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Return of Title IV Funds

Title IV Funds are federal financial aid grant, work study, and loan funds in the following programs:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Graduate Plus Loan
  • Federal Parent Plus Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Teacher Educational Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Federal Work-Study (Federal Work-Study earnings are not affected by Title IV regulations concerning the return of unearned federal financial aid)

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) is required by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended in 1998, to determine the amount of financial aid that a student "earned" for an academic semester when the student does not complete at least one course within that semester. When the "earned" aid is less than the disbursed aid, the institution and student are responsible for returning the "unearned" disbursed funds to the appropriate agency.

Who Needs to Know?

  • Any student who does not complete at least one course within an academic semester for which financial aid is received, or could have been received, will be reviewed for a Return of Title IV Funds calculation. This includes students who drop, officially or unofficially withdraw, are dismissed or take a leave of absence during a semester.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) also requires NSU to perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation for any student enrolled in multiple parts of a term who ceases attendance during the first part of the term, unless the student provides written confirmation of future attendance for the second part of the term courses.

What Students Need to Know About the Return of Title IV Funds

  • The Return of Title IV Funds is based on the premise that students "earn" financial aid for each calendar day that they attend classes. For example, if a student attends 32 days of a semester that is 80 calendar days in length, the student will have "earned" 40 percent of his or her aid.
  • Students who complete more than 60 percent of the semester are considered to have earned 100 percent of their financial aid.
  • The Return of Title IV Funds policy is separate from each college's refund policy and individual state refund policies. A student who withdraws from the semester may be required to return unearned Title IV financial aid funds and may still owe Nova Southeastern University for institutional charges. Please refer to your program's student handbook for your colleges' refund policy.
  • Return of Title IV Funds does not apply to federal work-study, scholarships, state grants such as the Florida Resident Access Grant or the Florida Student Assistance Grant, or institutional awards. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more information on the consequences of dropping classes if you receive these types of financial aid.
  • If a student is required to return Title IV funds as a result of his or her drop, withdrawal, or dismissal, or is eligible for a late disbursement, the student will receive a letter from the Office of Student Financial Assistance along with a copy of the Return of Title IV Funds Calculation. The student should follow the instructions in the letter carefully to repay any funds due or to accept a late disbursement. Students with "unearned" financial aid funds must repay these funds to NSU or set up a grants repayment agreement with NSU's collections department within 45 days of notification Students who fail to do so will lose eligibility for future Title IV aid until all unearned funds have been returned to the ED. NSU is required to report the overpayment to the ED after the 45-day time frame has elapsed.
  • Students who drop or withdraw from one or more of their classes may fail to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress which may result in ineligibility for financial aid in the future. Please contact the OSFA and speak to a financial aid counselor before dropping a course.
  • All nonpassing grades will be reviewed to determine if the student completed the course or ceased attendance prior to the end of the course. If the course was not completed, the student will be considered unofficallly withdrawn and the last date of participation in the class will be used to calculate “earned” financial aid. If the last date of participation is not known, the midpoint of the term will be used to calculate “earned” aid.
  • Any student who owes a balance after “unearned” financial aid is returned will have a hold placed on his or her account, which will prevent the student from receiving certain services offered by NSU.
  • Students whose financial aid was not disbursed prior to ceasing attendance may be eligible to receive a percentage of their financial aid after they have withdrawn. In order to be eligible for these funds, the student must have completed all requirements and been eligible for the disbursement prior to ceasing attendance.

Examples of Title IV Calculations

Jane Doe is a music major in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Her semester begins on August 24 and ends December 13. On October 4 (42 days into the semester), she drops her classes.

Jane's institutional charges are as follows:

Item Cost
Tuition $13,455.00
Fees $375.00
Books $250.00
Dormitory $3,840.00
Meals $1,450.00
Total $19,370.00

Jane receives the following financial aid award:

Item Cost
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan $1,732.00
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $990.00
Federal Pell Grant $2,888.00
Federal SEOG $750.00
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan $13,815.00
Total $20,175.00

Amount refunded to Jane: $805.00.

As Jane has completed 42 days (37.5 percent) of her semester, according to the federally mandated calculation, 62.5 percent of the unearned portion of her aid, equaling $12,106.25, must be returned.

NSU has to return all of the following aid applied toward Jane’s institutional charges:

Item Cost
Federal Direct Subsidized Federal Direct Loan $1,732.00
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan $990.00
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan $9,384.25
Total Jane Owes to NSU $12,106.25

In addition, Jane is required to return $503.12 of the amount refunded to her to the servicer of the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

Jane is not eligible to receive a tuition reversal because she dropped her classes after the refund period. A collections hold is placed on Jane's account at the time the funds are returned to the lender, which prevents Jane from registering for any additional classes, receiving transcripts, using the RecPlex in the Don Taft University Center, and accessing certain services available through SharkLink.

Bob Smith is a graduate student at the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. His term begins August 24 and ends December 6. On November 24 (93 days into the term), Bob accepts a full-time job and drops his classes.

Bob's institutional costs consist of the following:

Item Cost
Tuition $5,940.00
Fees $375.00
Total $6,315.00

His financial aid package consists of:

Item Cost
Disbursed Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan $10,141.00
Total $10,141.00

Based on Bob's attendance (88.6 percent of the term), Bob has "earned" all of his financial aid for the term and will not have to return any funds.

Susan Thomas is a student in the M.S. in Computer Science program. Her term begins on May 9 and ends on June 26. Her federal student loan funds are credited to her student account on April 27. On the same day, the loan proceeds are applied to cover Susan's institutional charges, and the funds in excess of those charges are refunded to her. On April 28, Susan drops her classes due to unforeseen circumstances.

Because Susan dropped her classes prior to the first day of class, she is not subject to the Title IV calculation. A 100 percent reversal of tuition and fees will be made to her student account, creating a credit balance. When a course is dropped before the student attends the first class, NSU is required to return all funds that were applied to tuition and fees. Therefore, the credit balance will be returned to the appropriate Title IV account(s). In addition, Susan is required to return to the lender the refund that she received. It is recommended that students return their loan refunds directly to NSU's Office of the University Bursar. This return of funds to the lender will ensure that there is documentation on the student's NSU student account.

The Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography offers courses that span a standard semester as well as courses that span two half terms during a semester. Sara Miller is enrolled in two half terms during the fall (FALL A and FALL B). On September 2, she drops all courses in Fall A.

Undergraduate First Part of Term
Aug. 22 -Oct. 16
FALL A
Undergraduate Second Part of Term
Oct. 17-Dec. 11
FALL B
Enrolled No longer enrolled still registered
Sept. 2

On September 4, Sara receives a notification to her NSU email from the Office of Student Financial Assistance requesting she complete the Confirmation of Future Attendance Form within 5 business days.

The chart below summarizes the actions that Sara may take:

Student Action Consequence

IF

THEN

YES

If Sara selects YES, I will attend course(s) during the second part of the semester

the OSFA will not need to take further action and Sara may retain the federal financial aid funds advanced to her for the semester. (However, if she fails to attend courses as indicated, she will be considered withdrawn from the semester, and the OSFA will be required to perform the Return of Title IV Funds calculation which may result in an outstanding balance on Sara's student account.)

NO

If Sara selects No, I will not attend course(s) during the second part of the semester

Sara's Fall B courses will be dropped and the OSFA will be required to perform a Return of Title IV calculation which will determine how much of her federal financial aid Sara will have to return as unearned. This choice may result in an outstanding balance on Sara's student account.
NO ACTION

for 5 business days
If Sara does not complete and submit the Confirmation of Future Attendance Form

the OSFA must assume that Sara will NOT attend course(s) during the second part of term and the OSFA will perform a Return of Title IV calculation. Sara's Fall B courses will not be dropped. The calculation will determine how much of her federal financial aid funds will have to be returned as unearned. This may result in an outstanding balance on Sara's student account.

It is important to remember that students must return all unearned federal financial aid or set up a grants repayment agreement with NSU's collections department within 45 days of notification or they will lose eligibility for future Title IV aid.

At NSU, the following colleges and centers offer courses in multiple parts of term:

  • Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
  • College of Heath Care Sciences
  • College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Optometry
  • College of Psychology
  • H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business
  • Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography
  • Undergraduate Programs 
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