The Return of Title IV funds Policy, as defined by the Federal government, determines the formula for calculating the amount of Title IV funds a student and school can retain when a student withdraws from all courses prior to completing more than 60 percent of a semester, session, or term. Federal financial aid regulations have defined that a student who withdraws from all courses prior to completing more than 60 percent of a semester, session, or term has not earned 100 percent of the federal financial aid that was received, and the student and/or the school may be required to return a portion of his or her federal aid. If you are thinking about withdrawing from all classes prior to completing more than 60% of the semester, session, or term, you should read the policy below to understand how your withdrawal will affect your financial aid.
The Return calculation must be computed on any recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds who ceases attendance in all courses. A recipient of grant or loan assistance is a student who has actually received Title IV funds or has met the conditions that entitle him/her to a late disbursement of Title IV funds.
“Title IV Funds” refers to the following Federal financial aid programs: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and any other Title IV aid, excluding Federal Work Study.
The Federal government requires that schools determine the amount of Title IV funds a student has earned when he or she has ceased attendance in all courses by ‘officially’ or ‘unofficially’ resigning from school. An official withdrawal occurs when a student notifies the University of his or her intent to withdraw by following the University’s resignation process. An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student ceases attendance in classes but does not notify the University through the official resignation process.
Prior to subjecting the student to the Return of Title IV calculation, the student must first establish eligibility for aid disbursed. This is completed by obtaining certification of the student’s attendance in each course that make up his enrollment status for the semester, session, module, or term in which he is resigning.
The amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student is determined by the number of days the student has spent in academic attendance during a specific semester, session, or term before ‘officially’ or ‘unofficially’ resigning. The school and/or the student must then return the unearned portion of Title IV funds to the appropriate programs.
A student’s withdrawal date is:
- the date the student began the University’s withdrawal process or officially notifies the University of his or her intent to withdraw, or
- the student’s last date of contact for the course either through attendance, examination, quiz, or assignment
At the point of withdrawal, the portion of your Federal grants and loans students are entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by dividing the total number of calendar days they completed before they withdrew by the total number of calendar days in the semester, session or term. Scheduled breaks of five consecutive days or more are excluded.
For example, if a student completes 30 percent of the semester, session, or term, they earn 30 percent of the assistance they were originally scheduled to receive. This means that 70 percent of their scheduled awards remain unearned and must be returned to the Federal government. Once they have completed more than 60 percent of the semester, session, module, or term, they have earned all (100 percent) of their assistance.
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*If an LSU Online student intends to enroll for the entire term however does not enroll for the second module of the term, the student is considered to have officially withdrawn from the term.
*If an LSU Online students intends to enroll for only one module in a Term and resigns from that module, we will determine if you are able to retain the funds disbursed to you by the 60% date listed by the individual module in which you resigned.
If a student resigns on or after the dates listed above, and obtains all instructors’ signature verifying that he/she attended classes at least one time, he/she will earn 100% of the federal financial aid received.
Once the Return of Title IV Funds calculation is completed, if the University is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return need to be repaid according to the terms of your promissory note. If LSU is required to repay Federal aid funds, you are responsible for any balance owed to the University as a result of the repayment.
If a student receives Title IV funds and resigns either ‘officially’ or ‘unofficially’ and never attends any classes, they are not an eligible Title IV recipient. No Return of Title IV Funds calculation is required because they will not be eligible for any of the awards received. All grant funds will be cancelled and returned to the appropriate programs. Furthermore, any loan funds used to offset institutional charges will be returned to the Department of Education by LSU, and the Department will be notified that the student never established eligibility by attending class. If LSU is required to repay Federal aid funds, the student is responsible for any balance owed to the University as a result of the repayment.
Note to Student Reservists Called to Active Duty
According to the Department of Education, if a Title IV eligible student withdraws because of military requirements, the school must perform the Return of Title IV Funds calculations that are required by the defined statute and regulations. This means that we still have to determine whether Title IV funds must be returned to the Title IV programs, and you may be required to pay back a portion of your federal aid. If LSU is required to repay Federal aid funds, you are responsible for any balance owed to the University as a result of the repayment.
Note to Students Assigned “I” Grades
According to the Department of Education, if you complete a semester, session, or term with all “F’s” and one or more “I” grades or are assigned a grade of “I” in all courses, we are required to follow the Return of Title IV Funds Policy, as defined above, to determine if you unofficially withdrew from the University and whether Title IV Funds must be returned to the Title IV programs. If funds must be returned, you may be required to payback a portion of your federal aid. If LSU is required to repay Federal aid funds, you are responsible for any balance owed to the University as a result of the repayment.