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Withdrawing from UTPA

 

When federal Title IV grants or loan assistance is disbursed and the recipient withdraws, drops out, fails all classes or takes a leave of absence, the law requires that UTPA calculate the amount that must be returned by the school and/or student to Title IV programs.

 

The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are:

 

  • Federal Pell Grant 
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • DIrect Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

     

Even though Federal Work-Study is a Title IV program, it is exempt from the Return of Title IV calculation. The student is able to keep all Federal Work-Study earnings up to the time of withdrawal, but is ineligible to work after the withdrawal date.

 

Official Withdrawal

 

Official withdrawal is when a student provides official notification of his or her intent to withdraw by following UTPA’s withdrawal process.

The date the student initiates the withdrawal is considered the last date of attendance for the student and is used for calculating the percentage used in the formula for Return of Title IV funds. The number of days from the first class day to the withdrawal date divided by the number of days in the payment period (semester) equals the percentage of Title IV funds earned. If the withdrawal date is after the 60 percent point of the semester, the student has earned 100 percent of the Title IV funds. If the withdrawal date is before the 60 percent point of the semester, the student will be responsible for returning the unearned funds. The student will be notified of the responsibility to repay unearned funds to the appropriate program and/or to UTPA.

To officially withdraw, the student will need to go to the Office of the Register and pick up the withdrawal form. The withdrawal form will need to be signed by the student, Payments & Collections and Financial Aid Office. Once all the required signatures have been obtained the withdrawal form will need to be returned to the Office of the Register.

 

Unofficial Withdrawals

 

If a student who began attendance and has not officially withdrawn fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course during the semester, UTPA will assume, for Title IV purposes, that the student has unofficially withdrawn, unless UTPA can document that the student completed the semester.

UTPA is required to calculate the amount for Return of Title IV funds based on the last day of a student’s last date of attendance at an academically related activity, as documented by the school, as the withdrawal date. UTPA requires faculty to report a "last date of attendance" for all students awarded a non-passing grade. The "last date of attendance" may consist of the last date the student attended class or the last date the student submitted an academic assignment for the class. Therefore, UTPA will use the reported last date of attendance submitted by your prodessor(s), as the student's withdrawal date. If no date is provided, the midpoint of the period will be used as the student's withdrawal date. A student that attended past the 60% point in the semester, will have earned 100% of the federal aid funds received. The student will be notified of the responsibility to repay unearned funds to the appropriate program and/or to UTPA.

 

Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the following Programs in the following order:

 

  • Unsibsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Direct PLUS (Graduate Student)
  • Direct PLUS (Parent)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant

     

UTPA must return unearned funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days from the determination of a student’s official or unofficial withdrawal.

 

If as a result of a Return of Title IV calculation UTPA returns loan funds to a lender, UTPA will notify the student that the funds have been returned on his or her behalf.

 

Modules

 

Beginning summer 2012, Return of Title IV will be processed a bit differently due to our summer having modules. A program offered in modules is when one or more courses in an academic program do not span the entire length of the payment period (i.e., Sum 1 or Sum2) or if the program consists solely of modules. Each module has their own census date, therefore budgets and awards will be adjusted if the student does not remain enrolled past census date for a particular module.

In the past if the student was enrolled for SS1 and SS2, where the student passed Summer I, but then stopped attending prior to completing Summer 2 an RT4 would not be calculated. Under the new regulations, completion of one course in one module no longer results in a student not being counted as a withdrawal, UTPA will now need to make the determination how much aid the student earned. However, this student will not be considered as a withdrawal if at the time of withdrawal the student provides written notification that they will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period. Without confirmation of future attendance, UTPA will assume the student as a withdrawal and process Return of Title IV. Even though a student may have enrollment for a future module, UTPA cannot assume that the student will be returning for the course for purposes of demonstrating confirmation of future attendance. If UTPA receives confirmation of future attendance but the student does not return as scheduled, Return of Title IV will be processed as if the student had not provided confirmation of future attendance.

 

Example 1:

 

A student is enrolled in a 3-credit class in the first module and a 4-credit class in the second module.

 

Module 1

3 credits

Module 2

4 credits

The student completes Module 1, but on Day 15 of Module 2, the student drops her class.

Result - The school will perform a return of Title IV funds calculation.

 

Example 2:

A student is scheduled to complete two courses in each of the first two modules (A and B).

Module A

5 weeks

Module B

5 weeks

The student begins attendance in both courses in module A, but drops just one course after a few days.

Result – The school will not perform an R2T4 calculation, but a recalculation of aid might be necessary.

 

Example 3:

A student is scheduled to complete two courses in each of the first two modules (A and B).

Module A

5 weeks

Module B

5 weeks

The student completes courses in module A, but drops courses in module B while still attending module.

Result – The school will not perform an R2T4 calculation, but a recalculation of aid might be necessary.

 

Post-withdrawal Disbursement Process

 

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, the amount may be considered a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal eligibility can be used to credit outstanding charges on a student’s account. UTPA has 30 days from the date that the University determined the student withdrew to offer any amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement to the student. The student may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student’s account. The student must respond within 14 days from the date that the University sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. A student’s or parent’s response to an offer of a post-withdrawal disbursement does not have to be in writing; however, UTPA must document the response. If the student does not respond to the University’s notice, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the students account may be disbursed. UTPA is required to contact a withdrawn student prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds and explain to the student (or the parent in case of a parent PLUS loan) his or her obligation to repay the funds if the funds are disbursed, and to confirm that any loan funds are still required by the student.

 

Federal Withdrawal Policy: Treatment of Federal Student Aid When a Student Withdraws
U.S. Department of Education

The law specifies how your school must determine the amount of Federal Student Aid (FSA) assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The FSA programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Federal Perkins Loans and the new Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National SMART Grant programs and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant.

When you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment (your school can define these for you and tell you which one applies) the amount of FSA program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, you may choose to decline the loan funds so that you don't incur additional debt.

Your school may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement (including loan funds, if you accept them) for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). For all other school charges, the school needs your authorization to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give your authorization (which some schools ask for when you enroll) you will be not offered the post-withdrawal disbursement. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.

There are some FSA funds that you were scheduled to receive that you cannot earn once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not earn any FFEL or Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.

If you receive (or your school or parent receive on your behalf ) excess FSA program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of

 

1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentages of your funds, or

2. the entire amount of excess funds

 

The school must return this amount even if it didn't keep this amount of your FSA program funds.

If your school is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the unearned amount. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for FSA program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that your school may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. Your school may also charge you for any FSA program funds that the school was required to return. If you don't already know what your school's refund policy is, you can ask your school for a copy. Your school can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.

If you have questions about your FSA program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at www.studentaid.ed.gov

 

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