Financial Aid

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

If you are receiving federal financial aid, and completely withdraw (all W grades) or receive all non-passing grades (F, I, W, X, UD, or UF) during a semester, CSU will return all “unearned” Title IV aid under federal mandate.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact Campus411, All-in-1 in BH, Room 116, or call 216-687-5411 or email to determine how a drop or withdrawal may impact aid eligibility.

Official Withdrawals

If you completely withdraw from all courses (Official Withdrawal), the Financial Aid Office must calculate the percentage of aid “earned” for the semester.

Withdrawing from classes can be done via CampusNet through the established deadline reflected in the academic calendar. Non-attendance does NOT constitute an official withdrawal from classes. Questions regarding the refund schedule for classes can be directed to the Office of Treasury Services at (216) 687-5249.

The percentage of Title IV aid “earned” is calculated by dividing the number of completed calendar days as of the student’s date of withdrawal in the payment period (semester) by the total number of calendar days in the semester, excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more and days (ie: Spring Recess).

Students that have attended thru 60% of the semester are considered to have earned 100% of their federal financial aid.  However, students are still evaluated for post-withdrawal disbursement eligibility.

If the total withdrawal results in a Title IV credit balance, the funds will be disbursed to you as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days from the date the Financial Aid Office performs the R2T4 calculation.  Any Title IV credit balance must first be allocated to repay any grant overpayment owed by the student as a result of the current withdrawal. 

In addition, the school must pay authorized charges under the cash management regulations, including previously paid charges that now are unpaid due to a return of Title IV funds by the school.

Unofficial Withdrawals

If you have began attendance, did not officially withdraw from all courses, and failed to earn a passing grade in at least one course (A, B, C, D, S, or T), the University must assume that you have “unofficially withdrawn” from the semester and must calculate the percentage of aid “earned” for the semester.

The percentage of Title IV aid “earned” is calculated by dividing the number of calendar days thru the “midpoint” of the payment period (semester) by the total number of calendar days in the semester, excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more and days (ie: Spring Recess).

This calculation is not required if the school can verify the student was in attendance at an academically-related activity thru 60% of the semester.  The Financial Aid Office will attempt to verify your last date of attendance with your course instructor(s).

In the event we are unable to verify your last date of engagement, you will be notified and provided an opportunity to submit an Attendance Verification Form verifying active participation in an instructional activity.

The following are examples of approved academic-related activities:

  • Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
  • Submitting an academic assignment;
  • Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
  • Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution; or
  • Interacting with an instructor about academic matters.

Approved academic-related activities do not include:

  • Living in institutional housing;
  • Participating in the institution’s meal plan;
  • Logging into an online class or tutorial without any further participation; or
  • Participating in academic counseling or advisement.

Return of Title IV Aid

Schools are required to return “Unearned” aid in the following order:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  • Direct PLUS Loan (Parent or Graduate)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal SEOG
  • TEACH Grant

Ineligible aid or loans must be returned within 45 days following the withdraw date or the date the school learned the student failed to earn a passing grade.

Schools are required to return the lesser of:

  • The amount of “unearned” Title IV aid; or
  • The total institutional charges multiplied by the percentage of funds determined to be “unearned”.

Return of Grant Funds by the Student

Students may be required to repay funds based on the R2T4 calculation.  If the calculation results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school’s portion, the student is obligated to return any Title IV overpayment in the same order that is required for schools.

Students will be notified by the Financial Aid Office in the event any action is required by the student to resolve the overpayment.

Grant overpayments may be resolved through –

  • full and immediate repayment to the institution;
  • repayment arrangements satisfactory to the school; or
  • overpayment collection procedures negotiated with Borrower Services (Dept. of Education).

A student does NOT have to repay an original grant overpayment of $50 or less.  That is, if a R2T4 calculation resulted in a student having to return $140 in Pell funds and $40 in FSEOG funds, the student would have to return the Pell funds, but not the FSEOG funds.

Schools are required to satisfy the grant overpayment with the student's credit balance.

"Any Title IV credit balance must be allocated first to repay any grant overpayment owed by the student as a result of the current withdrawal.  The institution must return such funds to the Title IV grant account within 14 days of the date that the institution performs the Return of Title IV Aid calculation." [DCL GEN-04-03]

If there is no Credit Balance on Account, the University will make a payment (return portion of grant) on the student’s behalf and create a debit on the student’s account.  In doing so, the University acknowledges “the student would no longer be considered to have a Title IV grant overpayment and as such no reporting to NSLDS is required and no referral to Debt Resolution Services for collection is allowed.” [FSA HB Jan 2012, 5-134]

The Office of Treasury Services will bill the student for any balance created as the result of a federally required return of federal grants or loans.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

If at the time of your withdrawal, you did not receive all the federal funds that you were awarded, you may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement.  The Financial Aid Office will perform a calculation to determine if you are eligible to receive all or a portion of your non-disbursed federal grant or loan funds.

Schools are permitted to credit a student’s account with a post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV grant funds without a student’s permission. This would happen with current charges for tuition, fees, and room and board up to the amount of outstanding charges. A school must obtain permission from the student for charges other than those that are current.

In order to receive federal grants or loans as a post-withdrawal disbursement:

  • Students must have accepted their nondisbursed federal grants or loans in CampusNet;
  • Direct Loans must have originated prior to the student losing eligibility; and
  • For loans, the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Loan Entrance Counseling (LEC) must have been completed at the time of R2T4 calculation.

Prior to making a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, a student will be notified in writing within 30 days of the withdrawal date.  The student must sign and return the Post-Withdrawal Disbursement Offer within 14 days of receipt in order to be considered for these additional funds. 

For any amount of a post-withdrawal grant disbursement not credited to the student’s account to cover allowable charges, the school must make the disbursement as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of the school’s determination that the student withdrew.

Important Information Regarding Summer Sessions

Effective July 1, 2021 (Summer 2021), The U.S. Department of Education has revised regulations regarding students enrolled in a semester with multiple sessions. The new rules have added three R2T4 Exemptions that replace the need for a student to earn a passing grade in their last session in order to have earned 100% of their federal aid.  The following exemptions apply to Summer’s "Unofficial Withdrawals":

1) Completing Graduation Requirements:  

  • Student completed all requirements for graduation.
  • May be necessary to recalculate aid based on dropped courses.
  • Example -- Student withdrew from 6W2 because they only needed their 6W1 enrollment to graduate.

 2) Successful Completion of 49% of “Countable” days in One Module or Combination of Modules:

  • Student completed coursework (earned a passing grade) in one session (ie: 6W1, 8W, 10W, 12W, 6W2); Requires a passing grade (ie: "A", "B", "C", "D", or "S").
  • This exemption is satisfied when a student successfully completes any session; students completing one session or any combination results in at least 50% completion of “countable” days.

 3) Successful Completion of Half-time Enrollment:

  • If the student earns at least 6 credit-hours in Title IV-eligible coursework (one session or combination of sessions), they are exempt from the R2T4 requirement.
  • May be necessary to recalculate aid based on dropped courses.