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Returning of Federal Aid

  • Returning of Federal Student Aid

    All Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are governed by the Higher Education Act (as amended).  These are known as Title IV Programs.

    FSA funds are given with the expectation that the recipient will complete 100% of the semester. In general, the law assumes that a student "earns" federal student aid awards in proportion to the number of days in the term the student completes.  When a student fails to complete any course in a given semester, due to either withdrawing or failing, a school must determine how much aid the student is entitled to receive. Any funds determined to be “unearned” must be returned the FSA program. This may result in the student owing money to the college.

    For example: If a student completed 30% of the semester, then 30% of the federal aid originally awarded is "earned".   This means that 70% of the student's scheduled or disbursed aid remains must be returned to the FSA programs.  Federal aid that must be returned is referred to as "unearned".  

    A student must complete more than 60% of the semester to earn 100% of the federal aid awarded. This does not mean the student will be entitle to all the federal aid awarded if the student withdraws before aid has been disbursed.

    Determining Time Completed

    The student's official withdrawal date will be determined by the college as either:
    • The date the student officially withdraws
    • The midpoint of the semester if an official withdrawal date cannot be determined
    • The student's last date of attendance as determined by each Professor. 

    How Funds Are Returned

    Any funds determined to be “unearned” must be returned the FSA program.  The college may return some Federal Student Aid for the student. This may result in the student owing money to the college.

    Federal Grants

    When the student must return grant funds it is considered an over-payment.  The student must either:

    • Repay the entire amount
    • make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education (ED)
    Students who fail to do so will lose eligibility to receive future Federal Student Aid at any institution.

    Federal Loans

    Student loan funds that are returned to the lender will reduce a student’s total Direct Loan balance.


    If the amount owed to the College is less that the amount of federal aid “earned” then student may be eligible for a refund.


    Students must submit all required documents to be eligible for Federal student aid.

    This policy governs Federal Title IV aid only. This policy does not affect the student's charges; the college's refund policy will be used to determine the reduction, if any, of the student's tuition and fees. The student is responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the college.

  • Need Help?

    Financial Aid - Visit Us

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