Return to Title IV Funds Policy
Updated: October 2018
When students apply for financial aid, a statement is signed that the funds will be used for educational purposes only. Therefore, if students withdraw before completing the program, a portion of the funds received may have to be returned. Maine Media College will calculate the amount of funding to be returned to the Title IV HEA Federal programs according to the policies below:
This policy applies to students who withdraw officially, unofficially or fail to return from a leave of absence or are dismissed from enrollment. It is separate and distinct from Maine Media College’s Refund Policy.
The calculated amount of the Return of Title IV, HEA funds that must be returned for the students affected by this policy, are determined according to the following definitions and procedures as prescribed by the regulations.
The amount of Title IV, HEA earned is based on the amount of time a student spent in academic attendance and the total aid received; it has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges. Because these requirements deal only with Title IV HEA funds, the amount to be returned does not include funds from sources other than the Title IV, HEA programs.
Title IV, HEA funds are awarded to the student under the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire period for which the aid is awarded. When a student withdraws, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV, HEA funds that were originally scheduled to be received. Therefore the amount of Federal funds earned must be determined. If the amount disbursed is greater than the amount earned, unearned funds must be returned.
The Payment Period for a term-based credit hour program is one half the academic year and one half the credits.
Maine Media College is an institution that is not required to take attendance.
In the case of a program that is measured in credit hours, if the student does not complete all the days in the payment period or period of enrollment the student is considered to have withdrawn.
If a student ceases attendance (drops or withdraws) from all of his/her Title IV eligible courses in a payment period or period of enrollment, the student must be considered withdrawn for Title IV purposes.
Date of Determination
The Date of Determination is the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew. This varies depending on the type of withdrawal. If the student begins the official withdrawal process or provides official notification to the school of his/her intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be the date the student began the official withdrawal process or the date of the student’s notification, whichever is later.
If the student did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his/her intent to withdraw, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be not more than 14 days from the student’s last date of attendance.
Since Maine Media College does not take attendance the Date of Determination will always be the date of the last academically related activity. The Date of Determination starts the clock for timely refunds to Title IV Programs. Funds must be returned within 45 days after the Date of Determination.
The institution has 45 days from the date that the institution determines that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible. The school is required to offer a post withdrawal disbursement if one is warranted, within 30 days of the date of determination.
Maine Media College’s Office is required by Federal Statute to calculate the percentage of earned Title IV funds received or pending and to return the unearned funds for students who withdrew, were terminated or failed to return from an approved leave of absence. For students who fail to return from a Leave of Absence, the Date of Withdrawal is the last day the student attended class before the Leave began. Therefore, for students enrolled in credit hour term programs for a LOA to be Official, a school must allow a student returned from a LOA to complete the coursework that he or she began prior to the LOA. In addition the institution may not impose additional charges and may not award the student additional Title IV assistance.
For a student who is in an eligible semester-based program, that measures progress in credit hours, the payment period is the semester.
“Official” Voluntary Withdrawal
Students are considered to be “Officially” withdrawn on the date he/she notifies the Financial Aid Administrator or Director in writing of their intent to withdraw. The date of the termination for return and refund purposes will be the earliest of the following for official withdrawals:
- Date student provided official notification of intent to withdraw in writing.
- Date student began the withdrawal from the school’s records.
Students will be permitted to rescind his/her notification in writing and continue the program if so chosen. However, for students who subsequently drop, the withdrawal date is the original date of notification of intent to withdraw.
Upon receipt of the withdrawal information the Maine Media College will complete the following:
- Determine the student’s last recorded date of academic attendance
- Perform two calculations
- The students ledger card and attendance record are reviewed to determine the calculation of Return of Title IV, HEA funds the student has earned, and if any, the amount of Title IV, HEA funds for which the school is responsible. Returns made to the Federal Funds Account are calculated using the Department’s Return of Title IV, HEA Funds Worksheets, scheduled attendance and are based upon the payment period.
- Calculate the school’s refund requirement (see school refund calculation).
- Student’s grade record will be updated to reflect his/her final grade.
- Maine Media College will return the amount for any unearned portion of the Title IV, HEA funds for which the school is responsible within 45 days of the date the official notice was provided.
- If applicable, Maine Media College will provide students with a letter explaining the Title IV, HEA requirements. To include,
- The amount of Title IV, HEA assistance the student has earned. This amount is based upon the length of time the student was enrolled in the program based on scheduled attendance and the amount of funds the student received.
- Any returns that will be made to the Federal program on the student’s behalf as a result of exiting the program. If a student’s scheduled attendance is more than 60% of the payment period, he/she is considered to have earned 100% of the Federal funds received for the payment period. In this case, no funds need to be returned to the Federal funds.
- Advise the student of the amount of unearned Federal funds and tuition and fees that the student must return, if applicable.
- Supply the student with ledger card record noting outstanding balance due to the school and the available methods of payment. A copy of the completed worksheet, check, letter and final ledger card will be kept in the student’s file.
Students who decide to rescind his/her official notification to withdraw must provide a signed and dated written statement indicating he/she is continuing his or her program of study, and intends to complete the payment period. Title IV, HEA assistance will continue as originally planned. Students who subsequently fail to attend or cease attendance without completing the payment period will have their withdrawal date return to the last date of attendance.
Students who do not provide official notification of his/her intent to withdraw and is absent for more than 14 consecutive calendar days, fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, fails to comply with the school’s attendance and /or conduct policy, does not meet financial obligations to the school, or violates conditions mentioned in the School contractual agreement, will be subject to termination and considered to have unofficially withdrawn.
Within two weeks of the student’s last date of academic attendance, the following procedures will take place:
- The Office will make three attempts to notify the student regarding his/her enrollment status.
- Determine and record the student’s last date of attendance as the last recorded date of academic attendance on the attendance record.
- The student’s withdrawal date is determined as the date the day after 14 consecutive calendar days of absence.
- Notify the student in writing of their failure to contact the school and attendance status resulting in the current termination of enrollment.
- Maine Media College will calculate the amount of Federal funds the student has earned, and, if any, the amount of Federal funds for which the school is responsible.
- Calculate the school’s refund requirement (see school refund calculation).
- The school’s Controller will return to the Federal fund programs any unearned portion of Title IV funds for which the school is responsible within 45 days of the date the withdrawal determination was made, and record on student’s ledger card.
- If applicable, Maine Media College will provide the student with a refund letter explaining Title IV requirements:
- The amount of Title IV aid the student has earned based upon the length of time the student was enrolled and scheduled to attend in the program and the amount of aid the student received.
- Advise the student in writing of the amount of unearned Title IV, HEA aid and tuition and fees that he/she must return, if applicable.
- Supply the student with final student ledger card showing outstanding balance due the school and available methods of repayment.
- A copy of the completed worksheet, check, letter, and final ledger card will be kept in the student’s file.
Maine Media College must perform a Return to Title IV calculation to determine the amount of financial aid earned through the 60% point in each payment period. The School will use the R2T4 calculation sheet to determine the amount to be returned to Title IV.
Withdrawal after 60%
After the 60% point in the payment period, students have earned 100% of the Title IV or HEA funds he/she was scheduled to receive during this period. Maine Media College must still perform a Return to Title IV to determine the amount of aid the student has earned.
Maine Media College measures progress in credit hours, and uses the payment period for the period of calculation
The Calculation Formula
- Determine the amount of Title IV or HEA aid that was disbursed plus Title IV or HEA aid that could have been disbursed.
- Calculate the percentage of Title IV, HEA aid earned:
- Determine the percentage of the period completed
Divide the calendar days completed in the payment period by the total calendar days in the payment period (excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more AND days that the student was on an approved leave of absence)
Completed days = % Earned
Total days in the payment period
Rounded to one significant digit to the right of the decimal point,
4493 = 44.9%. If this percentage is greater than 60%, the student earns 100% of the financial aid
If the percentage in “A” is less than or equal to 60%, proceed with the calculation:
Percentage earned “A” multiplied by the total aid disbursed, or could have been disbursed = Amount the Student earned.
Subtract the Title IV aid earned from the total disbursed = Amount to be returned
100% minus the percent earned -= Unearned Percent
Unearned percent (multiplied by) total institutional charges for the period = Amount Due from Maine Media College.
If the percent of Title IV aid disbursed is greater than the percent unearned (multiplied by) institutional charges for the period, the amount disbursed will be used in place of the percent unearned.
If the percent unearned (multiplied by) institutional charges for the period are less than the amount due from the school, the student must return or repay one-half of the remaining unearned Federal Pell Grant.
Student is not required to return the overpayment if this amount is equal to or less than 50% of the total grant assistance that was disbursed /or could have been disbursed. The student is also not required to return an overpayment if the amount is $50 or less.
The School will issue a grant overpayment notice to student within 30 days from the date the school’s determination that student withdrew, giving student 45 days to either:
- Repay the overpayment in full to Maine Media College
- Sign a repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
Order of Return
The School is authorized to return any excess funds after applying them to current outstanding Cost of Attendance (COA) charges. A copy of the Institutional R2T4 work sheet performed on your behalf is available through the office upon student request.
In accordance with Federal regulations, when Title IV, HEA financial aid is involved, the calculated amount of the R2T4 Funds” is allocated in the following order:
- Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans (other than PLUS loans)
- Subsidized Direct Stafford loans
- Direct PLUS loans
- Federal Pell Grants for which a Return is required
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a Return is required
Post Withdrawal Disbursements
Maine Media College must offer any amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 30 days of the Date of Determination to students or parents. This must be done by providing a written notification to the student or parent and identify the type and amount of the “Title IV funds that make up the Post-withdrawal Disbursements. Students must either accept or decline some or all of the Post-withdrawal Disbursement. If the Post-withdrawal Disbursement is accepted by the student and/or parent, the institution has 45 days for grants and 180 days for loans from the Date of Determination to disburse the funds or decline to do so at its own discretion.
A Post Withdrawal Disbursement must be made from available grant funds first, before taking available loan funds. No permission is required to disburse grant funds.
Maine Media College’s responsibilities in regards to Title IV, HEA funds follow:
- Providing students information with information in this policy;
- Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the return of Title IV funds calculation for those students;
- Returning any Title IV, HEA funds due to the correct Title IV programs.
The institution is not always required to return all of the excess funds; there are situations once the return to Title IV calculations have been completed in which the student must return the unearned aid.
Overpayment of Title IV, HEA Funds
Any amount of unearned grant funds that students must return is called an overpayment. The amount of grant overpayment that students must repay is half of the grant funds received. Students must make arrangements with Maine Media College or the U.S. Department of Education to return the amount of unearned grant funds.
Student Responsibilities in regards to return of Title IV, HEA funds
- Returning to the Title IV, HEA programs any funds that were dispersed in which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the return to Title IV calculation.
- Any notification of withdraw should be in writing and addressed to the appropriate institutional official.
- Students may rescind his/her notification of intent to withdraw. Submissions of intent to rescind a withdraw notice must be filed in writing.
- Either these notifications, to withdraw or rescind to withdraw must be made to the Director of Educational Programming or President.
Refund vs. Return to Title IV
The requirements for the Title IV, HEA program funds when students withdraw are separate from the Maine Media College refund policy. Therefore, students may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges or if applicable, receive a credit balance. Maine Media College may also charge for any Title IV, HEA program funds that they were required to return on your behalf.
Return to Title IV Questions
Students who have questions regarding Title IV, HEA program funds after visiting with the Financial Aid Administrator may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-fedaid (800-433-3243).
TTY users may call 800-730-8913.
Information is also available on student aid on the web www.studentaid.ed.gov.