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The United States Department of Education (USDE) revises federal limits for grants and loans every year. This document from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is a convenient recap of limits for the 2014-2015 award year. Campus Based Aid (SEOG, Work Study, and Perkins Loans) have federal maximum amounts but the maximum awards available from Union Institute & University depends on annual funding from USDE. The university never gets enough federal funding for these programs so must use lower university controlled limits to serve as many need students as possible.
Adding, dropping or withdrawing from classes should not be taken lightly. Financial aid funds are intended to assist students in completing coursework. Scholarship, grant, and loan recipients are therefore subject to refund and repayment obligations that may differ from university withdrawal policies for tuition and fees.
As well, receipt of aid is contingent upon proof that you participated in your coursework. Failure to attend/participate in courses can limit your aid eligibility. Generally, federal aid recipients who adjust their course load will have their aid adjusted based on the timing of the registration, if the course(s) appear on their transcript, and the amount of time they participate in the course. A student may have limited eligibility when adding classes and may be required to repay all or a portion of aid received depending on the point of dropping or a complete withdrawal. Undergraduate students may also have their federal loans increased if new transfer hours make her/him eligible for a higher loan level.
This section explains how Federal Student Aid (Title IV) funds are handled when a (student) recipient of those funds ceases to be enrolled prior to the end of a payment period or period of enrollment. These requirements do not apply to a student who does not actually cease attendance at the school. For example, when a student reduces his or her course load from 12 credits to 9 credits, the reduction represents a change in enrollment status not a withdrawal. Therefore, no Return calculation is required. The Return of Title IV Funds (Return) regulations do not dictate an institutional refund policy. Instead, a school is required to determine the earned and unearned Title IV aid a student has earned as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance and was scheduled to be in attendance. The calculation of Title IV funds (R2T4) earned by the student has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges.
Up through the 60% point in each 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 in 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. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds. However, a school must still determine whether the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Return regulations do not prohibit a school from developing its own refund policy, or complying with refund policies required by a state or other outside agencies. Although an institutional, state, or agency refund policy will determine the charges a student will owe after withdrawing, those policies will not affect the amount of Title IV Aid the student has earned under the Return calculation.
The federal Return of Funds calculation is separate from the Union Institute & University reversal of tuition policy.
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: