Title IV Aid Withdrawal Policy

Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

The law specifies how your school must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school,officially or unofficially. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants(FSEOG) and Federal Perkins Loans.

When you withdraw during your period of enrollment the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or the 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 prorata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of your period of enrollment, you earn 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more that 60% of the 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 your Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, your school must get your permission before it can be disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of 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 of grant funds to cover tuition, fees and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). The school needs your permission to use the Post-withdrawal grand disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give permission (some schools ask this when you enroll), you will be offered the funds. 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 Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive than cannot be disbursed to you 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 receive any 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 Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of funds, 


The entire amount of excess funds.

The school must return this amount even if it didn't keep this amount of your Title IV 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 the 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 maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV 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. You will be required to repay Volunteer State Community College any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return. You may obtain from the Office of Advising the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from Volunteer State Community College.

The Return Calculations based on the premise that students "earn" federal financial aid for each calendar day that they attend classes.  For example, if a student withdraws after completing 20% of the term, then the student earns 20% of accepted federal financial aid for which eligibility was established prior to withdrawing.

Steps to Calculating a Return Calculation

Many variables are used in the calculation inclusive of attendance, length of time enrolled, date of withdrawal, sources and amounts of federal aid, institutional charges, etc.  A balance on your account will place a hold on all academic transcripts and registration. Listed below are the steps used by the Financial Aid Office when performing a Return Calculation:

Step 1

Determine the percentage of the semester you attended before withdrawing:

  • Start with the first day of the semester and count the number of days including weekends, up to the withdrawal date.  This number is your numerator.
  • Start with the first day of the semester and count the number of days (including weekends but excluding breaks of 5 days or more) up through final exams.  This number is your denominator.
  • Divide the number of days attended by the number of days in the semester.  If the percentage is less than 60.05%, this is the percentage of aid earned.  If the percentage is equal to or greater than 60.05%, you earned 100% of your aid.


Spring Semester
Classes start: January 12 - Exams End : May 3
Withdrawal Date = February 1
Number of days attended (counting weekends) = 21 days (numerator)

Number of calendar days in semester minus scheduled breaks of 5 or more days = 104 days (total days of 113 minus 9 days for Spring Break) (denominator)

21/104 = .20192 or 20.2%

This percentage is the amount of earned aid.

Step 2

Determine the amount of federal aid earned by multiplying the total federal aid disbursed or could have been disbursed by the percentage of aid earned calculated in Step 1.

Step 3

Compare the amount earned to the amount actually disbursed prior to withdrawing.  If more aid was disbursed than was earned, determine the amount of aid that must be returned.  If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement for the difference.

Step 4

Determine how much the school must return plus the amount the student must return.  The amount of unearned aid that must be returned by VSCC is the lesser amount of unearned Title IV aid or the amount of unearned charges for the term.  The student is responsible for repaying any amount the school must return which creates a debt to VSCC.

Step 5

Return aid in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. FSEOG
  7. TEACH Grants