Return of Title IV Financial Aid / Official and Unofficial Withdrawals

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded.  When a student withdraws (officially or unofficially) the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

  • Official withdrawal – Student begins the official withdrawal process or provides official notification to the school of his or 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.
  • Unofficial withdrawal – Student ceased attending classes and did not begin the official withdrawal process or provide notification of his or her intent to withdraw or leave the school, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew would be the date that school becomes aware that the student ceased attendance.  In most of these cases students will receive all F’s at the end of the semester and the last date of attendance will be the date the instructor enters on the Banner grade sheet.  If an instructor does not enter a date, attempts are made to contact instructors to determine the last date of attendance and/or if the student stopped attending classes.


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. If a student withdraws from ENMU Roswell, the school, the student, or both may be required to return some or all of the federal funds awarded to the student for that semester.

If a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from a school after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined.  If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned.  If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a Post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.

Please note that if the student never actually began attendance for the payment period or period of enrollment, the student is not eligible for Title IV funds, and adjustments to awards must be made.

This policy applies to all Title IV federal aid recipients with disbursed aid from any of the following Federal programs: Federal Direct Stafford Loans (unsubsidized and subsidized), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Graduate and Parent), Federal Pell Grant, Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), Federal National SMART Grant (SMART), and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and TEACH Grant.

A student who withdraws from all classes prior to completing 60% of the enrollment term is subject to having his/her aid adjusted based on the percentage of the term completed.  Up through the 60% payment period or period of enrollment, a prorata schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal.  After the 60% point the payment period or period of enrollment, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period.

The formula used in the federal Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation divides the aid disbursed to student accounts into “earned aid” and “unearned aid.” During the first 60% of the period of enrollment (semester), students "earn" Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time the student remains enrolled.  "Unearned" aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of aid earned under the formula. Students contemplating withdrawal from all classes PRIOR to completing 60% of the term should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how this will affect their financial aid and satisfactory academic progress status.

(For example, a student who withdraws from all classes after completing only 30% of term only earns 30% of aid disbursed or received on his/her account. As a result, the school or student must return the 70% of the disbursed/received aid that was not earned.)


Example of how Return of Title IV is calculated:  The percentage of the period a student remains enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days attended by the number of calendar days in a term/semester (excluding breaks of 5 consecutive days or more). This is referred to as the percentage completed (% completed).

EARNED aid is calculated as follows: Total aid disbursable multiplied by % completed

If EARNED aid equals disbursed aid, no action is required.

If EARNED aid exceeds disbursed aid and the student still has aid that has not disbursed, the university must calculate a post-withdrawal disbursement. The student is notified by letter, email, or phone regarding the aid to be disbursed to the student account and to verify whether or not the student wants funds disbursed for the term. The student will be given 14 days from the offer to respond to the inquiry. The Financial Aid Office has up to 180 days to disburse funds after the withdrawal date has been determined. (This is for post withdrawal disbursements)
If EARNED aid is less than disbursed aid, the school must calculate the difference to be returned by the school and by the student. The calculation is as follows:
[A]UNEARNED aid: Total aid disbursable minus EARNED aid

[B]Percentage of UNEARNED aid (% UNEARNED): 100 minus % completed

The school’s share of the "unearned" aid is the lesser of the total amount of "UNEARNED aid" [A] or the school charges multiplied by the "Percentage of UNEARNED aid" [B]. This amount must be returned by the school.

The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the school’s share. UNEARNED aid minus school’s share equals student’s share. This amount must be returned by the student.

The Financial Aid Office must complete the R2T4 withdrawal calculation within 45 days from the date the University determines the student withdrew.  Students are responsible for any balance on their student accounts due to official or unofficial withdrawal calculations.

All “F” Grade Recipients

A student receiving all ‘F’ grades is required to comply with the federal Title IV Refund Policy (R2T4).  When federal financial aid either partially or fully pays educational expenses and the student receives all ‘F’ grades, the Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulations to comply with the Title IV Refund Policy.

The school must determine whether the student earned the failing grade by completing the course (after 60%) but failed to achieve the course objectives or earned the failing grade because he or she stopped attending classes.  Instructors are required to enter a last date of attendance for any student they enter an F grade for and they enter -0- as date of last attendance if students never attended classes.  If no date is entered attempts are made to contact students and instructors to determine a last date of attendance or if the student never attended a class(s).  In most cases these are resolved and R2T4 is performed on students who stopped attending classes prior to completing 60% of the period of enrollment. If not information can be obtained the Mid Point of the semester is used as the last date of attendance.

Why do we monitor students receiving all ‘F’ grades?

The school is obligated by federal regulation to review aid recipients receiving all ‘F’ grades.  The assumption behind the law is that a student receiving all ‘F’ grades walked away from the semester without properly withdrawing from the University.  Schools must identify students with ‘F’ grades within 30 days from the date final grades are posted.

When are students notified that he/she may owe money back to the school?

After all withdrawals (official and unofficial) are processed students are sent emails and letters informing them of their status; if they owe money back, consequences of the withdrawal, deadline dates to respond to correspondence and timeframe to repay any money back to school and/or Department of Education.  ENMU Roswell normally contacts students at midterm if he or she has all D’s and F’s as their midterm grades informing them of the withdrawal process if they stopped attending classes or other options if they are just having difficulty in the class(s).

After any withdrawal is processed the students are notified that they are responsible for repaying any portion the school returned and any amounts the student is required to return, if any.  The school does not make payment arrangements with the student for the student portion of the recalculation. If the student does not repay the total amount due if there is a student portion, the student portion is referred to the Department of Education for collections.  The school processes the official and unofficial withdrawal as soon as notification is received regarding the official withdrawal or soon after end of semester grades are posted.

The Financial Aid Office sends a list of students to the Business Office who officially and unofficially withdraw and owe money back to the school so that their records can be placed on hold.

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