Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

The Return of Title IV Funds Policy & Lycoming Refund Policy

The Return of Title IV Funds Policy

The federal Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 was amended in 1998, and new regulations were established with regard to Title IV student financial aid programs. Students earn their Title IV federal financial aid by attending class and if they are not enrolled long enough to earn some or all of their aid, the "unearned" portion must be returned to the appropriate Title IV program.

Title IV financial aid programs include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and TEACH Grant. Federal Work-Study earnings are not affected by Title IV regulations concerning the return of unearned federal financial aid. Only federal grants and federal loans are affected by this policy.

The Return of Unearned Title IV Funds Policy applies if the student withdraws from or ceases attending all classes before the sixty percent point in the term. Completely withdrawing from or ceasing to attend may result in financial aid repayment. Withdrawing may also affect future financial aid eligibility.

Official Withdraws (Dropping all classes):

Students who officially withdraw from all classes prior to completing at least 60% of the semester have not “earned” all of their federal financial aid. A Return to Title IV Funds calculation must be performed within 30 days. This calculation is performed using the R2T4 Tool available through the federal COD website. If the student has received excess funds, the institution must return to the U.S. Department of Education a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of the student's institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of funds that were not earned, or the entire amount of the excess funds. If the return of funds creates a balance due on the student statement of account, the student will be liable for satisfying the outstanding balance.

The institution will return any unearned funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days from the determined date of the student's withdrawal following the order below:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  7. TEACH Grants

For students enrolled in modules:

A student is considered withdrawn if they do not complete all the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete. Lycoming College will track enrollment in each module to determine if a student began enrollment in all scheduled courses. If a student officially drops courses in a later module while still attending a current module, they are not considered as withdrawn based on not attending the later module. However, a recalculation of aid based on a change in enrollment status may still be required. Students who provide written confirmation to the Financial Aid Office at the time of ceasing attendance that they plan to attend another course later in the same payment period are not considered to have withdrawn from the term. If the student does not provide written confirmation of plans to return to school later in the same payment period or term, Lycoming College considers the student to have withdrawn and begins the R2T4 process immediately. However, if the student does return to Lycoming College in the same term, even if they did not provide written confirmation of plans to do so, the student is not considered to have withdrawn and is eligible to receive the Title IV funds for which the student was eligible before ceasing attendance. Financial Aid will then reverse the R2T4 process and provide additional funds that the student is eligible to receive at the time of return. Institutional funds are not subject to the R2T4 policy.

Unofficial Withdrawals (Stop attending all classes):

For students who stop attending all classes prior to the end of the term without officially withdrawing, a return of federal financial aid will be calculated according to the same guidelines. Students who do not receive any “earned” grades are considered to be unofficial withdrawals. For Title IV purposes, the Return to Title IV calculation will be based upon the mid-point of the term, or the last documented date of attendance in an academically-related activity if that can be determined.

A student who fails all classes in a term may be subject to a Return to Title IV calculation. If a student “earned” at least one F grade (i.e. participated in class until the end of the semester and received an F for poor performance), then no calculation is required. However, if the student failed all classes because of non-attendance at some period in the semester, then a Return to Title IV calculation is required based on the last documented date of attendance. If the last date of attendance cannot be determined, then the 50% point of the term will be used as the withdrawal date, and the unearned aid will be 50%.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

A post-withdrawal disbursement applies when a student completely withdraws from school and may be eligible to receive grants and or loans that have not yet disbursed. The amount of the disbursement is determined by a required Return of Title IV calculation when a student completely withdraws from school.

A student may not receive any funds as a post-withdrawal disbursement that the school is prohibited from making on or before the date the student withdrew.

Examples of this include:

  • If a promissory note for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan has not been signed and submitted by the student before the institution performs the Return to Title IV calculation, the loan is s automatically canceled.
  • The institution may provide loan counseling information with the notice of eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement. However, the institution will not make the disbursement to the student until the student has completed entrance counseling.
  • If the student is a first-year, first-time borrower of a Federal Direct Loan and withdraws before the 30th day of the semester, the Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is canceled.

If it is determined that a student or parent is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement, grant funds will be disbursed first and will be credited to the student's account for current outstanding charges of tuition and fees. For a balance due for charges other than tuition and fees, the institution will seek authorization from the student to deduct those charges from grant proceeds. If a remaining balance exists, the institution will seek the student's or parent's, if applicable, authorization to pay tuition and fees and other educationally related expenses from loan proceeds. If a credit balance exists after the payment of all charges, the institution will refund those funds to the student or parent (in the case of a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan). Any remaining balance due the institution is the responsibility of the student.

Grant Funds

The institution will notify the student by letter (to the last known address) if grant funds are available after the Return to Title IV calculation has been performed. Within 45 days of determination that a student withdrew, the institution will disburse the eligible grant funds for current charges and if authorized, other outstanding educationally related charges.

Lycoming Refund Policy

Students wishing to withdraw from the College during the semester should meet with one of the Academic Deans to ensure that student financial and academic records are properly closed. The effective date for calculating adjustments to tuition, fees, housing and food shall be the documented last day of attendance at an academically-related activity.

Students withdrawing will have their tuition, fees, housing and food charges adjusted according to the following schedule:

Time of Withdrawal Billing Charge Reduced to
During Week 1 10% of the original amount
During Week 2 20% of the original amount
During Week 3 30% of the original amount
During Week 4 40% of the original amount
During Week 5 50% of the original amount
During Week 6 60% of the original amount
After 6th Week No Adjustments Made

An administrative fee of $100 will be charged to the student’s account. Please note that there is no adjustment of tuition, fees, room and board after the sixth week of the semester. For first-year students, the adjustment of charges period will be extended into the week that early assessment grades are distributed to students and parents.

Withdrawing students must also be aware that in addition to the Lycoming College Student Withdrawal Billing Policy, a Federal Return of Title IV Funds must also be calculated for any Pell Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loan, PLUS Loan or TEACH Grant. The College is required to perform a Return of Title IV Funds calculation for all federal financial aid recipients who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60% attendance point of the semester. Students may have a balance due to the College, Federal Government or both if any or all portions their Title IV aid must be returned. See the above Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy for further explanation on the return of federal funds.

Any balance due remaining will be billed to the student. Unpaid student account balances will be charged interest at the rate of 1% per month on the month end balance until the account is paid in full. Should legal collection become necessary, all costs of collection will be added to the balance due.