Return of Title IV Funds (Federal Financial Aid Policies)

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to calculate a Return to Title IV Funds for all students who withdraw, are dismissed, take a leave of absence, or stop attending before completing the semester. The policy applies to all students who discontinue enrollment in all classes, on or after the first day of the semester. 

Title IV financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws from all courses for any reason, including medical withdrawals, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds they were awarded. 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 aid a student will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Thus, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of their financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Students who complete more than 60 percent of the semester are considered to have earned 100 percent of their financial aid.

Based on these federal guidelines, any student who receives federal financial aid and does not complete at least 60% of the semester could be responsible for repaying a portion of the aid they received. Students who do not begin attendance must repay all financial aid disbursed for the term. Academic policies on withdrawing from the university are available in the University Bulletin.

The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from the university’s refund policy. A student who withdraws from the university may be required to return unearned federal aid and still owe LMU for tuition and fees. For more information on Loyola Marymount University’s withdrawal policy, please contact the Office of Student Financial Services or visit their website. 

Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date established by the Office of the Registrar is the date used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine the percentage of Title IV aid earned by the student. Students are responsible for notifying the Office of the Registrar of their intent to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Withdraw (W) from courses. Please visit the Office of the Registrar’s website for more information on how to officially withdraw or take a leave of absence.

Unofficial Withdrawals

When the student withdraws, whether it is an official withdrawal or unofficial, the amount of aid earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount earned, unearned funds must be returned. Students who fail to earn a passing grade in at least one class will be evaluated to determine if they withdrew unofficially (stopped attending classes) or they must prove they participated in an academically related activity past the 60% point of the payment period. In most cases, if a student cannot prove they were in attendance past the 60% point of the payment period, the institution can use the midpoint of the payment period (semester) as the last date of attendance for calculation purposes.

Examples of academically related activities are: exams, quizzes, tutorials, computer based instruction, academic advising or counseling, academic conferences, completing an academic assignment, paper or project, and attending a school-assigned study group.

Repayment of Unearned Aid

Once LMU has determined that a student has completely withdrawn, a Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed within 30 days. LMU will notify the student in writing of their revised eligibility after the Return of Title IV Funds calculation is completed. If the student owes unpaid tuition and fees, the student will receive an updated invoice from the university.

The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution and the student. Students might be required to return additional funds directly to the Department of Education. If this occurs, you will be notified in the written letter that is sent to you by the office of Financial Aid.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

In some cases, a student may be eligible to receive a “post-withdrawal” disbursement after the student completely withdraws from the university when the amount of aid earned is less than the amount of aid disbursed. In such cases, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student of the “post-withdrawal” disbursement by sending an award letter to the student via US postal service. The award letter must be returned to the Financial Aid Office within fourteen (14) days or the “post-withdrawal” disbursement will be cancelled.

There are some Title IV funds that a student may have been scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to a student once they have completely withdrawn because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if a student is a first-time, first year, undergraduate student and has not completed the first 30 days of their program before they withdraw, they will not receive any Federal Direct Loan funds that they would have received, if they had remained enrolled past the 30th day.

Return of Funds

Federal Title IV financial aid is returned in the order mandated by the U.S. Department of Education. No program can receive a refund if the student did not receive aid from that program. Funds must be returned within 45 days of the established withdrawal date. Federal guidelines mandate that we return federal funds in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Other Title IV aid

Other Aid

The Return of Title IV Fund Policy does not apply to state grants such as the Cal Grant, institutional loans, or university grants or scholarships. These types of aid are returned based on the LMU Refund percentage calendar. The percentage calendar below provides the ‘earned’ percentages by dates. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on the consequences of dropping classes if you receive these types of financial aid.

Refund of Fees

The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from the university’s refund policy. Based upon the date you discontinue enrollment, you may receive a full or partial refund of your fees. This refund will not impact the Return calculation, but does affect the amount of money you may owe back to the University for withdrawing. The university refund policy is based on a separate calender than the Return of Title IV funds. For more information on the university’s refund/cancellation policy, please review the Refund/Cancelation section of the University Bulletin and the LMU Refund Percentage Calendar.

 Calculating Earned Financial Aid

The amount of earned financial aid is calculated on a daily basis from the first day of classes. Earned aid is determined by taking the number of days attended before enrollment ended divided by the total number of days in the term (first day of instruction until the last day of finals, excluding Thanksgiving break, spring break, and Easter Break).    Enrolled days ÷ total number of days in the semester = % of Aid Earned    

Return policies apply to students that withdraw on or before the 60% point of the term. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned financial aid. The 60% point is illustrated below by semester. If you have questions about the percentage of aid earned by day, please view our detailed calender Title IV Aid earned by date of withdrawal

 

Term

Term Dates

Days in term

60% of Term

Fall 2017

Aug 28 - Dec 15

105

Oct 29, 2017

Spring 2018

Jan 8 - May 4

103

Mar 19, 2017

Summer I 2017

May 15 - Jun 23

40

Jun 7, 2017

Summer II 2017

Jun 26 - Aug 4

40

Jul 19, 2017

 

Examples of Title IV Calculations

Example 1

Jane McKay is an undergraduate student. Her fall semester is 105 days long. It begins on August 27 and ends December 14.  On September 30th, Jane drops all of her classes via PROWL. Jane attended 35 days of the fall semester and has earned 33 percent of her federal financial aid (35 days divided by 105 days = 33 %)

Jane's cost of attendance is as follows:

Charge

Cost

Tuition

$19,106

Fees

$463

Dormitory Fee

$4,400

Meal Plan

$2,200

Total

$26,169


Jane's financial aid package consists of:

Award

Amount

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

$1,750

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

$2,000

Pell Grant

$2,155

SEOG

$750

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

$19,000

Total

$25,655


As Jane has completed only 35 days of her semester, she earned 33 percent of the $25,655. According to the federal calculation, 67 percent of her federal aid, equaling $17,189 must be returned to the Department of Education.

 

LMU is required to return all of the following:

Award

Amount

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

$1,750

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

$2,000

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

$13,439

Total Owed to LMU

$17,189

 

Since Jane dropped during the 25 percent university withdrawal period, Jane will receive $4,777 in tuition credit. The credit will be applied to the balance owed on Jane’s account and she will be billed for any difference owed to LMU.


Example 2

Charles Von der Ahe is a Graduate student in the School of Education. His fall semester is 105 days long. It begins on August 27 and ends December 14.  On October 30th, Charles drops all of his classes via PROWL.  Charles attended 65 days of the fall semester and has earned 62 percent of his federal financial aid (65 days divided by 105 days = 62 %)

 

Charles’s cost of attendance is as follows:

Charge

Cost

Tuition

$6,054

Fees

$222

Total

$6,276

 

His financial aid package consists of:

Award

Amount

Subsidized Federal Direct Loan

$6,000

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan

$4,250

Total

$10,250

 

Based on Charles’s attendance (63 percent of the term), Charles has earned all of his federal financial aid for the term and will not have to return any funds. In addition, Charles withdrew after LMU’s withdrawal percentage period and will not receive any credit for tuition.


Example 3

Sally Desmond is an Undergraduate Liberal Arts major at LMU. Her term begins on August 27 and ends December 14. On August 24, her federal direct student loans are applied to her student account to cover tuition and fees and she receives a refund for the funds in excess of the charges. Before the term begins, Sally decides to take the semester off and she withdrawals from all of her courses.

When courses are dropped before a student attends the first class, LMU is required to return all federal funds that were applied to tuition and fees. Because Sally dropped her classes prior to the first day of class, she is not subject to the Title IV calculation. A full tuition and fee reversal will be applied to Sally’s student account creating a balance owed for the refund she received. A hold will be placed on Sally’s account until her balance is paid in full.

Note: The procedures and polices listed above are subject to change without notice based on changes to federal laws and regulations. For further guidance on Title IV Refund‘s (R2T4) policies and procedures, please see the reference material found in Volume 5 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook under Withdrawals.