Return of Federal Financial Aid (Title IV) Funds

Return of Federal Financial Aid (Title IV) Funds

A student receiving federal (Title IV) financial aid who withdraws is subject to "Return to Title IV" provisions. Federal statutes require ACHS to recalculate eligibility for any student who completely withdraws during any term or payment period if the student received or was eligible to receive Title IV funds in that period.

ACHS uses a prorated calculation to determine the percentage of aid earned and recalculate eligibility for Title IV funds. This is based on the number of days elapsed when the student withdraws or is withdrawn by the institution divided by the number of days in the semester.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, ACHS will return a portion of the funds and the student is required to return a portion of the funds. When Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance due to ACHS. Students are responsible for payment of any remaining balance whether or not they are readmitted to the school. The percentage of federal financial aid determined to be unearned for the payment period must be returned to the appropriate federal financial aid program(s).

If a student earns more aid than was disbursed to him/her, ACHS will reimburse the student a post-withdrawal disbursement that will be paid within 120 days of the date that ACHS determined that the student withdrew.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Other Title IV assistance
  • Other state, private and institutional aid 


Federal student aid is disbursed to you at the beginning of each semester following verification of your attendance in the semester during the first 14 days of class. The assumption is that you will complete all courses for which the aid was disbursed. If you withdraw before the end of the period, ACHS must determine the portion of aid that you earned and calculate any Title IV funds that should be returned to the U.S. Department of Education or disbursed to you as a post-withdrawal disbursement. The withdrawal date for a student who ceases attendance at the College, including a student who does not return from an approved leave of absence, is the last date of academic attendance or attendance at an academically related activity determined from College attendance records.

When you withdraw from courses during a semester, if you received (or ACHS or a parent received on your behalf) less aid than you earned (based on the federal formula), you may be eligible to receive additional funds. If you received more aid than you earned, the excess must be returned to the Title IV aid program (by ACHS and/or by you).

Unofficial Withdrawals

Students who do not provide official notification to ACHS of their intent to withdraw are considered unofficial withdrawals after 14 consecutive days of nonattendance at an academically related activity.

Date of Determination

The date of determination (DOD) for students who unofficially withdraw from the College is no greater than 15 days after the official last date of attendance or when a student fails to return from an approved leave of absence. The College will return the amount of federal financial aid funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date the College determines the student has withdrawn.

Calculating Aid Earned

The amount of aid that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed 30 percent of the period of enrollment, then you earned 30 percent of the aid you were awarded. However, once you have completed more than 60 percent of the period of enrollment, you are considered to have earned 100 percent of the aid that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

There may be some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive but will not be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of a failure to meet other Title IV eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you did not complete the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not be eligible to receive any federal Direct Loan funds.

Verification and the Return Calculation

If a student provides required verification documents after withdrawing from ACHS, but within 30 days of the date of the notification informing the student of the requirements, and in time for the College to meet the 30-day Return deadline, the R2T4 calculation will be calculated based on all federal financial aid the student had established eligibility prior to the withdrawal.

For the Federal Pell Grant Program, if the student provides the verification documents after the 30-day deadline but before the earlier of 120 days after the student’s last date of attendance or the deadline established by ED each award year, ACHS will review and address eligibility as required.

If a student does not provide all verification documents in time for ACHS to complete verification and meet the R2T4 deadlines; the College will include in the R2T4 calculation only the federal financial aid that was not subject to verification (unsubsidized and PLUS loan funds) and for which the conditions of a late disbursement were met prior to the withdrawal. 

Funds Owed to ACHS

The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from ACHS’s refund policy. Therefore, even if you have earned all of the federal aid you received according to the Department’s formula, you may still owe funds to ACHS to cover unpaid institutional charges.

Learn More

If you have questions about your Title IV federal student aid program funds, 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 at ACHS’s Office of Student Financial Services is also available to assist you at 800-487-8839, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Pacific time.