Overpayment & Return to Title IV
The Department of Education specifies that Shasta College must determine the amount of Title IV financial aid funds that a student has earned if they withdraws from all of their classes for any reason, including medical withdrawals or approved late withdrawals. The Title IV financial aid included in this regulation are:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
Though a student’s federal financial aid is disbursed throughout the payment period (semester), the funds are earned as the student attends each day of the semester. If a student withdraws before the end of the semester, the amount of Title IV financial aid that has been earned up to that point is calculated using the Return to Title IV, hereafter referred to as R2T4, process.
The R2T4 Process
Pell Grant, SEOG, or Direct Loan recipients who have withdrawn from all classes are identified. A calculation, prescribed by the Department of Education, is performed to determine how much of the semester a student attended and how much Title IV aid was earned. The R2T4 calculation includes the following components: withdrawal date, enrollment status (Full-time, Three quarter-time, Half-time, or Less-than-half-time), the amount of institutional charges assessed to the student, the amount of Title IV funds disbursed to the student, and the amount that could have been disbursed.
If a student received more aid than was earned, the excess amount must be returned to the Department of Education. Shasta College will return the funds to the Department of Education on the student’s behalf, and the student will be sent an email notification within 30 days of the school’s determination that the student withdrew that there is an R2T4 balance owed to the school.
If a student was disbursed less aid than was earned, the student may be entitled to receive an additional disbursement called a post-withdrawal disbursement. If so, the student will be sent an email notification.
Pell Recalculation Policy and R2T4
Shasta College uses a census date (also known as the freeze date) Pell Recalculation Policy. This means the student’s enrollment status to determine Pell eligibility “freezes” on the census date. The only way the enrollment status can increase after that is for the student to attend a later starting class and attend it though that class’ census date. In short, Pell enrollment status is determined and “freezes” on the full term census date and, after that, only on a subsequent short term class census date.
If a student withdraws prior to the full term census date, the enrollment status for Pell eligibility and the R2T4 calculation will be the student’s enrollment status on the date of withdrawal.
If the student withdraws after the full term census date, the enrollment status for Pell eligibility and the R2T4 calculation will be the student’s enrollment status at the last census date attended.
How Funds are Earned
The amount of Title IV aid that a student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis based on the calendar days completed prior to withdrawal, divided by the calendar days in the semester, including weekends. Only official breaks of five calendar days or more are excluded from the number of calendar days in the semester.
If a student who began attendance has not officially withdrawn and fails to receive at least one earned grade (A, B, C, D, F, P, NP), the institution must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. The R2T4 calculation will be completed using the midpoint of the semester as the student’s withdrawal date to determine if funds are owed back.
In these cases, it is the responsibility of the student to obtain documentation of the last day of attendance from the instructor.
If a student did not receive all of the funds that were earned, the student may be due a post withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement consists of Pell Grant funds, they will be disbursed as soon as possible. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Shasta College Financial Aid Department should they wish to decline the funds. Declining Pell funds will save some of the student’s Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility.
If the post-withdrawal disbursement consists of Direct Loan funds, Shasta College will send out a letter within 30 days of the determination that the student withdrew, giving the student the opportunity to accept all or part of a post-withdrawal disbursement the post-withdrawal. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred.
Shasta College may automatically use all or a portion of a student’s post-withdrawal Pell Grant disbursement for current outstanding charges, which include tuition, fees, and dormitory charges for the same semester. There are some Title IV funds that a student may be scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed once a student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if the student is a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and does not complete the first 30 days of their program before withdrawal, a student has not earned any scheduled Subsidized or Unsubsidized Direct Loan funds and those funds cannot be disbursed.
Return to Title IV-Funds Owed
When an R2T4 calculation shows that a student received more Pell Grant and/or Direct Loan funds than were earned, the school and the student may each be responsible for a portion of the amount owed back. Shasta College will return both the student portion and/or school portion of the funds owed back to the Department of Education on the student’s behalf. At that point, the student will owe both the student and/or school portion directly to Shasta College
Paying a Return to Title IV Balance
When the student owes a balance, a payment must be made within 45 days. Thereafter, a payment must be made to Shasta College every 30 days or less, or the account will be referred to collections. A hold will be placed on the student’s account and the student will not be able to register in future terms until the balance is paid in full.
Withdrawals and the Shasta College Refund Policy
The requirements of the Title IV Financial Aid Program are separate from Shasta College’s Refund Policy. The institutional charges used in the R2T4 calculation can only be adjusted by refunds that occur prior to the student’s withdrawal. Also, it is possible that a student could still owe Shasta College for outstanding institutional charges after withdrawal.