The Catholic University of America

RETURN OF FEDERAL STUDENT AID FUNDS

Federal Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws from all his/her courses, for any reason including medical withdrawals, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive.

If the student withdraws from all courses prior to completing over 60 percent of a semester, he/she may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid that he/she received for that term. A pro rata schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds he/she will have earned at the time of the withdrawal.

The return of funds is based upon the concept that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled. Under this reasoning, for example, a student who withdraws in the second week of classes has earned less of his/her financial aid than a student who withdraws in the seventh week. Once 60 percent of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.

The financial aid office, in accordance with 34CFR Sec. 668.22, calculates and executes the Return of Title IV Funds for any student receiving Title IV Aid and subsequently withdraws before the end of the enrollment period (i.e., term).

OFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL

In Person
Students intending to officially withdrawal should contact the assistant academic dean, the registrar, or the director of financial aid. Students planning to enroll for the next semester should request a term withdrawal for the current semester; students that do not plan to return to the University should request a permanent withdrawal.

The official withdrawal date used to determine the return of funds calculation is maintained in the registrar’s records, as well as within the PeopleSoft system. The “Student's Withdrawal Date" and the "Date of the Institution's Determination that the Student has Withdrawn" will be the date the student provides official notification of their intent to withdrawal.

Online
A student who drops or withdraws from all of their courses online after the first day of classes is considered to have officially withdrawn. The financial aid office will use the date the last course was dropped/withdrawn to determine the “Student Withdrawal Date” and the “Date of the Institution’s Determination that the Student has Withdrawn.”

UNOFFICIAL WITHDRAWAL

The financial aid office will assume that students who fail to earn a single grade in any of their classes for a term to have unofficially withdrawn. Students who receive all grades of “F*” or a combination of “F*” and “W” will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University. The financial aid office will process a Return of Title IV Funds (e.g., student loans) calculation using the 50 percent point as the student’s “Withdrawal Date” and the last date that grades are due as the “Date of the Institution's Determination that the Student has Withdrawn.”

The University has initiated a grading policy that will be used to distinguish between a student who earned a grade of “F” (awarded to students who complete the course but fail to achieve the course objectives) or a grade of “F*” (awarded to students who did not officially withdrawal from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period). A grade of “F*” is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. A student who earns at least one grade including an "F" grade will be considered to have completed the term and no R2T4 calculation would be required or performed.

Incomplete Grade
CUA considers a student who receives an (I) grade(s) to have completed the course and earned any grade(s) resulting from the resolution of the initial (I) grade(s). No R2T4 calculation is required.

Enrollment Status Verification
The financial aid office will process an Return of Title IV Funds calculation for each student who drops all courses after the start of classes but before the end of the add/drop period and each student who fails to earn a grade for a term. The Office of Financial Aid will contact instructors to determine if the student began attendance only if the Return of Title IV Funds calculation determines that the student is eligible for a prorated portion of their disbursed aid or a Post Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD) of aid that could have been disbursed.

The financial aid office will contact the instructor of each class for which a student was registered to determine the student’s enrollment status. For a student who drops (withdraws) from all classes during the add/drop period, the number of credits the student was registered for at the start of the day of the last drop will be used to determine the student's base enrollment status at the time of the withdrawal. Enrollment status and aid will then be readjusted to reflect the courses for which an instructor verifies that the student began attendance.
If the financial aid office is not able to verify that the student began attendance in any class for a term, then all aid for that term would be canceled and returned to the federal aid programs.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Cancellation of Enrollment
Should a student cancel his/her enrollment before classes start as opposed to withdrawing, no Return of Title IV funds calculation will be performed. Instead, all aid disbursed will be cancelled and returned to the appropriate aid programs.

Should a student attend classes and officially withdrawal during the refund period, but ask in writing that all of his/her aid be returned, all of the student’s aid will be returned and no calculation will be performed. For example, this can happen when a student plans to transfer and attend another institution for the same semester. If all of the aid is not returned, the student may be prohibited from receiving aid at the other institution due to concurrent enrollment restrictions. If a calculation has been performed, the earned aid retained will be canceled and those funds will be refunded to the various programs.

Suspension or Dismissal
In cases where a student is suspended or dismissed from the University, the "Student's Withdrawal Date" and "Date of the Institution's Determination that the Student has Withdrawn" will be the date the student’s suspension or dismissal become effect.

Academic Leave (not a Leave of Absence)
As a term-based, credit-hour institution, Catholic University cannot offer a federally approved Leave of Absence (LOA) option. However, students may request to be placed on Academic Leave for a future semester.

Students who must interrupt their studies for a legitimate reason, such as sustained ill health or military service, may be granted an academic leave for a stated period, usually not to exceed one year. Requesting Academic Leave permits the student to return to the University within a specified timeframe without reapplying to the University. Academic Leave can only be granted for a future term(s) and cannot be granted once a term has started. Students that have to interrupt their studies once a semester has started will have to apply for a term withdrawal.

Students requesting to be placed on Academic Leave should contact the assistant academic dean.
Students on Academic Leave will be reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as ‘not enrolled’ with an effective date as of the last day of the semester in which they were last enrolled. They will enter their federal student loan grace period as of that date, and if they have previously used up their student loan grace period, they will immediately enter into loan repayment.

Unable to Provide Official Notification
If the student does not provide official notification because of circumstances beyond the student's control (i.e. student's death, student’s hospitalization, natural disaster), the "Student's Withdrawal Date" will be the date that the University determines that the event took place that resulted in the student being unable to provide official notification. This will usually be processed as an official withdrawal by the assistant academic dean. The "Date of the Institution's Determination that the Student has Withdrawn" will be the date the school is notified that the student has ceased attendance. If a student attends class after the event and then withdraws, the “Withdrawal Date” will be the date the school is notified of the student’s intent to withdrawal. Since a student can officially withdraw online, the student would have to document that they could not have reasonably gained access to a computer to officially withdrawn online.
 

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