Return to Title IV (R2T4) Policy
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.
If a student withdraws from one or all courses, regardless of the reason, they 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 they remain enrolled and attending courses.
When a student officially withdraws, CCBC considers this the official withdrawal date. If the student does not officially withdraw, the withdrawal date is considered as the midpoint of the payment period unless documentation exists in the Financial Aid office that the student attended through a later date. This date then becomes the last day of attendance and is used for the refund calculation.
CCBC will return any unearned Title IV funds it is responsible for returning as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after determining the student has withdrawn, and offer any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds within 30 days of that date. If a student is entitled to a credit balance, CCBC will disburse as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after the calculation.
Course dropped during refund period
During the Fall and Spring semesters, the refund period is the first three weeks of the semester. At the end of the refund period a college census is performed to determine students’ official enrollment status for the purpose of calculating Title IV financial aid. Any courses dropped within the refund period of the semester prior to census are not eligible for financial aid payment unless the student has withdrawn from all courses, at which point the Financial Aid Office will calculate the amount of financial aid earned by the student. Contact Enrollment Services for more information on refund dates and deadlines to drop or withdraw from courses.
If the Financial Aid Office is notified, at any time, that a student never attended/actively engaged in a class, the Financial Aid Office is required to cancel financial aid for that class. The student will be obligated to re-pay any balance due to the college because of the cancellation of this aid.
Attendance/Active Engagement means active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student’s course of study that Is defined by the institution in accordance with any applicable requirements of its State or accrediting agency;
- Includes, but is not limited to—
- Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
- Submitting an academic assignment;
- Taking an assessment or an exam;
- Participating in an interactive tutorial,
webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
- Participating in a study group, group project,
or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution; or
- Interacting with an instructor about academic
- Does not include, for example--
- Living in institutional housing;
- Participating in the institution's meal plan;
- Logging into an online class or tutorial without any further participation; or
- Participating in academic counseling or advisement.
Withdraw from courses prior to disbursement
Students begin earning financial aid from the first day of courses. If a student withdraws from classes prior to receiving their financial aid disbursement it is possible that the institution would owe the student a post withdrawal disbursement. Post withdrawal disbursements are rare and occur in limited situations as described below.
- When a student’s file was selected for verification and there is a delay in processing. If the student falls into this situation, be aware that the Financial Aid Office has 120 days from the date of the student’s withdrawal to make a payment based on the R2T4 calculation. Students are encouraged to submit any missing paperwork as soon as possible to ensure they receive the amount of federal aid earned within the deadline. After 120 days from the student’s withdrawal date, the Financial Aid Office is prohibited from disbursing aid for that period.
- If the student drops all courses within the first month of classes prior to financial aid disbursing. If the student’s file is complete and eligible for payment, our office has 45 days from the date of withdrawal to complete a post withdrawal disbursement for aid earned based on the R2T4 calculation.
In the event the student is eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement of a Pell Grant, CCBC Financial Aid office will disburse the funds to the student’s account. If the student is eligible for a post withdrawal disbursement of a Direct Loan, the College must obtain written permission from the student to disburse the loan funds. the College will email instructions to the student’s school and personal email addresses on record. to determine if they wish to receive the loan funding. All disbursements (grants and loans) will be applied to the student’s account to pay towards any balance owed to the College. Any remaining excess funds will be paid to the student via check in the mail or direct deposit.
Official withdraw or stop attending (unofficial withdrawal)
If the student received federal financial aid and withdraws from all classes, or stops attending one or more courses, prior to the completion of 60% of the semester, the student will be responsible to repay all or a portion of any federal grants and loans that were received. The Financial Aid Office will calculate the "earned" amount of federal aid based on the number of days the student attended classes. All unearned financial aid will be returned either to the Department of Education or, in the case of loans, the lender. The student will receive a bill for any unpaid tuition, fees and book charges on their account that is created by the return of funds. Students will not be allowed to enroll in future classes until the bill is paid in full.
The Financial Aid Office suggests that students talk to an Academic Adviser and the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from classes. Students may also want to consider contacting Student Success Center for tutoring to help achieve success in their courses.
Modular coursework, Winter/Spring, and Summer sessions
Course(s) that are condensed and meet for a short period of time (ex. 7 or 12 weeks) or begin prior to or end after the 15-week traditional semester are considered modular courses for R2T4 purposes. As financial aid pays for Winter courses as part of the Spring term, students enrolled in Winter and Spring courses are also considered “modular” for R2T4 purposes. The same applies to Summer enrollment when a student is enrolled in both session 1 and session 2 courses. If a student is enrolled in modular courses, speak with the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawing, dropping, or otherwise making schedule changes to discuss how these changes will affect their financial aid.
The financial aid disbursement is based on the payment period for the courses the student was enrolled in at the time of enrollment lock/census date. Regardless of whether the student completes the first modular course; if the student subsequently withdraws, stops attending, or fails to start all modules that aid was received (or expected) for, the student may be subject to a R2T4 calculation.
When a student who has withdrawn returns to school within a payment period
If a student plans to return to school within 45 calendar days after the student withdrew/stopped attending, the student must notify the Financial Aid Office in writing within 30 days of withdrawing/stopping classes and before the start of future courses. Failure to provide timely positive confirmation of future attendance may result in a balance owed on the student’s account. If the student resumes courses after a R2T4 calculation is processed, notify the Financial Aid Office that they have returned to courses to have aid reinstated. If a student fails to resume the late starting courses, the Financial Aid Office is required to perform the R2T4 based on the initial (earliest) date of withdrawal. If a student withdraws from courses again after the course starts, the Financial Aid Office will use the later withdrawal date for the new R2T4 calculation.
Unsuccessful semester (all F, W, and/or I grades)
If a student fails to earn a passing grade in any course during the semester, the Financial Aid Office must determine if the F (or combination of F, I, or W) grades are earned or unearned. In the event the grades are determined to be unearned, federal regulations state “the institution must assume, for Title IV purposes, that the student has unofficially withdrawn, unless the institution can document that the student completed the period” (DCL GEN-04-03 Revised, November 2004).
To make this determination of whether the grades are earned or unearned, the Financial Aid Office will rely on a combination of the institution’s grading policy, faculty reported last date of attendance, and/or other college information as appropriate. For more information on CCBC’s grading policy, view the college catalog.
If the Financial Aid Office is unable to document attendance in any courses, federal regulations require that all aid be pulled back and returned to the Department of Education (34 CFR 668.21). If attendance is documented in one or more of the student’s courses, the Financial Aid Office uses the latest date of attendance for the R2T4 calculation. In the event that no last date of attendance is reported, but the student had passing midterm grades, the Financial Aid Office will process the R2T4 using the 50% point of the semester as indicated in the federal regulations (34 CFR 668.22(c)(1)(iii)).
All unearned financial aid will be returned either to the Department of Education or, in the case of loans, the lender. The student will receive a bill for any unpaid tuition, fees and book charges on their account that is created by the return of funds.
The following is a detailed explanation of the Return of Title IV Funds Policy provided by the Department of Education:
"The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term. The federal Title IV financial aid programs must be recalculated in these situations.”If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the Financial Aid Office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:
- Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.
CCBC does not use a R2T4 census date when determining the number of days scheduled to complete for the period. CCBC will monitor enrollment changes throughout the entire registration process and will adjust the financial aid award for courses that a student does not begin attendance/actively engage. If the student received Direct Loans and/or FSEOG award funds based on half-time enrollment and fails to begin a minimum of 6 credits, the start and end date of those dropped courses will be included in calculating the number of days the student was scheduled to complete for the period as federal regulations require.
Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:
- Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been
disbursed during the payment period or term.
The institution will aim to process the R2T4 calculation and return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible within 30 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.
Communicating R2T4 outcomes
The Financial Aid Office will communicate R2T4 calculation outcomes to students via account message to their SIMON account and email to both CCBC and personal email accounts. Students can respond to the email or to email@example.com if they have specific questions about their calculation.
Order of return
The institution will aim to process the R2T4 calculation and return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible within 30 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.Returns are allocated in the following order based on the R2T4 calculation:
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants
- Other assistance under this Title for which a return of funds is required (e.g., LEAP)
Return of federal funds exemptions
In limited cases a student may be eligible for an exemption from Return of Title IV aid regulations. The Department of Education has authorized waivers for these scenarios:
- Graduation—the student has completed all coursework for their declared program of study and is eligible for graduation. Applies to all credit and clock hour financial aid programs at CCBC.
- Completion with a passing grade of D or better in one or more part-of-term/modular course(s) that are equal to or greater than 49 percent of the total possible days within the traditional payment period, excluding scheduled breaks of 5 or more consecutive days and all days between modules. Clock hour and subscription-based programs are excluded from this exemption.
- Completed halftime enrollment (6 credits) with a D or better grade. Student must have earned a D or better in 6 credits. A combination of an earned F grade and passing grade of D or better does not qualify for this waiver. Clock hour and subscription-based programs are excluded from this exemption.