Return of Title IV Funds Policy

A calculation is made for all financial aid recipients to determine whether a student who completely withdraws during a term has "earned" the monies disbursed. A student "earns" his/her aid based on the period of time they remain enrolled. During the first 60% of the term a student "earns" financial aid in direct proportion to the length of time he/she remains enrolled. The earned and unearned aid is determined by a daily prorated ratio. Basically, if you canceled enrollment at the 20% point of the term, you earned 20% of the financial aid you were originally scheduled to receive. The 80% of the amount of unearned Federal financial aid or a portion of the 80% of unearned aid will be returned (canceled from your account). Once you have completed more than 60% of the term, you have earned all the federal assistance that you were scheduled to receive. Specific percentages by date are published by the Bursar's Office.

A daily roster is generated by the Office of the Registrar that identifies students who have completely withdrawn from the institution. The Registrar's office records and publishes the official date of withdrawal.

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 term. The withdrawal date is

  • The date the student notified the institution of intent to withdraw (initiation of withdrawal process) or
  • The midpoint of the term for a student who leaves without notifying the institution of their intent to withdraw.

The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess. Georgia Tech will use the Return of Financial Aid - Refund Policy worksheet to determine the amount the student and/or the institution must refund (canceled from your student account) to the appropriate programs. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and the Bursar's Office will cooperatively verify the accuracy of each refund calculation.

Institution's Return of Funds

Once the institution's portion of the return of funds has been calculated the OSFA will reduce the student's original financial aid award and return the funds within 45 (forty-five) days to the appropriate program(s) in the order specific in this policy. If this creates a "balance" on the student's account in the Bursar's office, the Bursar will notify the student of the obligation. The student will be responsible for paying the debt to the Bursar immediately. The student will not be allowed to register or receive an official transcript until the debt has been paid in full.

Student's Return of Funds

Once the student's portion of the return of funds has been calculated, the Bursar's Office will notify the student of the amount he/she must repay. The student must pay Georgia Tech the full amount of his/her debt and Georgia Tech will return the funds to the appropriate programs within 45 days. To continue eligibility past 45 days, the student must pay the overpayment in full to Georgia Tech's Bursar's office.

Unearned Title IV aid shall be returned to the following programs in the following order by both the student and the Institute:

  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Perkins Loan
  • Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)/Graduate PLUS
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Post-Withdrawal Funds

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, the amount maybe considered a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal eligibility can be used to credit outstanding charges on a student's account. Georgia Tech has 30 (thirty) days from the date of the institution determined that the student withdrew, to offer any amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement to the student, (or parent for PLUS). The student (or parent) may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student's account. The student or parent must respond within 14 days from the date that the institution sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post withdrawal disbursement. If the student (or parent) does not respond to the institution's notice, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student's account may be disbursed.

HOPE/Zell Miller Scholarship Only Refund

If a refund is due and the student received HOPE/Zell Miller funds but did not receive federal Title IV funds, then such amounts must be refunded to HOPE/Zell Miller. These amounts are refunded by applying the institution's Refund Policy to the student's original HOPE/Zell Miller award for tuition.

Title IV and HOPE/Zell Miller Refund

If in addition to HOPE/Zell Miller funds, the student also received federal Title IV funds, then refund amounts are distributed proportionately. OSFA then determines the amount of the federal Title IV refund as prescribed by the federal "Return of Title IV Funds" policy.

Financial Aid Calculated Examples

The calculation for the amount of Federal financial aid to return (cancel from your student account) is based on the lesser amount of:

  • Institutional charges: (Tuition, Mandatory fees, Special course fees, Housing and Meal charges (if you live on campus)
    OR
  • Federal Aid awarded: (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, Parent or Grad PLUS Loan, Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG))

The lesser amount of the institutional charges or federal aid awarded is then multiplied by a daily prorated ratio based on your certified date of withdrawal. The result is the amount of aid to be returned.

  Example 1 Example 2
Institutional Charges    
Tuition 5,004 5,004
Recreation Fee 54 54
Health Fee 165 165
Transportation Fee 85 85
Technology Fee 107 107
Activity Fee 40 40
Athletic Fee 127 127
CRC Operations Fee 51 51
Special Institution Fee 544 544
Student Center Fee 32 32
Campus Housing 4,600 4,600
TOTAL 10,809 10,809
Financial Aid Awarded    
Unsubsidized Stafford 990 3,710
Subsidized Stafford Loan 2,721 2,721
Parent PLUS Loan $1,915  
Perkins Loan 1,200  
Pell Grant 2,960  
SEOG 2,000  
TOTAL $11,786 $6,431
Example 1

Since the total institutional charges are less than the total financial aid awarded, the cancelation of aid will be calculated using the $10,809 because it is less than the Federal Financial Aid Awarded of $11,786.

If your date of withdrawal is at the midpoint of the term, $10,809 would be multiplied by 50% to calculate $5,404.50 to return from your Federal Financial Aid funds. For the example, the entire $990 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan would be returned to the servicer (canceled from your account) as well as $2,721 of the Subsidized Stafford Loan, and $1,694 of the Parent PLUS Loan (Figures must be rounded up). Therefore $990 + $2,721 + $1,694 = $5,405 is the amount of aid to be returned (canceled from your account).

Example 2

Since the financial aid awards are less than the total institutional charges, the cancelation of aid will be calculated using $6,431 because it is less than the total institutional charges of $10,809.

If your date of withdrawal results in a 31% term completion earned rate, then the unearned percentage is 69%. Therefore, we would multiply $6,436 by 69% to calculate $4,437 to return from your Federal Financial Aid funds. For this example, the entire $3,710 Unsubsidized Stafford Loan would be returned to the servicer (canceled from your account) as well as $727 of the Subsidized Stafford Loan. Therefore $3,710 + $727 = $4,437 is the amount of aid to be returned (canceled from your account).

Unofficial Withdrawal Policy

Financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption you will attend school for the entire term. If you unofficially withdraw (leave and do not properly provide official notification of withdrawal), you may no longer be eligible for the full amount of aid funds you were originally scheduled to receive.

Official Notification Not Provided
  • One category of unofficial withdrawal happens if you did not complete the withdrawal process or otherwise notify the school of the intent to withdraw due to illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond your control. If the failure to properly withdraw is beyond your control, the withdrawal date is the date you no longer were able to attend class.
  • A second category of unofficial withdrawals encompasses all other withdrawals where official notification is not provided to the school. For these withdrawals the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the term, unless otherwise documented.
Time Frame of Withdrawal Date for an Unofficial Withdrawal

For Unofficial withdrawals, a school must process aid adjustments for unofficial withdrawals within 45 calendar days from the earlier of; (1) the end of the payment period or period of enrollment, (2) the end of the academic year, or (3) the end of the student's educational program.

At the end of each term, our office identifies students who did not successfully complete any courses. For students who do not earn a passing grade in any course, a notice will be sent to instructors asking for verification of the last date of attendance at an academically related activity. Examples of academically related activities are:

  • Examinations or quizzes
  • Tutorials
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Academic advising or counseling
  • Academic conferences
  • Completing an academic assignment, paper, or project
  • Attending a study group required by the institution where attendance is taken

In the absence of evidence of a last day of attendance at an academically related activity, the student who failed to earn a passing grade in any class is considered to be an unofficial withdrawal. Also, if attendance documentation is not received, a return of financial aid funds calculation will occur using the midpoint (50%) as the point for the unofficial date of withdrawal.

This website last reviewed/updated on 08/04/17