Return of Federal (Title IV) Financial Aid
As a federal (Title IV) financial aid recipient, it is important to understand that there is a unique refund schedule for your financial aid that differs from the university refund schedule. Students who completely withdraw from classes (through successive dropping of courses until they are no longer registered or in a complete withdrawal from all courses at once) are subject to the Return of Title IV refund calculation as dictated by federal regulations.
NOTE: Students who partially withdraw from courses for the term are not subject to a return of their federal aid but should be aware of aid recalculation implications.
Determination of Federal Aid Earned
Earned aid is determined based on the number of calendar days the student attended classes divided by the total number of calendar days in the term. The result is a percentage of federal aid funds that the student is entitled to keep. For example, a student who attends 20% of the term has earned 20% of the total aid value that was disbursed to their bill.
Return of Unearned Federal Aid
The total federal aid disbursed at the point of withdrawal less the earned amount constitutes the unearned aid that must be returned to the federal government. The university will allocate the return of unearned aid in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Subsidized Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
- TEACH Grant
Once the university returns funds, students will see entries on their eBill such as "Unearned Pell Grant." The total amount returned may result in the student owing UC. If a balance due is created, a registration block will prevent future registration until it is paid.
Withdrawing from Classes
Students who have federal aid and who completely withdraw from classes (at once or over the course of the term) are strongly advised to speak with staff at One Stop Student Services (220 University Pavilion) or a branch campus financial aid unit. Just as you would speak with your college advisor about the academic ramifications of such actions, you should understand the financial consequences that will occur at (or soon following) the end of the term.
One Stop staff can further explain federal and university policies as well as estimate unearned aid amounts. One Stop staff can also highlight the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress that may result in future aid eligibility concerns.
Students who withdraw from all of their classes in a term may only keep the federal aid earned up to the point of withdrawal. Federal Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount must be returned. The result may be money owed to the university, the federal government or both.
Money owed to UC can restrict future registration until the balance is zero. Money owed to the federal government can result in future aid ineligibility until it is paid.
NOTE: The university tuition refund schedule differs from the federal aid return of funds calculation. Withdrawal from classes may limit aid eligibility but may not adjust tuition charges.