RETURN OF TITLE IV AID(R2T4) & WITHDRAWAL POLICY


Official Withdrawal from Tusculum College

Students who officially withdraw from Tusculum College will have their tuition and fees adjusted according to the applicable Tuition and Fee Refund Policy published in the catalog. Students who received financial assistance for their enrollment period will have their financial aid award revised according to federal, institutional, organizational and/or state regulations and/or policies associated with the funding type received.

Attendance Policy and Withdrawal (Official/Unofficial)

In order to remain eligible for financial aid, students must attend classes. Tusculum College is required to monitor student attendance. Instructors must record and report attendance for each class meeting (including online, student teaching, internships, practicum, and so forth). If a student does not complete all of the days in the academic payment period or semester, the Financial Aid Office must re-evaluate the student’s eligibility for Federal Title IV aid, Institutional aid, and State funds. The attendance records will be utilized to determine the student’s last date of attendance.

Aid packages are determined in-part on a student’s enrollment status (full-time, part-time, etc…) which is based on the number of registered credit hours. When a student changes their class schedule by dropping more credit hours than what is added back (i.e. drops a 3-credit hour course, but only adds a 1-credit hour course), then the aid must be refigured on the revised enrollment status. This could mean a change from full-time status to part-time status and could result in a reduction of the amount of aid that a student can receive for the semester.

It is strongly encouraged that before a student makes changes to their class schedule or withdraws from the college that they check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine what impact schedule changes or the decision to withdraw could have on their financial aid.

Return of Federal Title IV Aid Funds

Federal regulations require a specific refund calculation for all students receiving Federal Title IV aid funds. The length of time during which a refund must be calculated is up to 60 percent of the payment period (semester/term). If a student withdraws on or before the 60 percent point in time, a portion of the Federal Title IV aid funds awarded to a student (Federal Direct Unsubsidized and/or Subsidized loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loan, Federal Pell grant, Federal SEOG, and/or the Federal TEACH grant) must be returned, in accordance with the provisions of the Higher Education Act, as amended. The return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to the College and/or to the U.S. Department of Education.

The Tusculum College Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, are dismissed, or cease attending prior to completing 60% of a payment period. When a student receives failing, incomplete, or missing grades for a term, they may be considered to have unofficially withdrawn (stop attending/drop out) without proper notification. If the non-attendance is verified by Tusculum College, a calculated portion of the student’s Title IV aid will be returned according to federal regulations. This may result in the student owing funds to Tusculum College.

Aid awarded through the Federal Title IV Student Financial Aid Programs must be recalculated in these situations. The recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV Funds formula:


Percentage of payment period completed in which courses are offered in modules = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the number completed days or total days in the payment period.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.

 

As an institution required to take attendance, the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew will be no later than 14 days after the student’s last date of attendance as determined by the institution from its recorded attendance records. The end of the 14-day period begins the timeframe for completing a Return of Title IV Funds Aid Calculation. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:


Aid to be returned = 100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid; multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period or term.

 

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. Tusculum College will return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after Tusculum determines or should have determined that the student withdrew. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, this may create a balance due to Tusculum from the student.

The return of Federal Title IV Aid funds is allocated in the following order:

1) Loans:

    • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
    • Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
    • Federal Perkins Loans
    • Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans received on behalf of student

2)Remaining Funds:

    • Federal Pell Grants
    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
    • Federal TEACH Grants

 

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement and Overpayments

If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution may owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement. A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made from available grant funds before available loan funds. Loan funds require the confirmation from the borrower that they still wish to have the loan funds disbursed. Grant funds not credited to the student’s account, must be disbursed to the student as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.

Tusculum will provide a written notification to the appropriate borrower(s) with 30 days of the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew that 1) identifies the type of loan and the amount that will either be applied to the student’s account and/or refunded back to the appropriate borrower(s), 2) requests the accept or decline of the post-withdrawal loan disbursement, 3) advises the borrower(s) about their repayment obligation, and 4) gives the borrower(s) a response deadline. Any confirmation received on or before the deadline will be processed by Tusculum as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days after the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew. Failure to respond or the receipt of a declination from the student and/or parent will negate the possible post-withdrawal disbursement and no loans funds will be processed.

In the event of an overpayment to the student, Tusculum College has opted to repay all funds to the appropriate Federal Aid Program(s) as prescribed above, which in turns results in the student owing the institution. Tusculum College utilizes a standard collections procedure to collect the student account receivables and will hold the release of any academic transcripts until the obligation is paid in full. Tusculum understands that it has the option to report the students who fail to take positive action to NSLDS and refer them to the Default Resolution Group for collection if it were not repaying the funds itself. Any inadvertent overpayments will be returned within 45 days of the date of the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.

Return of State Aid Funds

The State of Tennessee funding regulations also require a recalculation of State aid programs such as the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) and the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship if a student withdraws or changes their enrollment status via schedule changes. Some programs require pre-approval to drop to a lower enrollment status in order to maintain eligibility.

 

Return of Tusculum College Funds

The Tusculum College Office of Financial Aid will recalculate institutional financial aid eligibility for students who officially withdraw, are dismissed, or stop attending (unofficial withdrawal) per the policy in the catalog. The percentage for the adjustment will be as follows:

Block 1/Block 5 Earned Institutional Aid:

    • Academic Scholarships – 50% of the semester award
    • Transfer Scholarships – 50% of the semester award
    • Band and Need based awards (VPOG, RVPOG, TCOG) – 50% of the semester award
    • RA’s, Spirit, and Athletic Scholarships – semester award will be pro-rated based on the number of weeks the student attempted out of the 16 week semester .
      (Ex. $5,000/16 weeks = $312.50 x 2 weeks attempted = $625.00 earned aid)

Block 2/Block 6 Earned Institutional Aid (if the student begins attendance)

    • Academic Scholarships – 100% of the semester award
    • Transfer Scholarships – 100% of the semester award
    • Band and Need based awards (VPOG, RVPOG, TCOG) – 100% of the semester award
    • RA’s, Spirit, and Athletic Scholarships – semester award will be pro-rated based on the number of weeks the student attempted out of the 16 week semester .
      (Ex. $5,000/16 weeks = $312.50 x 2 weeks attempted = $625.00 earned aid)

 

If a student fails to begin attendance during the second block (block 2 or block 6) of the semester, the policy for the first block of the semester is to be utilized to recalculate aid eligibility. Students who have aid adjustments will receive a notification of adjustments letter from the Financial Aid Office.

Note: After the above institutional aid adjustments have been calculated, the remaining amount of earned Institutional Aid cannot exceed the adjusted charges. Under no circumstance should Institutional Aid funding generate a refund. When doing a revision for a withdrawal, the institutional aid adjustments are to be completed at the same time as any enrollment status changes necessary for any federal or state funds. If after all adjustments, including Federal R2T4 adjustments, are completed the student would have a refund of Institutional Aid, further review of the Institutional aid is required.

 

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