Repayment of Financial Aid Funds Policy
Students who formally or informally withdraw from all of their classes on or after the first day of the quarter, and those who complete zero credits, may owe a repayment of a portion of the financial aid funds they received for the quarter. If a recipient of the Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws after beginning attendance, the amount of Title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, the unearned funds must be returned. If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, he or she is eligible to receive a Post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received. This policy does not apply to work-study earnings.
How Students Can Withdraw
Students must officially withdraw by notifying Student Services. Classes can be dropped at the Student Services Office, online through the ctcLink student portal, or by calling (360) 417-6340. Informing the instructor alone and/or non-attendance/lack of participation does not constitute a drop/withdrawal.
How the Date of Withdrawal is Determined
The date of withdrawal used to determine whether or not a student owes a repayment of financial aid funds and the amount of the repayment is determined by:
For students in programs for which an outside entity requires attendance to be taken:
- The last date the student attended a class
For all other students:
- The date the student withdrew or notified the Student Services Office of the intent to withdraw, whichever date is earlier
If the student did not withdraw or notify the Student Services Office of the intent to withdraw, the last date of attendance is determined as followed:
- If no instructors reported a last date of attendance, it will be assumed that the student completed 50% of the quarter (midpoint).
- If all instructors reported different last dates of attendance that were exactly on or prior to the 60% point, the midpoint will be used as the last date of attendance. (If one or more last dates of attendance occurred after the 60% point, it will be assumed that the student earned 100% of his/her aid.)
- If the last date of attendance reported by the instructor is the first day of the class session it will be assumed the student never attended. If it is determined that the student never attended one or more classes, a recalculation of Pell Grant and Campus-Based funds may be required. This recalculation may result in repayment of a portion or all financial aid funds the student received.
How the Repayment Amount is Determined
Under the federal government’s “Return of Title IV Funds” policy, students are considered to have “earned” the percentage of their Title IV aid (e.g., Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Subsidized Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan) that equals the percentage of the quarter completed in calendar days. For example, if a student completely withdraws from classes after completing 10% of the quarter, that student has “earned” 10% of his/her Title IV aid. The other 90% of the Title IV aid is considered “unearned.”
Students who complete more than 60% of the quarter prior to withdrawing are considered to have earned 100% of their Title IV aid, and therefore no repayment amount is calculated (no unearned funds). However, the school will determine whether the student is eligible for a Post-withdrawal disbursement.
Total Repayment Amount
The total repayment amount is determined by multiplying the percentage of “unearned” aid by the amount of Title IV aid received. Once the total repayment amount has been calculated, the next step is to determine the following:
- the school’s share of the repayment amount
- the student’s share of the repayment amount
- the amount a student must pay to Business Services for tuition and fees as a result of the school’s share of the repayment
School’s Share of the Repayment
The school’s share of the repayment is either the percentage of “unearned” aid multiplied by tuition and fee charges OR the total repayment amount, whichever is less. Bookstore charges are not included in the calculation, because students have the ability to purchase their books elsewhere.
The school will return any unearned Title IV funds it is responsible for returning within 45 days of the date the school determines the student withdrew.
The school must return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the quarter, as applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:
- Unsubsidized Loans
- Subsidized Loans
- PLUS Loans
- Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Student’s Share of the Repayment
The student’s share of the repayment is determined by subtracting the school’s share of the repayment from the total repayment amount. Any amount of unearned grant funds that a student must return is called an overpayment. The amount of a grant overpayment that a student must repay is half of the grant funds they received or were scheduled to receive.
Students who owe a “student’s share of the repayment” will receive a bill from the Financial Aid Office and must make their payment to the Financial Aid Office. Within 30 days of the date of the determination, the school will notify the student if a grant overpayment is due. If payment in full is not received by the Financial Aid Office within 45 days after the date of the billing, the debt will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education.
Students May Owe a Balance at Business Services
If students received Title IV aid and the school’s share of the repayment is greater than the amount of the institutional refund, the student will owe a balance at Business Services. For purposes of repayment of financial aid, the institutional refund is calculated by multiplying the amount of “refundable” tuition and fee charges paid by Title IV funds by the institutional refund percentage.
Students who owe a balance to Business Services for their tuition and fees will be billed by Business Services. Until the bill is paid, students will not be able to register for classes.
If Title IV aid paid all or a portion of tuition and fees and the school’s share of the repayment is less than the amount of the institutional refund, the remainder of the institutional refund will be paid in the following order: (1) repay Title IV grants owed by the student as the “student’s share of the repayment; 2) to the student.
Exception to the “Return of Title IV Funds” Policy
If a student whose tuition and fees are paid in full withdraws from all of his/her classes after more than 60% of the quarter (in calendar days) has passed, the “Return of Title IV Funds” policy does not apply. The student will not owe a repayment to the Financial Aid Office, nor will he/she owe Business Services for a portion of tuition and fees.
Students who are eligible to receive Title IV aid, but who did not receive all of their aid prior to making a complete withdrawal, may be eligible to receive a disbursement of financial aid funds, even though they have withdrawn. This is referred to as a “post-withdrawal disbursement.” To be eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement, students must have a complete financial aid file in the Financial Aid Office and meet all eligibility requirements.
Students who are eligible to receive a post-withdrawal loan disbursement will be notified in writing by the Financial Aid Office within 30 days of the date of the school's determination that the student withdrew. The student must reply and accept the Post-withdrawal loan disbursement within 180 days of that date.
If the student is eligible for a Post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds, a check or refund will be sent within 45 days of the date of the school's determination that the student withdrew.
Repayment of State Aid
Students receiving Washington College Grant (WCG - also known as WA State Need Grant, or SNG), College Bound Scholarship (CBS) and/or Passport Scholarship funds are subject to the Washington College Grant repayment policy as defined by the Washington Student Achievement Council. This policy is effective only if a student completely terminates enrollment by withdrawing from or completing zero credits.
Students who remain enrolled through at least 50% of the payment period (quarter) are considered to have earned 100% of the state aid received and will not owe a repayment of state aid. Students who officially or unofficially withdraw before the 50% point of time will owe a repayment. The amount of the repayment is based on the date used in the Return to Title IV calculation (see “How the Date of Withdrawal is Determined” on page 1). Students will be billed for 50% of the amount of state aid considered unearned. Only repayments of $50.00 or more will be identified. If a student attends a portion of a term and withdraws with no verified last date of attendance, the state aid repayment will be 50% of the grant with no additional adjustments.
For example: A student receives a WCG award in the amount of $800.00. The student withdraws from the school at the end of the second week of the quarter. Based on the number of days in the quarter, the student earned 18% of their WA College Grant or $144.00. The amount of the award that is considered unearned is $656.00 ($800.00 - $144.00). 50% of the amount unearned, $328.00, is the amount the student is required to repay.
Examples of how repayments are calculated are available in the Financial Aid Office.