What you need to know

Title IV (federal) financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will remain enrolled and attending for the entire period for which the funds were awarded.

When a student withdraws from one or all courses, regardless of the reason, s/he may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal funds originally awarded and/or disbursed. The return of funds to the federal government is based on the premise that a student earns financial aid in proportion to the length of time during which s/he remains enrolled and attending. A pro-rated schedule determines the amount of federal student aid funds s/he will have earned at the time of full withdrawal.  All students are subject to this process prior to the completion of 60% of the coursework.

Why would a calculation be required?

Federal laws require CCBC to evaluate and possibly recalculate financial aid eligibility when a student:

  • Withdraws from all classes;
  • Stops attending before the end of classes;
  • Does not complete all modules in which the student enrolled as of the start dates identified

Students who receive federal financial aid and who do not remain in attendance through the end of the semester could be responsible for repaying all or a portion of their financial aid originally awarded and disbursed.

How is "earned" financial aid calculated?

Financial aid recipients “earn” their financial aid received by remaining in classes. The amount of federal aid earned is based on a pro-rated system. Students who withdraw or do not complete all of their classes may be required to return some or all of their financial aid.

CCBC is required to determine the percentage of Title IV (federal) aid “earned” by the student and return the “unearned” portion to the appropriate federal aid programs. CCBC is required to perform this calculation within 30 days of the date that CCBC determines that a student has withdrawn.  Federal funds must be returned by CCBC within 45 days of this calculation.

The following explains the formula used to determine the percentage of unearned aid to be returned to the federal government:

  • The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the payment period.
  • The payment period is determined by term and the specific course type.  In fall and spring, CCBC offers 15-week, 12-week, and two 7-week sessions.  In the winter term, CCBC offers 4-week sessions.  As of Summer 2017, CCBC will offer two 5-week, 6-week, 7-week, and 10-week sessions.
  • The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent less than the percent earned.
  • Breaks of 5 days or longer are not included in the count of total days in the payment period.

Refunds are allocated in which order?

Once your return is processed, financial aid must be returned in this order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Other assistance under Title IV (e.g., LEAP)

What if I never attended my class(es)?

If a student receives financial aid, but never attends class(es), CCBC will either return all disbursed federal funds or reduce the credits before the census date. If the student owes money to CCBC resulting from the return of federal funds, the student will receive a bill. If the student does not pay the funds due to CCBC, a hold will be placed on the student’s account. This means the student will not be permitted to register for classes or receive transcripts until the balance is paid.

Does withdrawing affect my future financial aid eligibility?

Yes, withdrawing from one or more of your classes can affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status.  The number of attempted and completed courses are calculated for SAP.  Read more about SAP and your completion rate calculation.