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Return of Title IV Funds

Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws

The law specifies how Texas State Technical College at Harlingen must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school or if you stop participating in the classes for which you are enrolled for and receive grades of all F’s. This is considered to be an unofficial withdrawal. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), and in some cases, certain state grant aid (LEAP/SLEAP), GEAR UP grants, and SSS (Special Support Services) grants to students.

When you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, (semester), the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or TSTC at Harlingen or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, (semester), you earn 30% of the assistance (financial aid) you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, (semester), you earn all the assistance (financial aid) you were scheduled to receive for that payment period or period of enrollment, (semester).

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, you may choose to decline the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. TSTC at Harlingen may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for tuition, fees, and room & board charges (as contracted with TSTC at Harlingen). For all other school charges, TSTC at Harlingen needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your permission (which some schools ask for when you enroll), you will be offered the funds. However, it may in your best interest to allow TSTC at Harlingen to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that you cannot earn once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not earn any FFEL loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.

If you receive (or TSTC at Harlingen or your parent receive on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, TSTC Harlingen must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

TSTC Harlingen must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds.

If TSTC at Harlingen is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the unearned amount. You must make arrangements with TSTC at Harlingen or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that TSTC at Harlingen may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. TSTC at Harlingen may also charge you for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. If you don’t already know what TSTC at Harlingen’s refund policy is, you can refer to the TSTC at Harlingen’s website, under Business Services. The admissions office can provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.

However, to ensure that Title IV funds are returned within a reasonable period of time, a school must determine the withdrawal date, perform the return calculation and notify the student (for a student who withdrew without providing notification) within 30 calendar days from the earlier of (1) the end of the payment period or period of enrollment, as applicable, (2) the end of the academic year, or (3) the end of the student’s educational program. A school has 45 days from the date the institution determines that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible.

Order of return of Title IV Funds:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant Program
  6. Federal SEOG Program
  7. Other Title IV Aid

For more detailed information on the entire refund procedures for Financial Aid students or about the calculation of refund amounts, contact the Financial Aid Office.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, you call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at http://studentaid.ed.gov

How to Withdraw

Students who wish to withdraw from school must obtain a form from the Admissions and Records Office. Students must officially complete the prescribed forms and obtain the appropriate approval signatures in order to officially withdraw from the college. All forms must be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office. If this procedure is not followed, the student is not officially withdrawn from the college and will receive "All F's" on his/her grade report.

Unofficial Withdrawals

A student who leaves a school does not always notify the school of his or her withdrawal. These are known as unofficial withdrawals because official notification is not provided to the school. Texas State Technical College at Harlingen is not required to take attendance. For these withdrawals, commonly known as dropouts or All F’s, the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment, as applicable, or the last date of an academically related activity that the student participated in.

Refund Information

The following definitions apply when calculating refunds for changes in course enrollments.

Reduction in course load occurs when a student drops a course(s) having more credit hours than he/she adds, resulting in the student being enrolled in fewer credit hours overall.

Withdrawal occurs when a student completely ends his/her enrollment at the college for the current term.

Credit courses are courses for which a student is eligible to earn credit toward a certificate or associate degree. Credit courses also include support courses required for the student's enrollment, such as developmental education, etc.

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