Title IV federal financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will attend Vanguard University for the entire period for which federal assistance was 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 calculations is based on the premise that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time that 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% of the semester are considered to have earned 100% 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 Catalog.
The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from the University’s Office of Accounting Operations refund policy. A student who withdraws from the University may be required to return unearned federal aid and also owe for tuition, fees and fines. For more information regarding Vanguard University’s withdrawal policy, please contact the Registrar's Office.
The withdrawal date established by Registrar's Office 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 Registrar's Office of their intent to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) or Withdraw (W) from courses. Please contact the Registrar's Office for more information on how to officially withdraw or take a leave of absence from Vanguard University.
When a 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 Vanguard University has determined that a student has completely withdrawn, a Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed within 30 days. Vanguard University 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, fees or fines, the student will also receive an updated billing statement from the University.
The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the University 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 writing 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.
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 in writing.
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
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 Vanguard University 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 by email at email@example.com.
Examples of Title IV Calculations
Amy Samson is an undergraduate student. Her fall semester is 105 days long. It begins on August 27 and ends December 14. On September 30th, Amy drops all of her classes via PROWL. Amy attended 35 days of the fall semester and has earned 33 percent of her federal financial aid (35 days divided by 105 days = 33 %)
Amy's cost of attendance is as follows:
Amy's financial aid package consists of:
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
As Amy 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.
Vanguard University is required to return all of the following:
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Total Owed to VU
Since Amy 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 Amy’s account and she will be billed for any difference owed to VU.
Daniel Heath 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, Daniel drops all of his classes via PROWL. Daniel attended 65 days of the fall semester and has earned 62 percent of his federal financial aid (65 days divided by 105 days = 62 %)
Daniel’s cost of attendance is as follows:
His financial aid package consists of:
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
Based on Daniel's attendance (63% of the term), Daniel has earned all of his federal financial aid for the term and will not have to return any funds. In addition, Daniel withdrew after VU’s withdrawal percentage period and will not receive any credit for tuition.
Sarah Scott is an Undergraduate Liberal Arts major at VU. 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, Sarah decides to take the semester off and she withdraws from all of her courses.
When courses are dropped before a student attends the first class, VU is required to return all federal funds that were applied to tuition and fees. Because Sarah 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 Sarah’s student account creating a balance owed for the refund she received. A hold will be placed on Sarah’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.