Title IV (Federal) Refunds
In accordance with federal regulation, when Title IV recipients withdraw from all courses during the period of enrollment for which they were charged, the College must review the charges. Title IV funds will be returned to the appropriate financial aid program(s), if the College determines a refund is warranted. Determination of refunds is based on current federal regulation that requires financial assistance to be adjusted to percentage of time attended. This policy does not apply to students who attend up to or beyond 60 percent of the term.
Return of Title IV Funds Policy
The law specifies how schools determine the amount of Title IV funds earned when a federal financial aid recipient withdraws from the College. If a student drops out or withdraws, either officially or unofficially, and has received or was eligible to receive Title IV federal funds in the form of a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Loan, or a Federal PLUS Loan, the federal government requires that the College review the student’s eligibility for those funds. The College is required to apply a federally mandated formula to determine how much of the federal funding was “earned” up to the time of the drop/withdrawal. This review and recalculation is called “Return of Title IV Funds” and it will be performed within 30 days of the date of the school’s determination that the student withdrew.
Students are considered to have withdrawn when they fail to complete all the required days necessary to conclude a given term. Students enrolled in classes that do not span the entire term are considered withdrawn if, at the time of withdrawal, the student is not actively attending another class and did not provide confirmation of future attendance in the term.
When a student withdraws during the payment period, the amount of federal grant and/or loan assistance earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If less assistance is received than what was earned, the student may qualify for those funds. If more assistance is received than earned, the unearned funds must be returned by the College and/or student to the appropriate federal program(s).
NOTE: The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any refund policy the College may have. Please refer to Oakton’s website for information on the College’s tuition refund policy and procedures for withdrawal.
Steps to Calculate the Return of Title IV Funds
Oakton Community College will determine:
- The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed for the semester in which the student withdrew. A student’s Title IV aid is determined as such amount that has been applied to the student’s account on or before the date the student withdrew.
- The total amount of Title IV aid disbursed plus the amount of said funds that could have been disbursed for the semester in which the student withdrew.
- The percentage of Title IV aid earned is determined by: the number of calendar days completed, divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester in which the student withdrew.
Days Attended ÷ Days in Enrollment Period = Percentage Completed. For example, if a student was scheduled to attend classes for 112 calendar days in a payment period and withdrew on the 28th calendar day, the student would have earned 25 percent of the Title IV funds awarded.
- If the calculated percentage completed exceeds 60 percent, then the student has “earned” all the Title IV aid for the enrollment period.
- The amount of Title IV aid earned is determined by: the percentage of Title IV aid earned (Step 3) multiplied by the total amount of said funds disbursed or that could have been disbursed for the term in which the student withdrew. Total Aid Disbursed × Percentage Completed = Earned Aid.
- The amount of Title IV aid to be disbursed or returned.
- If the financial assistance already disbursed equals the earned aid, no further action is required.
- If the financial assistance already disbursed is greater that the earned aid, the difference must be returned to the appropriate Title IV aid program. Total Disbursed Aid – Earned Aid = Unearned Aid to be Returned.
- If the financial assistance already disbursed is less than the earned aid, then Oakton will calculate a post-withdrawal disbursement. Oakton will credit any outstanding charges on a student’s account first before issuing a credit balance to the student. Grant funds will be disbursed within 45 days after the date the school determined the student withdrew. If a student were to be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of a loan, or parent, in case of PLUS loan, then Oakton will provide written notification to student or parent within 30 days to confirm the disbursement of loan funds.
- Oakton will process any disbursement no later than 45 days after the date of the school’s determination that the student withdrew. If the calculation results in a credit balance to the student, Oakton will disburse any credit balance no later than 14 days after the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.
Return of Unearned Title IV Funds
When the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance earned as of the withdrawal date is less than the amount disbursed to the student, the difference will be returned to the appropriate Title IV program(s).
Financial aid returned by the student, the student’s parents, or the college must be allocated in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
If the student previously received a refund from financial aid, the student may be required to repay a portion of those funds to the College. The student will be billed for any balance due for any unearned refunds received or institutional charges left unpaid.
Types of Withdrawals
For financial aid purposes there are two types of withdrawals: Official and Unofficial.
Official – an official withdrawal from Oakton Community College by the student. For the policy and procedure of Official Withdrawals, review the College Catalog or Oakton’s website.
Unofficial – federal financial aid regulations consider a student to be an unofficial withdrawal if the student stops attending classes, but does not officially withdraw from those classes, and is assigned a grade of N (nonattendance), F (failure), FR/FS (failure in a developmental class), or a combination of N, F, FR, FS, and W (withdrawal) grades for the term.
Determination of the Withdrawal Date
The official withdrawal date is the specific day the student filed for such action or the midpoint of the payment period for an unofficial withdrawal.
When a student fails to begin attendance
If a student receives financial aid, but never attends classes, Oakton will return all disbursed funds to the respective federal aid programs. If the student owes money to Oakton resulting from the return of federal funds, the student will be billed by the Cashier’s Office. If the student does not pay the funds due to Oakton, a hold will be placed on the student’s account. This means he will not be permitted to register for classes or receive transcripts until the balance is paid.
How a withdrawal affects future financial aid eligibility
Refer to Oakton’s Academic Standards for Financial Aid Recipients to determine how a withdrawal will impact future financial aid eligibility.
This refund policy does not apply to students who withdraw from individual classes. For further information, contact the Enrollment Center.