Financial Aid

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Return of Financial Aid Funds

The Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid 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.

Although financial aid is posted at the beginning of each semester, students earn the funds as they complete the period. If a student fully withdraws from the semester, the amount of the federal and state aid that has been earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula.  This does not apply to single-course withdrawals, unless that course is the only one a students is currently taking.

Students who fail to earn any credit (for example, receiving all “F” grades) within an academic semester for which financial aid is received will be reviewed for a Return of Title IV Funds calculation. This includes students who officially or unofficially withdraw during a semester. An official withdrawal is a student's formal notification of his or her intent to withdraw from all courses for a term. To officially withdraw, a student must follow the instructions for complete term withdrawal. An unofficial withdrawal occurs when a student stops attending classes without completing the official withdrawal process; considered as "walking away."

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 40 days of a semester that is 80 calendar days in length, the student will have earned 50% of the awarded financial aid. The student's withdrawal date determines the last date of attendance and the number used to calculate the percentage of aid earned. The withdrawal date is the date of the student's official or unofficial withdrawal.

Students who complete more than 60% of the semester are considered to have earned 100% of their financial aid.

Title IV (Federal) Aid

Federal law specifies how we must determine the amount of Title IV (federal) funds that a student earns if he or she withdraws from school. The Title IV programs covered by this law are:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Direct Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs)
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • TEACH Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (IASGs)

If a student receives excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, we must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. the entire amount of excess funds

State and Institutional Funds

State aid from North Carolina is similarly recalculated and the unearned portion is returned to the state in accordance to the NCSEAA return policy. Institutional aid is also recalculated and adjusted based on the University's Withdrawal Credit Schedule.