Special refund requirements apply to students who receive federal aid that is classified as "Title IV" funds. Title IV funds include awards such as Pell grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants (SEOG), Federal Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and other federal awards. Students must attend classes to remain eligible for federal financial aid. Students who are considering withdrawing from all classes before completing 60% of the semester should contact the Financial Aid Office to learn how this would affect their financial aid. If the student receives less Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, the school must offer a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. This is called a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the student receives more Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, the school, the student, or both, must return the unearned funds in a specified order.
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. TSTC West Texas 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 in which the student participated.
A federal formula dictates the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned to the federal government by the college and the student. This formula applies to a student who is receiving Title IV funds if that student withdraws from or makes All F’s at the college on or before the 60% point in time in the term. The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the term divided by the number of calendar days in the term. Scheduled breaks of five consecutive days or more are excluded from this calculation.
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:
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Federal PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant Program
- Federal SEOG Program
- Other Title IV Aid
For more detailed information on the entire refund procedure for Financial Aid students or about the calculation of refund amounts, contact the Financial Aid Office.