Return of Institutional and Title IV Funds Policy

Financial Aid Office Return of Institutional and Title IV Funds Policy and Business Office Tuition and Fee Refund and Withdrawal Policy

Purpose

The purposes and intent of this policy are to provide guidance as to how Carroll College will calculate the amount of Institutional and Federal Title IV funds to be returned for a student who has withdrawn from all classes, inform interested parties of the methods and procedures used to calculate the amount, provide a fair and equitable policy, and provide a policy that conforms to federal regulations and the intent of those regulations.

This policy governs the return of Institutional and Federal Title IV funds disbursed for a student who completely withdraws from a term, payment period, or period of enrollment. It does not apply to students who have dropped some classes but remain enrolled in other classes at or through Carroll. A student is considered to have withdrawn from a period of enrollment or payment period if they do not complete all the days in the period of enrollment or payment period that they were scheduled to complete. This applies whether or not the period includes modules, and for any program format. The general assumption is that a student earns aid based on the period of time he/she remained enrolled. Institution-al aid follows the Business Office tuition refund policy.

The Process — General

  1. Student notifies the Registrar that he/she is withdrawing from the college. The Registrar provides the student with a withdrawal form.
  2. The student follows the instructions on the form to obtain the necessary signatures indicating compliance with requirements, and returns the form to the Registrar.
  3. The Registrar gives a copy of the completed withdrawal form to the Financial Aid Office immediately upon receipt from the student.
  4. The Financial Aid Office calculates the amount of funds to be returned.
  5. The Financial Aid Office notifies the student and the Business Office of funds that the College must return, and the amount that the student must return.
  6. The Financial Aid Office returns its share of unearned Federal Title IV funds within 45 days after it determines that the student withdrawal process is complete. The student must repay his/her share either by (1) paying loans in accordance with the terms and conditions of the promissory note or (2) repaying grants directly or under a payment arrangement through the College (not required by the College).

IMPORTANT-MODULES:  

The rules surrounding withdrawal and modules are slightly different. Students enrolled in modules are held accountable for attending the number of days in the modules in which they are enrolled. For example, if the student enrolls in modules one and three within a semester, only the days in modules one and three will be considered when calculating the percentage of the semester completed. The timing of a dropped class in the modular programs is also important. If a student drops courses in a later module while still enrolled in a current module within a semester, the student is not considered to be withdrawn. However, a recalculation of financial aid eligibility based on the change in enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, half-time) may still be required. If a student ceases enrollment in a current module, but plans to attend a later module within the same semester, the student must notify the financial aid office in writing of their plans to attend the later module to avoid being considered a withdraw for the purposes of this calculation. If written notification is not received within required timeframes, the student is considered to have withdrawn and the return of funds calculation is completed. If, however, the student does continue to attend in a later module within the same semester, even if they failed to notify the Office of Financial Aid that they would, prior calculations due to non-communication are reversed. Exceptions include if the student completes all requirements for graduation before completing the days scheduled to complete in the period or the student completes one or more modules that comprise 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period or at least half-time enrollment.

Note: In addition to calculating a return of Federal Title IV funds for students who notify Carroll of withdrawal, Carroll must also make the calculation for students who do not “officially” withdraw. Return of Title IV Calculations is based on the official and the unofficial last date of attendance as determined by the school. The Financial Aid Office reviews final semester grades to determine students with all “F” grades followed by attempts to determine if the student withdrew from all classes. If so, the last date of academically related attendance is obtained. To facilitate the process, faculty instructors are required to indicate the last date of attendance for all students awarded an “F” grade. Charges are not adjusted for unofficial withdrawals; therefore, institutional aid is not adjusted. Federal aid is adjusted based on Federal Title IV return of funds calculations.

The Details

Earned aid - During the first 60% of the period, a student “earns” Federal Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he/she remains enrolled. That is, the percentage of time during the period that the student remained enrolled is the percentage of disbursable aid for that period that the student earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point earns all aid for the period. Note that institutional costs play no role in determining the amount of Federal Title IV funds to be retained or returned. Also, aid is “disbursable” if the student could have received it at the point of withdrawal.

Unearned aid - The amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned under the required formula. Unearned Federal Title IV funds, other than Federal Work-Study, must be returned.

Percentage of period enrolled - The number of days the student remained enrolled divided by the number of days in the period. Calendar days are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator. The number of days used to determine the enrolled percentage normally includes weekends; however, scheduled breaks are measured from the first day of the break to the next day that classes are held.

Repayment of unearned aid - The responsibility to re-pay 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 formula assumes that Federal Title IV funds are directly disbursed to a student only after all institutional charges have been covered and that Title IV funds are the first resource applied to institutional charges. Institutional charges comprise the amounts that had been assessed prior to the student's withdrawal, not a reduced amount that might result from an institution's refund policy.

The student's share is the difference between the total unearned amount and the institution's share. The institution's share is allocated among 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, any amount owed to a grant program is reduced by half. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan (includes Federal Perkins Loan) under the terms and conditions of the promissory note.

  • The total amount of unearned aid; or
  • Institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of aid that was unearned.
  • Unsubsidized Direct Loans (other than Direct PLUS Loans)
  • Subsidized Direct Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of Title IV funds is required
  • FSEOG for which a return of Title IV funds is required
  • TEACH Grants for which a return of Title IV funds is required
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, for which a return of Title IV funds is required.

After the student’s share is fully allocated among the Title IV programs, any amount owed to a grant program is reduced by half. Students return their share of unearned aid attributable to a loan (includes Federal Perkins Loan).

Timeframe for returning funds - The institution must return its share of unearned Federal Title IV funds no later than 45 days after it determines that the student withdrew. The student must repay his/her share either by (1) paying loans in accordance with the terms and conditions of the promissory note or (2) repaying grants directly or under a payment arrangement through the College (not required by the College) or the Department of Education (pending).

Late disbursements - A student who earned more aid than was disbursed prior to withdrawal is owed a late disbursement or a post-withdrawal disbursement. Only the difference between earned aid and aid already disbursed may be late disbursed. Thus, conditions under which unearned aid must be returned and conditions under which a late disbursement is required are mutually exclusive. Any post-withdrawal disbursement due must meet the current required conditions for late disbursements. A school is required to make (or offer as appropriate) post-withdrawal disbursements. A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made within 180 days of the date the institution determines that the student withdrew. The amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement is determined by following the requirements for calculating earned Title IV aid and has no relationship to incurred educational costs. A post-withdrawal disbursement, whether credited to the student’s account or disbursed to the student or parent directly, must be made from available grant funds before available loan funds. Available grant or loan funds refer to Title IV program assistance that could have been disbursed to the student but was not disbursed as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew. A school must obtain confirmation from a student, or parent for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, before making any disbursement of loan funds from a post-withdrawal disbursement. A school is permitted to credit a student’s account with the post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV grant funds without the student’s permission for current charges for tuition, fees, and room and board (if the student contracts with the school) up to the amount of outstanding charges.

The institution may credit late disbursements towards unpaid institutional charges. Authorizations for current year charges remain valid for late disbursements; authorizations for prior year charges become invalid. Any portion of a late disbursement not credited to the student’s account must be offered as a cash disbursement to the student (or parent in the case of a Federal PLUS Loan).

Withdrawal date (unofficial withdrawal) - For students who withdraw without notifying the institution, the institution must determine the student’s withdrawal date within 30 days after the expiration of the earlier of the:

  • payment period or period of enrollment;
  • academic year in which the student withdrew; or
  • educational program from which the student withdrew.

The withdrawal date for unofficial withdrawals is the midpoint of the applicable period, except:

  • If the student left without notification because of circumstances beyond his/her control, the institution may determine a withdrawal date related to the circumstances. The Financial Aid Director is responsible for making this determination.
  • The institution may, at its option, use the student’s last date of attendance at a documented “academically-related activity” in lieu of any other withdrawal date. “Academically-related activities” include activities confirmed by an employee of the institution, to include exams, tutorials, academic advisement, turning in a class assignment, and attending a study group assigned by the institution. Residing in institution-owned facilities, eating at institution-provided food services, and participating in off-campus study groups not assigned by the institution are not “academically-related activities”.

Withdrawal date (official withdrawal) - The withdrawal date for official withdrawals (student notified the institution that he/she was withdrawing) is the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw, except the institution may, at its option, use the student’s last date of attendance at a documented “academically-related activity” in lieu of any other withdrawal date. “Academically-related activities” include activities confirmed by an employee of the institution, including exams, tutorials, academic advisement, turning in a class assignment, and attending a study group assigned by the institution.
Residing in institution-owned facilities, eating at institution-provided food services, and participating in off-campus study groups not assigned by the institution are not “academically-related activities”. Date of institution’s determination that a student withdrew-
For a student who officially withdrew, this date is the latter of:

  • The withdrawal; or
  • The date of the student’s notification to the institution.

For a student who unofficially withdrew (withdrew without notifying the institution), this date is the date that the institution becomes aware that the student ceased attendance. The “date of institution’s determination that a student withdrew” is used for the following purposes:

  • It provides the dividing date between disbursed aid and late disbursements; and
  • It starts the clock for the period of time within which the institution must return federal funds.

Suspension/Withdrawal - If a student is withdrawn based on a school initiated suspension during a period of enrollment the date used for the withdrawal date is as follows:

  • If the student is given the option to appeal the suspension and does not appeal within the time frame allowed then the date of the initial suspension letter is used in the calculation.
  • If the student does not appeal and can attend classes during the appeal process (regardless of whether they attend or not) then the official date on the appeal denial letter from the college will be used for calculations rather than the initial suspension letter date.

Business Office Tuition and Fee Refund & Withdrawal Policy

Should a student withdraw from the College, the following policies apply in computing the refund due the student or the balance due the College The official withdrawal date is determined by the date the student begins the withdrawal process or officially notifies Carroll of his/her intent to withdraw or the official date of suspension. In instances where the start date of a class is other than the first week of the semester, the Add/Drop period will be the first five days of that class. Carroll College follows Federal policy when processing withdrawals.

Refund of Tuition and Fees: In instances where a student withdraws from Carroll College due to personal reasons or suspension; the student’s tuition and student fees will be charged based on the date of withdrawal during the first three weeks of the semester. No refund is issued beyond the 3rd week of the semester.  (See each year's academic calendar for specific dates.)

Withdrawal DateRefund
Within 1st week of semester100% refund, Less minimum $25 registration fee
Within 2nd week of semester75% refund
Within 3rd week of semester50% refund
Beyond the 3rd week of semester0% refund

In instances where a student withdraws from some courses but continues others, no tuition refund is made for reduction of credit hours after the last day to change course enrollment as shown in the academic calendar. Additional program, laboratory, course, new student orientation, and workshop fees are non-refundable. Please refer to the current academic catalog regarding the summer school refund policy.

Refund of Room: All rooms are contracted and assigned on the assumption that the student will occupy the room for the fall and spring semesters. When a student withdraws from the College, room charges are prorated. Students who leave the residence halls for other reasons will not receive a refund and may be charged a breach of contract fee.

Refund of Board: When a student withdraws from the College, board charges are prorated. Students are charged for meals and flex points used over the prorated amount.

Refund of Scholarships and Grants: In instances where a student withdraws from Carroll College due to personal reasons or suspension; the student’s institutional financial aid will be reduced based on the date of withdrawal during the first three weeks of the semester. This follows tuition and fees refund policy.

Withdrawal DateScholarship/Grant Award
Within 1st week of semester100% decrease
Within 2nd week of semester75% decrease
Within 3rd week of semester50% decrease
Beyond the 3rd week of semester0% decrease

Withdrawal Appeals: The Appeals Committee of Carroll College will review written appeals from students who feel that individual circumstances warrant exceptions to published policy. Written appeals must be received within 90 days from the last date of attendance. Such appeals should be directed to Carroll College, Business Office-Appeals Committee; 1601 N Benton Ave, Helena, MT 59625-0002. Written response of the Appeals Committee’s decision will be mailed to the student within 5 business days of the committee meeting. Decisions of the Committee are final.

Return of Federal Funds Policy: Federal regulations require that a portion of Title IV grant or loan funds must be returned to the Title IV program upon a recipient’s withdrawal from school. The full financial aid refund policy for federal and institutional aid is available online or in the Financial Aid Office. General Financial Information: Due to the constant upward pressure on costs, the College reserves the right to increase its charges if this becomes necessary. A student may not register for a subsequent semester unless all charges for the preceding semester have been paid. The College reserves the right to deny the issuance of transcripts if a student has an unpaid financial obligation to the college. Tuition and fees become final at the last day to change course enrollment as indicated in the semester schedule. The college does not assume responsibility for loss or damage the personal property of a student.

Contact Us

Carroll College 1601 N Benton Ave. Helena MT 59625

Financial Aid Office: 1-800-992-3648 x 5425 fao@carroll.edu

Business Office: 1-800-992-3648 x 5419, businessofficereceiv@carroll.edu