Return of Title IV Policy

Federal Regulation 34 CFR 668.22 specifies how a school must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs offered by the university that are covered by this law are as follows: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and Federal Perkins Loans.

Though your aid is posted to your account at the beginning of each term, you earn the funds as you complete the term. If you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment (please contact the Financial Aid Department to find which one applies to you), the amount of Title IV program assistance you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received (or the school or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount 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 pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 40% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earned 40% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earned all the assistance you were scheduled to receive for the period.

There are two types of withdrawals, official withdrawals and unofficial withdrawals.

  • The official withdrawal date is determined by the Registrar’s Department based on when a student drops all of their classes, or notifies a university official of their intent to withdraw. In the case of module courses, if a student drops all future or current modules after completing a module, the withdrawal date is the last date of academic participation.
  • Unofficial withdrawals are students who failed all of their classes per the grades reported at the end of each semester. UWM’s F grade policy requires that all F grades be reported with the corresponding week the student last participated in the class. The withdrawal date is the Saturday of week of the highest F grade received.

The “Return to Title IV” calculation has several steps. Below is the pertinent information involved in the calculation.

  • The school determines the amount of Title IV financial aid that has been disbursed to your account versus the amount of Title IV financial aid that could have been disbursed to your account. In most cases the full amount of aid will have disbursed. In the instance that your aid has not been disbursed you may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.
  • The school determines the amount of time you attended versus the total days of the semester. Breaks of five or more days during the semester are removed from the total days of the semester.  The calculation is represented as a percentage of aid the student has earned.
  • The school multiplies the percentage of aid earned by the total amount of disbursed aid and aid that could have disbursed.  This is the amount of aid the student has earned.
  • The school takes the amount of aid the student has earned and subtracts it from the total aid disbursed for the student. This is the amount of aid the student has not earned.
  • The school determines the amount of institutional charges that have been applied to the students account. This amount is multiplied by the percentage of aid earned. This is the amount of unearned institutional charges.
  • The school reviews the amount of unearned aid versus the amount of unearned institutional charges, which is done within 30 days from the date the school determined the student withdrew (officially and unofficially). The lesser of the numbers is the amount of aid that is returned. The school has 45 days from the date the school determined the student withdrew (officially and unofficially) to return this amount. The least desirable aid is returned first, in ascending order of desirability as follows:
  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Pell Grant
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant  (FSEOG)
  7. Federal TEACH Grant
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  9. Other Federal, State, Private, or Institutional Aid

If a student did not receive all the funds earned, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school is required to get the student’s permission before these can be disbursed. The student may decide to decline some or all of the loan funds so additional debt is not incurred. The school may use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and meal plan charges. The school is required to get the student’s permission for any post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the grant funds. Please note, there are some Title IV funds that may be scheduled to be received and cannot be disbursed to the student after withdrawal because of other eligibility requirements. You will not be allowed to register at UWM with a past due balance. Please contact the Bursar Office for inquiries about your past due balance.

For any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a Direct 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 is called an overpayment and is returned by the school on your behalf. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment you must repay is half of the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. If the grant overpayment amount is $50.00 or less, the school does not have to return the funds.

The federal refund formula is rather complex and separate from any refund policy of the school, therefore you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. The school may also charge you for any Title IV program funds the school was required to return. If you don’t know the school’s refund policy, or need the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing, please contact the Financial Aid Department for a copy of the policy.

If you need to withdraw from all of your classes, you are encouraged to speak to a financial aid advisor before doing so to determine how it may affect your financial aid and your Satisfactory Academic Progress. If you have any questions about your Title IV program funds, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913. Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/.