FEDERAL RETURN OF TITLE IV, HEA FUNDS (R2T4) POLICIES

 

When a student applies for Federal Title IV Financial Aid, he or she signs a statement that the student will use the funds for educational purposes only.  Therefore, if the student withdraws before completing his/her program, a portion of the funds received may have to be returned.  Amberton University will calculate the amount of tuition to be returned to the Title IV, HEA Federal fund programs according to the policies listed below. 

This policy applies to students who complete 60% or less of the enrollment period (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring) for which they received Federal Title IV, HEA Aid.  A student who drops a class but still completes one or more classes does not qualify for the Return of Title IV Funds policy.  

Withdraw Before 60%

If the student withdraws before 60 percent of the session has elapsed, a percentage of Title IV, HEA funds will be returned to the federal program(s) based on the length of time the student is enrolled prior to withdrawal. 

For example, if the student withdraws when 50 percent of the session has elapsed, 50 percent of Title IV, HEA funds will be returned to the federal programs. 

Withdraw After 60%

After 60 percent of the session (payment period) has elapsed, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the Title IV, HEA funds he or she was scheduled to receive during this payment period.  The institution must still perform a R2T4 to determine the amount of aid that the student has earned.

Earned AID:

Title IV, HEA aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis (calendar days for credit hour institutions) up to the 60% point in the semester.  Title IV,HEA aid is viewed as 100% earned after that point in time.  A copy of the worksheet used for this calculation can be requested from the financial aid director.

Unearned Aid

If the student has an unearned portion of funds to be returned, the Office of Financial Aid will notify the student within 30 days of the procedure to repay the unearned funds.  If a student receives less Federal Student Aid than the amount earned, the University will offer a disbursement of the earned aid that was not received, called a Post Withdrawal Disbursement.  If the student received more than the amount earned, the University and the student, or both must return the unearned funds to the Department of Education within 45 days.
 

R2T4 Policy Application

This policy applies to students who withdraw officially, unofficially or fail to return from a leave of absence or who are dismissed from enrollment at Amberton University.  It is separate and distinct from the Amberton University refund policy.  (Refer to the University’s tuition refund policy on the website (www.Amberton.edu) and in the current Schedule of Classes.

The calculated amount of the Return of Title IV, HEA (R2T4) funds that are required for the students affected by this policy, are determined according to the following definitions and procedures as prescribed by regulations.

The amount of Title IV, HEA aid earned is based on the amount of time a student spent in academic attendance, and the total aid received; it has no relationship to student’s incurred institutional charges.  Because these requirements deal only with Title IV, HEA funds, the order of return of unearned funds do not include funds from sources other than the Title IV, HEA programs.

Title IV, HEA funds are awarded to the student under the assumption that he/she will attend school for the entire period for which the aid is awarded.  When the student withdraws, he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV, HEA funds that were originally scheduled to be received.  Therefore, the amount of Federal funds earned must be determined.  If the amount disbursed is greater than the amount earned, unearned funds must be returned.

The institution has 45 days from the date that the institution determines that the student withdrew to return all unearned funds for which it is responsible.  The institution is required to notify the student if a repayment is owed via written notice.

The institution must advise the student that he or she has 14 calendar days from the date that the institution sent the notification to accept a post withdrawal disbursement.  If a response is not received from the student within the allowed timeframe or the student declines the funds, the institution will return any earned funds that the institution is holding to the Title IV, HEA programs.

Definition of Official and Unofficial Withdrawal

Officially Withdrawing from the University:

Official withdrawal means that the approved procedure to withdraw from a course was followed by the student.  To be considered official, the withdrawal must be in writing and signed by the student requesting the withdrawal; no withdrawal is accepted verbally.  The official date of the withdrawal is the date the written notice is formally received by the University, NOT the postmarked date or the date stated in the notice.  The University's record concerning a withdrawal is indisputable, unless the student can provide reliable evidence of an earlier receipt date.

An official withdrawal may be submitted by completing the Request for a Change of Schedule form or by written notice containing the student's name, signature, I.D.number, and course(s) to be dropped.  The notice may be faxed, mailed, e-mailed, or hand delivered to the University.  (Refer to the University’s web site for the fax number and e-mail information.)  For the student's convenience, the notice may be submitted in the Student Services Office (Garland Campus and Frisco Center) or placed in one of the designated drop boxes located inside and outside the Garland Main Campus facility.  The official withdrawal procedure applies to all courses, irrespective of delivery mode or course length.  A student may rescind his/her notification in writing and continue enrollment.  If the student subsequently withdraws from the University, the student’s withdrawal date is the original date of notification of intent to withdraw. 

Unofficially Dropping a Course or Withdrawing from the University

Beware of unofficially dropping a course.  It will adversely affect your grades and student account.  An Unofficial drop means that the approved procedure to withdraw from a course or the university was not followed by the student.  Students are prohibited from dropping a course/withdrawing by:

  • Not attending the course;
  • Communicating their desire to drop the course/withdraw other than by submitting the Request for Change of Schedule Form or other document containing the student’s name, signature, I.D. number, and course(s) to be dropped to Amberton University. 

Federally Defined Leaves of Absence Policy (FLOA)
Amberton University does not grant federally defined Leaves of Absence for Financial Aid purposes.  Instead of utilizing a federally defined Leave of Absence, the University assists students by:

  • Allowing students to work with faculty to finish incomplete coursework
  • Allowing an official appeal of the Financial Aid Refund calculation based on unusual circumstances
  • Allowing students to “lay-out” for one or more sessions
  • Allowing students to appeal a determination of insufficient satisfactory academic progress under the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requirements.
  • Allowing students to drop courses with a “W” rather than an “F” during specific time-frames during the session

The “Federally Defined Leave of Absence” policy listed above is for student financial aid purposes only and does not address University policy for employees (i.e. FMLA regulations)

  

Determining Withdrawal Date for R2T4 Funds:

Official Withdrawals:

The date of the termination for return and refund purposes will be the earliest of the following for official withdrawal:  The date the University receives the student’s written communication of intent to drop a course or withdraw from the University.

Unofficial Withdrawals:

The date of the termination for return and refund purposes will be determined by the following for unofficial withdrawals: 

For Lecture Classes:

For the student who does not provide official notification of his or her intent to withdraw and is absent for more than two consecutive class meetings (Amberton University classes meet once weekly for a period of approximately four hours), the date of termination for return and refund purposes will be the student’s last recorded date of academic attendance or the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed (unless the University can document a later date)

For Distance Education Classes:

For the student who does not provide official notification of his or her intent to withdraw and is enrolled in a distance education course requiring no on-campus attendance, the date of termination for return and refund purposes will be the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment for which Title IV assistance was disbursed or the last day of student registered activity in the course depending on which is later.

Upon Receipt of an Official Withdrawal:

Amberton University will:

1. Determine the student’s last date of attendance.
2. Perform the following calculations:
    a. The student’s account and date of official withdrawal are reviewed to determine the calculation of Return of Title         IV, HEA funds the student has earned, and if any, the amount of Title IV funds for which the University is  
        responsible. Returns made to the Federal Funds Account are calculated using the Department’s Return of Title
        IV, HEA Funds Worksheets, scheduled attendance and are based upon the payment period.
    b. Calculate the University’s refund requirement (see University’s refund schedule)
3. The student’s grade record for the session will be updated to reflect his/her final grade for the course(s) dropped.
4. Amberton University will return the amount for any unearned portion of the Title IV funds for which the institution is
   responsible within 45 days of the date the official notice of withdrawal was provided.
5. Amberton University will provide the student with a letter explaining the Title IV, HEA requirements:
    a. The amount of Title IV assistance the student has earned. This amount is based upon the length of time the
        student was enrolled in the program, based on scheduled attendance and the amount of funds the student
        received.
    b. Any returns that will be made to the Title IV, HEA Federal program on the student’s behalf as a result of exiting
        the program. If a student’s scheduled attendance is more than 60% of the payment period, he/she is considered
       to have earned 100% of the Federal funds received for the payment period. In this case, no funds need to be
       returned to the Federal funds.
    c. Advise the student of the amount of unearned Federal funds and tuition and fees that the student must return, if
       applicable.
6. Supply the student with an account record noting outstanding balance due to the University and the available
   methods of payment. A copy of the completed worksheet, check, letter, and final account record will be kept in the
   student’s file.

In the event a student decides to rescind his or her official notification to withdraw, the student must provide a signed and dated written statement that he/she is continuing his or her program of study, and intends to complete the payment period.  Title IV, HEA assistance will continue as originally planned.  If the student subsequently fails to attend or ceases attendance without completing the payment period, the student’s withdrawal date is the original date of notification of intent to withdraw.

Upon Determination of an Unofficial Withdrawal:

 Amberton University will follow the following procedures within one week of determining the student may have unofficially withdrawn:

  1. Make three attempts to notify the student regarding his/her enrollment status.
  2. Determine and record the student’s last date of attendance.
  3. Notify the student in writing of his/her failure to contact the University when requested to do so and notify the student of his/her current termination of enrollment.
  4. Calculate the amount of Federal Title IV Funds student has earned, and if any, the amount of Federal Funds for which the University is responsible.
  5. Calculate the University’s refund requirement (See University Refund Schedule).
  6. Upon completing the calculations, Amberton University will return to the Federal Funds program any unearned portion of Title IV funds for which the University is responsible within 45 days of the date the withdrawal determination was made and make a record of the return on the student’s account and financial aid file.
  7. If applicable, Amberton University will provide the student with a refund letter explaining Title IV requirements:
    1. The amount of Title IV aid the student has earned based upon the length of time the student was enrolled and scheduled to attend in the program and the amount of aid the student received.
    2. Advise the student in writing of the amount of unearned Title IV aid and tuition and fees that he/she must return, if applicable.
    3. Supply the student with a final accounting showing outstanding balance due the University and the available methods of payment.
  8. A copy of the completed worksheet, check, letter, and final account record will be kept in the student’s financial aid file.

 

Return to Title IV Funds Calculation

The calculation required determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid based on the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student.  The percentage of the period that the student remained enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period.  Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.  Until a student has passed the 60% point of an enrollment period, only a portion of the student’s aid has been earned.  A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all awarded aid for the enrollment period.  Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges.  In addition, the University’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another.  A student who withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still owe the University for the course. 

Example of Calculation: - CREDIT HOUR UNIVERSITY

1. Determined the percentage of Title IV, HEA aid earned by the student by taking the calendar days completed in the payment period, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period  (excluding breaks of 5 days or more and days the student was on an approved LOA
   
               18(completed days) = 15.3% (% of completed calendar days)
                        118 (total days)

2. Determine the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student by multiplying the percentage of Title IV, HEA aid earned times the total of the Title IV aid disbursed plus the Title IV aid that could have been disbursed for the payment period.

               15.3% X $2,805.00 = 429.17 (Amount of aid earned by student) 
 
3. If this percentage is greater than 60%, the student earns 100% of the disbursed Title IV, HEA funds or aid that could have been disbursed.
 
4. If this percentage is less than 60%, then the percentage earned is equal to the calculated value.
 
5. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the Percentage of aid earned using the following formula:
 
Aid to be returned = (100% minus the percent earned) multiplied by the amount of aid disbursed toward institutional charges.  If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution may be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds.  All Title IV funds to be returned by the institution must be made no later than 45 calendar days after the date the school determines that the student withdrew. 
 
6. When Title IV, HEA funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the institution.

Order of Return of Title Federal IV, HEA Funds   

In accordance with Federal regulations, when Title IV, HEA financial aid is involved, the calculated amount of the R2T4 Funds" is allocated in the following order: 

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans (other than PLUS loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford loans
  • Parent PLUS loans
  • Direct PLUS loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a Return is required
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a Return is required
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance
  • State Tuition Assistance Grants  (if applicable)
  • Private and institutional aid
  • The Student

Amberton University does not participate in any Federal Financial Aid Program, except the Federal Pell Grant Program.

 

Timeframe for returning an unclaimed Title IV, HEA Credit Balance

If the University attempts to disburse the credit balance by check and the check is not cashed, the University must return the funds no later than 240 days after the date the University issued the check.

If a check is returned to Amberton University or an EFT is rejected, the University may make additional attempts to disburse the funds, provided that those attempts are made no later than 45 days after the funds were returned or rejected.  When a check is returned or EFT is rejected and the University does not make another attempt to disburse the funds, the funds must be returned before the end of the initial 45-day period.

The University must cease all attempts to disburse the funds and return them no later than 240 days after the date it issued the first check.

 

Institution Responsibilities 

Amberton University’s responsibilities in regards to Title IV, HEA funds follow:

  • Providing students information with information in this policy;
  • Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the return of Title IV funds calculation for those students;
  • Returning any Title IV, HEA funds due to the correct Title IV programs.

The institution is not always required to return all of the excess funds; there are situations once the R2T4 calculations have been completed in which the student must return the unearned aid.

Overpayment of Title IV, HEA Funds

Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called overpayment.  The student must make arrangements with Amberton University or the U.S. Department of Education to return the amount of unearned grant funds.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

The  institution  must disburse any Title IV, HEA grant funds a student is due as part of a post-withdrawal disbursement within 45 days of the date the institution determined the student withdrew and disburse any loan funds a student accepts within 180 days of that date.

The institution will offer any post-withdraw­al disbursement of loan funds within 90 days of the date it determines the student withdrew.

If the student did not receive all of the funds earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement.  Amberton University may use a portion or all of the student’s post- withdrawal disbursement for tuition and fees (as contracted with Amberton University).  For all other school charges, Amberton University needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement.  If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds.  However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the University to keep the funds to reduce the student’s debt at the institution.

 

 

Student Responsibilities in regards to Return of Title IV, HEA funds

  • Returning to the Title IV, HEA programs any funds that were disbursed to the student in which the student was determined to be ineligible via the R2T4 calculation.
  • Any notification of withdrawal must be in writing and addressed to the appropriate institutional official following Amberton University withdrawal procedures
  • A student may rescind his or her notification of intent to withdraw.  Submissions of intent to rescind a withdrawal notice must be filed in writing.
  • These notifications, to either withdraw or rescind to withdraw must be made to the official records/registration personnel at Amberton University.

 

Refund vs. Return to Title IV, HEA Funds

The requirements for the Title IV, HEA program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any refund policy that Amberton University has in order to return to the student any funds due from a cash credit balance.  Therefore, students may still owe funds to Amberton to cover unpaid institutional charges.  Amberton University may also charge the student for any Title IV, HEA program funds that the University was required to return on the student’s behalf.

 

For information on the Amberton University refund policy, refer to the current Schedule of Classes, the current University Catalog, the Amberton University website (www.Amberton.edu) or contact an advisor in the Student Services Office.

Return to Title IV, HEA Questions

If you have questions regarding Title IV, HEA program funds after visiting with the financial aid personnel, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-fedaid (800-433-3243).  TTY users may call 800-730-8913.  Information is also available on student aid on the web www.studentaid.ed.gov.