification may be made by facsimile.  A copy of such document will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office.

Credit Hour program example:

Step 1.  Determine the percentage of time the student was enrolled as of withdrawal.

A student withdrew after attending 20 days of a payment period that spans 107 days from first day to last.  The period includes one 7-day break that begins on a Thursday and ends on the following Wednesday (classes resume on Thursday).  Excluding this break leaves 100 calendar days in the period.  This student was enrolled for 20% (20/100) of the payment period. 

Step 2.   Determine the amount of aid earned by the student.

Andrew was awarded $5,000 in Title IV funds per payment period, and all of it had been disbursed by the time he withdrew.  He attended 20% of the payment period, thus he earned $1,000 (20% of $5,000).

Step 3.  Compare the amount earned to the amount disbursed.

For instance above, Andrew only earned $1,000 but received $5,000.  $4,000 would need to be returned to Title IV.

Step 4.  Allocate the responsibility for returning unearned aid between the school and the student. Institutional charges for the period would have to be determined.  An example:    

 Tuition and Fees $1,500
 Room                $1,000  
 Books                 $  500
 Total                 $3,000

Percentage of Title IV aid unearned using Andrews information= 80%

Multiply $3,000 times 80% = $2,400

Compare the amount of Title IV aid to be returned ($4,000) to above.  The school must return the lesser amount ($2,400).

Step 5.  Distribute the unearned funds back to the Title IV programs.

Subtract the amount of Title IV aid due from the school from the amount of Title IV aid to be returned.  $4,000 minus $2,400 = $1,600

The student (or parent for a PLUS loan) must return unearned aid for which the student is responsible by repaying funds as noted in the policy up to the total net amount disbursed from each source, after subtracting the amount the school will return.  Amounts to be returned to grants are reduced by 50%**.  

  1. Unsubsidized Stafford Loan*   
  2. Subsidized Stafford Loan*
  3. Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students (PLUS)* 
  4. Federal Pell Grant**
  5. Federal SEOG**
  6. Other Title IV grant programs**

*Loan amounts are returned with the terms of the promissory note.  No further action is required other than notification to the holder of the loan of the student’s withdrawal date.

Washington County Community College
One College Drive, Calais, ME 04619
1-207-454-1000 1-800-210-6932
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