Return of Title IV Funds

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 Law School are available in the policy and procedure section of our website.

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 Financial Aid Office 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 Financial Aid Office.

Calculation of Amount of Title IV aid earned by student

The earned portion of federal aid is calculated on a daily basis using calendar days from the first day of instruction. Based on the date of withdrawal, drop or leave of absence, the Financial Aid Office will determine the amount, if any, of "unearned" federal financial aid received by the student. The calculation to determine the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student is as follows:                                 

Enrolled days / total number of days in the semester = % of Aid Earned                 

The result will equal the percentage of the enrollment period completed.  The amount of federal financial aid that was paid or could have been paid to the student will be based on this percentage. Any aid received in excess of the earned amount is considered unearned. If a student receives more financial aid than the amount earned, the unearned portion will be returned to Department of Education and the student will be billed for the overpayment.

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 Title IV 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 Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Plus loans
  • 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 Financial Aid Office for more information on the consequences of dropping classes if you receive these types of financial aid.

LMU Refund Percentage Calendar

The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from the university’s refund policy. The university refund policy is based on the calendars below by term. For more information on the university’s refund/cancellation policy, please review the Tuition Liability/Refund Policy on our website.

Fall 2017 Law School Refund Percentage Calendar
This policy applies to all programs
Date of WithdrawalRefund of Tuition 
August 21 - 27 90%
August 28 - September 3 80%
September 4 - September 17 70%
September 18 - October 1 60%
October 2 - October 15 50%
October 16 - October 29 40%
October 30 and after  0%


Spring 2018 Law School Refund Percentage Calendar
This policy applies to all programs
Date of WithdrawalRefund of Tuition 
January 16 - January 21 90%
January 22 - January 28 80%
January 29 - February 11 70%
February 12 - February 25 60%
February 26 - March 11 50%
March 12 - March 25 40%
March 26 and after  0%



Title IV Federal Funds Percentage Calendar

The illustration below indicates the date in which 100% of federal student aid is earned. If you withdrawal on or after the date indicated by term, you will be allowed to keep 100% of your federal student aid. A percentage of federal aid earned by date of withdrawal is available here LLS R2T4 schedule by day


TermTerm Datesnumber of days in term100% earned aid
Fall 2017 Aug 21 - Dec 19 121 November 2, 2017
Spring 2018 Jan 16 -  May 17 117 April 1, 2018


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.