Return of Title IV Funds

Return of Title IV Funds

These rules govern the return of Title IV funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term, payment period or period of enrollment. These federal guidelines assume that a student earns his or her aid based on the period of time he or she remains enrolled. Unearned Title IV funds, other than federal work study, must be returned to the federal government. During the first 60 percent of the enrollment period, a student “earns” Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he or she remains enrolled. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60 percent point earns all his or her aid for the period. If earned aid exceeds disbursed aid, additional funds may be disbursed to the student in the form of a late disbursement. Additional disbursements are not permitted if the amount of earned aid is less than the total Title IV aid that was disbursed prior to the institution’s determination that the student withdrew.

Repayment of Unearned Aid

The responsibility to repay unearned aid is shared by the institution and the student in proportion to the aid each is assumed to possess. The institution’s share is the lesser of the total amount of unearned aid or the institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was earned. The student’s share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution’s share.
The institution’s share is allocated among the Title IV programs, in an order specified by statute, before the student’s share. After the student’s share is fully allocated among the Title IV programs, students only owe grant overpayments if the overpayment exceeds 50% of the Title IV grant aid is received. Students are not required to return grant overpayments of $50 or less.
Refunds and repayments will be distributed to the appropriate Title IV, HEA programs in the following order:
1.   Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
2.   Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
3.   Federal Pell Grant
4.   Academic Competitiveness Grant
5.   Federal SEOG Grant              
6.   Other Title IV assistance
7.   Other state, private or institutional aid
8.   Student

Time Frame for Returning Funds

The institution must return its share of unearned Title IV funds no later than 45 days after it determines that the student withdrew. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan under the terms and conditions of the promissory note. Students have 45 days to resolve any grant overpayment by one of the following three ways: 1.) repay the overpayment in full to the institution; 2.) sign a repayment agreement with the institution; or 3.) sign a repayment agreement with the Department of Education.
If the overpayment is not satisfactorily resolved within 45 days, the student will lose financial aid eligibility at every institution of higher education in the United States. If a student refuses to make payment or payment arrangements on any Title IV program, South Plains College is required by law to report the overpayment to the U.S. Department of Education. In the event of an overpayment, a hold will be placed on the student’s records at SPC, and account will be turned over to a collection agency.

 Post-withdrawal Disbursements of Aid

A student who earned more aid than was disbursed prior to withdrawal  could be due a  post-withdrawal disbursement.  Disbursements must be made from available grant funds before loans. SPC   may credit  grant disbursements toward unpaid institutional charges for the current year charges only. SPC will contact a withdrawn student prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds. SPC will explain the student’s obligation to repay the funds and confirm that the loan funds are still required by the student. Students will be encouraged to cancel the loan. SPC will document the student’s decision in their file. Any portion of a  post-withdrawal disbursement not credited to the student’s account  will be offered (in writing or electronically) as a cash disbursement to the student within 30 days of the withdrawal date. The student has 14 calendar days to respond to the Financial Aid Office.   SPC  will return the  post-withdrawal disbursement to the Department of Education if no response is received from the student or parent (in the case of a Parent Plus Loan), or funds are declined by the student or parent, or response is not received within the 14-day time frame. An eligible student, who withdraws from SPC prior to completing their file, should check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if they would qualify for a Post-withdrawal  Disbursement once the file is complete.

Determination of Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date is the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw (oral or written); or the mid-point of the period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution. The withdrawal date can also be the last day of the student’s class attendance or participation from the instructor, if provided. If not provided, the mid-point of the period will be used as the withdrawal date. If a student left without notification because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, the institution may determine a withdrawal date related to these circumstances. Written notification to the Admissions and Records Office is required in order for the withdrawal request to be honored.
For students who have all grades of F or combination of grades of F, X and W, South Plains College, as per federal regulations, will assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn; and a Return of Title IV funds will be calculated. The withdrawal date for grades of F and X will be the student’s last day of class participation, by the instructor, or the mid-point of the semester if the lst day of attendance/participation is not provided. Grades of W, which are initiated by the student, will carry the appropriate date on the computer and the Financial Aid Office will use that date.   In the case of a student who has a combination of F, X and W grades in the same semester; the Financial Aid Office will use the latter date.
Students will receive a certified letter from the Financial Aid Office detailing what the student owes the financial aid program(s) due to balance checks that were received by the student. Students have 45 days to make payment arrangements or pay in full to avoid being turned over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection.   Students will receive a statement from the Business Office detailing the amounts that the student owes the Business Office due to SPC returning institutional charges to the federal program(s). Students should also make payment arrangements with the Business Office to avoid being turned over to a collection agency

Payment Arrangements and Payments

Once Satisfactory Repayment Arrangements have been made with the SPC Financial Aid Office or the U.S. Department of Education, students are eligible to enroll in future semesters and receive additional federal funding. However, students may not register for SPC classes or receive an official transcript until the Business Office debt has been paid in full. If a student wishes to make payment arrangements with the Financial Aid Office, he/she should contact the Financial Aid Office and a repayment arrangement contract will be mailed to the student. The student should sign both copies; retain one for his or her records and mail the other copy to the SPC Financial Aid Office. If a student is late on any payment, SPC reserves the right to turn the student’s account over to the U.S. Department of Education for collection. Students who wish to make payment arrangements with the Business Office, should contact the Business Office for further details.
Payments should be made in the form of a money order and be sent to the following location(s):
South Plains College                         South Plains College
Business Office                                  Financial Aid Office
Attn: Nanette Blair                             Attn:  Rebecca Verschueren
1401 College Ave, Box A                   1401 S. College Ave., Box B
Levelland, TX 79336                          Levelland, TX 79336
(806) 894-9611 ext. 2404                 (806) 894-9611, ext. 2511
If your Financial Aid debt has been turned over to the U.S. Department of Education, please contact them at the following address:
U.S. Department of Education
Student Financial Assistance Programs
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA 52245

Non-Statutory Refund Policy

For any student to whom the Return of Title IV Funds Policy does not apply, South Plains College will calculate the refund according to the college’s refund policy (See Refunds for Complete Withdrawals or Dropped Classes in the Tuition and Fees section.)

Example of Refund Policies

Upon request, South Plains College will provide the student or parent with an example of the application of these refund policies.

Appeals Process

An appeals process exists for students and parents who believe that individual circumstances warrant exemptions from published policy. Please address your written appeal to:
Director of Financial Aid, South Plains College,
1401 S. College Ave., Box B, Levelland, Texas 79336





 Last Published 8/8/10