If a Bright Futures recipient drops a class after the advertised add/drop date, (see Academic Calendar) he/she is required by the state of Florida to repay FGCU for Bright Futures credits paid. A hold will be placed on the account until payment is received.
Withdrawals and Repayment
Return of Title IV Funds (Federal Aid)
Title IV Aid is financial aid provided by the federal government. This includes Pell Grants, FSEOG, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans and PLUS Loans. The Federal Government requires FGCU to return Financial Aid (Title IV) money to the appropriate Title IV programs for any student withdrawing before the 60% point of the semester. Students withdrawing that utilized Title IV aid for that term may owe the University a balance once the Title IV aid is returned. Title IV aid must be returned to the Title IV program before any refund can be returned to the student.
The amount of federal aid that a student has earned is determined on a pro rata schedule. The percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of the student's earned/unearned federal financial aid funds. The percentage of the semester attended is calculated by using the number of days the student attended and the total number of days in the semester. If a student withdraws from all classes (officially or unofficially) before the 60% point in the semester a portion or all Title IV aid will be considered “unearned” and must be returned, by the school, to the appropriate federal program. This debt must be repaid to the university by the student. Approved tuitions refunds/appeals will not affect the return calculation but may decrease the amount owed to the University.
Order of Returned Funds by the School
1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
3. Federal PLUS Loans (both Parent and Graduate)
4. Federal Pell Grants
5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
6. Federal TEACH Grants
The student's grace period for loan repayments for Federal Unsubsidized and Subsidized Direct Loans and FFELP loans will begin on the day of the withdrawal from the University. The student should contact the servicer if he/she has questions regarding the grace period or repayment status. Exit loan counseling should be completed online at http://www.studentloans.gov.
A student is considered to have officially withdrawn from a semester when an official withdrawal form is filled out and turned into the Registrar’s Office. The withdrawal form is signed by a financial aid staff member at the time of withdrawal. The last date of attendance used on the return calculation will be the date the student signed the withdrawal form. If there is information on the form that suggests that this date may be incorrect, the financial aid office will confirm the last date of attendance with the student’s professors.
The last date of attendance for students that are administratively withdrawn from the University is the date on the suspension/expulsion notification received by the financial aid office from the office of student conduct.
Any enrolled student who either ceases attendance without officially notifying the University or fails to earn any credit hours for the term is considered an unofficial withdrawal. These students are subject to a return calculation if it is determined that they did not complete at least 60% of the term. The amount of aid returned is based on the last date of attendance as determined by the University. The financial aid office will confirm last date of attendance using registration/grade records at the end of the term. Professors will be contacted for last date of attendance if needed. A student that receives an incomplete (I) grade for a course is considered to have completed at least 60% of that course.
Last Date of Attendance
The last date of attendance is the last date the student participated in an academically related activity. This can include:
Academically related activities do not include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as:
The Financial Aid Office has 30 days from the date the school determined the student had withdrawn to determine the last date of attendance. A student’s certification of attendance that is not supported by school documentation would not be acceptable documentation of the student’s last date of attendance at an academically related activity.
If the amount of aid disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, the amount may be considered a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal eligibility can be used to credit outstanding charges on a student’s account. FGCU has 30 days from the date that the University determined the student withdrew to offer any amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement to the student. The student may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student’s account. The student must respond within 14 days from the date that the University sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. A student’s or parent’s response to an offer of a post-withdrawal disbursement does not have to be in writing; however, FGCU must document the response. If the student does not respond to the University’s notice, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement can be disbursed to the student’s account or refunded, however, the school can use a portion or all of the disbursement to pay for any outstanding charges. FGCU is required to contact a withdrawn student prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds and explain to the student (or the parent in case of a parent PLUS loan) his or her obligation to repay the funds if the funds are disbursed, and to confirm that any loan funds are still required by the student.
Only aid that is eligible to be disbursed at the time of withdrawal will be included in a post-withdrawal disbursement.
Return of Title IV Funds – Programs with Modules or Compressed Courses (Summer)
Title IV funds are awarded to a student to attend an entire payment period or period of enrollment, and the funds are intended to cover the student’s educational and living expenses for the entire period. The law specifies that a student earns Title IV funds on a pro rata basis through 60 percent of a period, based on days completed in a credit-hour program or clock hours completed in a clock-hour program.
A student is considered to have withdrawn from a payment period or period of enrollment in which the student began enrollment if the student ceased attendance in all scheduled courses without completing all of the days the student was scheduled to complete in the period.
However, if a student provides written confirmation to FGCU — at the time of ceasing attendance — that the student plans to attend another course later in the same period, the student is not considered to have withdrawn from a standard-term program. For a nonstandard-term or non-term program, the next course the student plans to attend during the period must begin within 45 days after the end of the course the student ceased or failed to attend, in order for the student not to be considered withdrawn. If a student does not resume attendance within the scheduled timeframe, the student is considered to have withdrawn as of the date on which attendance ceased.
If a student does not provide written confirmation of plans to return to FGCU later in the same period, the University considers the student to have withdrawn and will perform a return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculation to determine if any funds must be returned. However, if the student does return to school in the same period — even if the student did not provide written confirmation of plans to do so — the student is not considered to have withdrawn after all and is eligible to receive Title IV funds for which the student was eligible before ceasing attendance. FGCU would then reverse the R2T4 process and provide any additional funds the student is eligible to receive at the time of return.
This impacts all programs offering courses shorter than an entire term, including semester-based programs with a summer term consisting of two, consecutive six-week summer sessions.
Example: A student enrolls in 6 credits for Summer A term and attends through the drop/add date. The student then withdraws completely prior to the 60 percent point of term A. The student would be subject to a return calculation and may owe funds back to the University. However, if he/she enrolls in a Summer B course, the student would not be considered to have completely withdrawn and a return of funds would not be necessary. If the student later decides not to enroll in Summer B or withdraws completely from Summer B prior to the 60 percent point, then he/she would again be subject to a return calculation and may owe funds back to the University.
Death of a student
A Return of Title IV Funds calculation must be completed upon learning of the death of a student. If it is determined that an overpayment is due the funds must be returned per federal regulations. The estate of the student is not responsible for paying the debt created by returning the overpayment. Post-withdrawal disbursements cannot be made to a deceased student and any credit balances created by Title IV Funds must be returned to the program the funds originated from.
A student’s term enrollment status is determined based on repeated courses as defined by federal regulation (34 CFR Section 668.2). Failed courses can be repeated and counted toward enrollment status multiple times as long as the student has never passed the course. Repeated courses in which a passing grade has been received will only be counted toward enrollment status for one repetition after passing the course. Any second or subsequent repetition of the passed course will not be included in the enrollment status for purposes of the Title IV, HEA, programs.
Federal Title IV aid will be recalculated based on the student's adjusted enrollment status. The recalculation will be applied regardless of whether a student received aid for previous course enrollments.
Example: A student is taking a previously passed 3 credit course for the second time after passing the course. The student is enrolled in a total of 12 credits for the term. Per federal regulations, the repeated course must be excluded for the student’s Title IV enrollment status. Only 9 of the student’s 12 credits can be used to calculate his/her Title IV aid eligibility. If the student was Pell eligible, he/she would be paid Pell at three quarter time enrollment instead of full time enrollment.