Return of Title IV Funds Policy
Treatment of Title IV Aid When a Student Withdraws (Return of Title IV Funds)
This policy applies to students who complete 60% or less of the enrollment period (i.e.. Fall, Spring or Summer session) for which they received Federal Title IV aid. A student who drops and/or withdraws from a class but still completes one or more classes that span the full length of the term does not qualify for the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) policy.
Effective July 1, 2021 a student who withdraws from a program offered in modules (courses that do not span the full length of the term) is not considered to have withdrawn for R2T4 purposes if the student successfully completes:
- All the requirements for graduation from the program of study or
- One module that includes 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period; or a combination of modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period or
- Title IV-eligible coursework equal to or greater than what Dominican University considers to be half-time enrollment for the payment period
When reviewing to determine if a student has successfully completed 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period, scheduled breaks must be considered. They include all of the days in the period (typically the first day of class through the last day of final exams) minus:
- Any scheduled break of five or more consecutive days if the break applies to all students who enroll in the period; and
- All days between modules in the period (not the days between the modules in which the student specifically enrolls).
Enrollment in a full-term course does impact the number of countable days in the period when looking at scheduled breaks of five or more days (first bullet above). For a scheduled break of five or more days to be excluded, it must be common to all modules and any full-term courses, as well as common to all students in the period (whether that break falls between modules or within modules).
The 49% denominator for a term will be the same figure for all students within the same program of study. Please note that the 49% is not rounded.
The term “Title IV aid” refers to the following Federal financial aid programs: Direct Loans, Federal PLUS (Parent) loans or Graduate PLUS loans, Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) and TEACH grants.
To conform to the policy, Dominican University must determine the student’s withdrawal date. The withdrawal date is based on the earlier of the two:
- The last date of attendance at an academically-related activity by a student or semester midpoint for a student who earns no credit in the term and ceased attendance (unofficial withdrawal), or
- The date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified Dominican of his/her intent to withdraw (official withdrawal).
The required calculation determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid based on the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student. 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 period. Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.
Until a student has passed the 60% point of an enrollment period (unless enrolled in module courses), only a portion of the student’s aid has been earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all awarded aid for the enrollment period.
Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges. In addition, the University’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still owe Dominican for the course. For more information on Dominican’s withdrawal and institutional charges’ policies, please consult the Dominican University Bulletin or the Student Accounts page on myDU.edu/resources. The withdrawal policy can be viewed on the Registrar's Office page on myDU.edu/resources.
The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by Dominican University and the student. For example, the calculation may require Dominican to return a portion of Federal funds to the Federal Title IV programs. Dominican University must return the funds within 45 days of the date of determination the student withdrew. In addition, the student may also be required to return funds based on the calculation. A student returns funds to the Federal Direct loan programs based on the terms and conditions of the promissory note of the loan. A student who receives a Federal Grant funds may be required to repay 50% of the funds received. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. The return of Federal aid is in the following order: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans, Federal Direct PLUS received on behalf of the student, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) and TEACH grants.
Post Withdrawal Disbursements
In general, universities may not disburse federal loans to a student who has ceased to be enrolled – the student is no longer eligible. In some circumstances, however, a student who has withdrawn from Dominican may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of all or some portion of a Federal Direct or PLUS loan. A student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement if Dominican determines the student earned more aid than was disbursed for the period the student attended. Note, however, that if the student is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement, Dominican must use all available grant funds prior to using any loan funds for that purpose.
Dominican may automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with Dominican).
Students who owe funds to a grant program are required to make payment of those funds within 45 days of being notified that they owe this overpayment. During the 45 day period students will remain eligible for Title IV funds. If no positive action is taken by the student within 45 days of being notified, Dominican will notify the U.S. Department of Education of the student’s overpayment situation. The student will no longer be eligible for Title IV funds until they enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
During the 45-day period, the student can make full payment to Dominican of the overpayment. The college will forward the payment to the U.S. Department of Education and the student will remain eligible for Title IV funds.
If a student is unable to pay their overpayment in full, they can set up a repayment plan with the U.S. Department of Education. Before doing this please contact the Dominican Financial Aid Office. You will need to make sure we have referred your situation to the U.S. Department of Education before any repayment plan can be set up.
If you want to contact the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid, please visit studentaid.gov/help-center/contact.
For examples of the Return of Title IV Funds calculations or questions regarding the overpayment policy, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
Section 3508 of the CARES Act directs the Secretary to waive the statutory requirement for institutions to return Title IV funds as the result of student withdrawals related to a qualifying emergency. For any student who begins attendance in a payment period that includes March 13, 2020, or begins between March 13 and the later of December 31, 2020 or the last date that the national emergency is in effect, and subsequently withdraws from the period as a result of COVID-19-related circumstances, an institution is not required to return Title IV funds. Please note that the national emergency has been extended through May 11, 2023, unless the President of the United States ends it earlier or extends it further.
Any institution that moved students from ground-based instruction to distance learning, closed campus housing or other campus facilities, or experienced other interruptions in instruction during a term within the covered period may consider all withdrawals from students enrolled in affected programs during that term to have been the result of circumstances related to the COVID-19 national emergency. For institutions that did not undergo changes in educational delivery or campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, during a term or payment period within the covered period, the institution will be required to obtain a written attestation (including by email or text messages) from the student explaining why the withdrawal was the result of the COVID-19 emergency. Institutions must also obtain written attestations from students who withdrew from distance education programs, if applicable, explaining why the withdrawal was the result of the COVID-19 emergency.
Allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or family member, need to become a caregiver or first responder, loss of childcare, economic hardship, inability to access wi-fi due to closed facilities, or an increase in work hours as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Information (which in the judgment of the institution is reliable) provided by the family member of a withdrawn student whom the institution is unable to contact is acceptable for documentation purposes.
Please note that if Dominican University has confirmation that the withdrawal is not related to COVID-19, the R2T4 waiver does not apply. Determination of whether the university moved students from ground-based instruction to distance learning, closed campus housing or other campus facilities, or experienced other interruptions in instruction is determined on a per term basis during the national emergency period. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions of how the R2T4 waiver may apply to you.