Federal regulations require Title IV financial aid funds to be awarded under the assumption that a student will attend the institution for the entire period in which federal assistance was awarded. When a student withdraws from all courses for any reason he/she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that he/she was originally scheduled to receive. The return of funds is based upon the premise that students earn their financial aid in proportion to the amount of time in which they are enrolled.
A prorated schedule is used to determine the amount of federal student aid funds he/she will have earned at the time of the withdrawal. Once 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.
Federal law requires schools to calculate how much federal financial aid a student has earned if that student:
Based on this calculation, students who receive federal financial aid and do not complete their classes during a semester or term could be responsible for repaying a portion of the aid they received. Students who do not begin attendance must repay all financial aid disbursed for the term.
Determination of the withdrawal date
The withdrawal date used in the return calculation of a student’s federal financial aid is the date indicated on the official drop form. If a student stops attending classes without notifying ASU, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint of the semester or the last date of academic activity determined by ASU. Additional documentation supporting the last date of academic activity may be provided by the student if they verify a later date of attendance.
Withdrawing prior to completing 60 percent of a term
Unless a student completes 60 percent of the term in which federal aid was disbursed, the student will be required to return all or part of the financial aid disbursed in the term. This applies to students who have officially (including medical), or unofficially withdrawn.
When a student fails to begin attendance
If a student receives financial aid, but never attends classes, Office of Financial Aid (OFA) must return all disbursed funds to the respective federal and institutional aid programs.
Students who receive all failing grades at the end of the term
Financial aid is awarded under the assumption that the student will attend for the entire term for which federal assistance was disbursed. When the student has failed to earn a passing grade in at least one class for the term, federal regulations require the school to determine whether the student established eligibility for funds disbursed by attending at least one class or participating in any ASU academic-related activity. If the school cannot verify that the student attended ASU, all financial aid must be repaid to the federal and institutional programs. The student’s bursar account will be charged and the student will be responsible for any balance due. If the student can prove to have participated in an ASU class or academic-related activity past the 60% date, the student will not be required to return any disbursed financial aid. Students who are able to verify attendance beyond ASU’s records may submit supporting documentation to OFA. The student must submit supporting documentation within 30 days from the last date of the term. Recalculations for aid eligibility will not be performed for documentation received after that date.
Repayment calculation process
Once grades are posted for the student who receives all failing grades, OFA will return all unearned aid back to the federal and institutional programs and the student's bursar account will be charged. OFA will mail a notification letter with the repayment amount(s) to the student's permanent address. The student's bursar account will be updated, and the student will be responsible for any balance due.
Definition of an academic related activity
Examples of Alcorn’s academic-related activities include but are not limited to physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.
Proof of participation:
Exams or quizzes
Completion of an academic assignment, paper or project
Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course
ASU required study group where attendance is taken
Repayment calculation of unearned aid as a result of a withdrawal
As a result of a withdrawal, students who received federal funds will be required to repay “unearned” aid. The repayment calculation is performed utilizing the federal government's repayment worksheet. The amount of the assistance earned is determined on a prorated basis.For example, if a student completed 30% of the term, they have earned 30% of the assistance they were originally scheduled to receive. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student earns all the assistance they were scheduled to receive for the term.
Student notification of repayment
A notification letter outlining the amount returned to the federal and institutional program(s) will be mailed to the student's permanent address. ASU will return funds on the student's behalf to the appropriate federal and institutional aid program(s) and subsequently will bill the student's bursar account.