The federal code of regulations 34 CFR 668.22 defines the treatment of withdrawals, the calculation of earned and unearned aid, the disbursement or return of federal funds, and the timelines for each.
If a student leaves college or fails to satisfactorily complete the days enrolled and scheduled to complete, the student may owe federal funds that are determined to be unearned as defined by these regulations.
View Return of Funds Policy
Return of Title IV Funds Summary
Whenever a student withdraws from their coursework after the drop/add period, there can be serious consequences for the student. This includes the possibility of owing the college and/or the U.S. Department of Education for the portion of federal student aid calculated as unearned. It is the student’s responsibility to understand these possible consequences. In order to assist students, the college has developed the following summary of its Return of Title IV Funds Policy.
Federal aid earned
A student earns his/her federal student aid by attending the courses scheduled for enrollment in a semester block by completing the days scheduled to complete coursework.
Greater than 60% equals 100%
A federal aid recipient is considered to have earned 100% of his/her student aid if he/she completes more than 60% of the total days scheduled to complete within a semester block.
What is the length of the semester block (to determine the 60% point in time)?
For federal Return of Title IV Funds purposes, the length of a semester block and the 60% date depends on the courses enrolled start and end dates. The total number of days is counted from the start of the semester block to the end date of the last course scheduled to complete (i.e., has the latest end date), excluding scheduled breaks that are five or more consecutive days. This may be less than the full length of a semester block, which is 16 weeks.
Withdrawal from College
For federal aid purposes, a student has withdrawn from college within the semester block if any of the following apply, unless documented that the student completed the days scheduled to enroll.
- Withdraws from all courses
- withdraws from all course(s) scheduled to complete for which a grade(s) is yet to be assigned
- submits a Medical Withdraw Form to withdraw from the college because of special circumstances
- receives all non-passing grades in scheduled courses
- receives a non-passing grade in the last course(s) scheduled to complete, i.e., the course with the latest end date in the student’s enrollment schedule, unless the last date of attendance is at the end of the course.
Return of federal student aid funds
Per federal regulations, Maricopa District Student Financial Services must determine the amount of federal grant and/or loan assistance a student earned. If less assistance is received than what was earned, a student may qualify for those funds. If more assistance is received than earned, the unearned funds must be returned. Any portion of funds returned by the school is an obligation of the student to Rio Salado College. In addition, the student may owe funds directly to the federal programs, e.g., loan funds. Funds will be returned in the order below as prescribed by federal regulations, within 45 days from the date of determination that a student withdrew.
- Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS loans
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Federal Iraq Afghanistan Grant
A student will be notified:
- within 30 days of the date it is determined that a student withdrew, if s/he qualifies for a post-withdrawal disbursement,
- within 30 days of the date it is determined that a student withdrew, if the student owes a grant overpayment,
- within 60 days of the date it is determined that a student withdrew, if s/he received an excess of funds that was returned by the College and owes it money.