Return to Title IV Financial Aid Refund Policy
Amendments to the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 were enacted in 1998. New regulations regarding the treatment of Title IV (federal) financial aid funds were established.
Title IV financial aid sources subject to these regulations include:
- Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
- Graduate PLUS Loans
- Parent PLUS Loans
- Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- TEACH Grants
- Iraq Afghanistan Service Grants
When a student withdraws from their classes prior to completing more than 60% of a semester, regulations require a recalculation of any Title IV financial aid funds that were disbursed for that period. The measured period includes all calendar days of a given semester - from the first through the last dates of the term - but excludes extended break periods, such as spring break. The date of withdrawal is either the date that CMU is formally notified, and withdrawal paperwork is filed or the date that your complete semester withdrawal is submitted online.
A federally-mandated formula is used to determine the amount of unearned Title IV financial aid. Typically, the percentage of earned Title IV financial aid is equivalent to the percentage of the semester completed. You may click here to view a copy of the federal worksheet utilized to make Return of Title IV Funds calculations. In a formal calculation, unearned Title IV aid funds will be detailed in Step 6: Return of Funds by the School and Step 10: Return of Grant Funds by the Student. The amounts in both boxes are rounded to the nearest dollar and returned by Central Michigan University to their respective programs on the students' behalf. The amount(s) returned will then be billed to the student account and due in the billing cycle following assessment of the charge(s).
While the balance is immediately due to CMU, any loan amounts returned to their Title IV financial aid programs represent cancellations of those amounts and will therefore not need to be repaid in the future. You can view your comprehensive record by reviewing your NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) record at https://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/.
It is important that you understand the financial implications of a complete semester withdrawal. You may call (989) 774-3928 for withdrawal counseling that includes an estimate of your final account balance following anticipated adjustments.
When a student withdraws from courses at Central Michigan University, they must go through the Registrar's office to complete official withdrawal paperwork or submit a complete semester withdrawal request in the online Course Search and Registration module. The Registrar's Office forwards a copy of the official withdrawal paperwork to the Student Account Services and University Billing Office for review, indicating the official date of withdrawal on the form. If the student withdraws online through the Course Search and Registration module, the automated system identifies the official withdrawal date and sends a notification email to the Student Account Services and University Billing Office for review.
Unofficial Withdrawals / Unofficial Enrollment Adjustments
If you are a Title IV financial aid recipient, any unsatisfactory (E, NC) grades assigned to you are reviewed. Title IV regulations mandate that last dates of attendance are monitored in courses where unsatisfactory grades are assigned. To comply with this regulation, professors are required to report your last date of participation in an academically-related activity* whenever submitting an unsatisfactory grade.
You may be subject to a financial aid recalculation if you meet certain criteria after this review:
• If you receive all unsatisfactory grades and the latest last date of attendance is prior to the 60% mark of the semester, your financial aid will be recalculated using the same formula as an official withdrawal.
• If you receive any unsatisfactory grades in courses reported as 'never attended', credit hours in those courses cannot be counted toward your overall enrollment status. If a change in enrollment status takes place as a result, you may be subject to a recalculation of your award(s) up to a complete loss of eligibility.
• In some cases, both adjustments detailed above may take place - a retroactively lowered award due to a decreased enrollment status and a recalculation of the remaining award due to a latest last date of attendance prior to the 60% mark of the semester.
Special Notes Regarding Off-Campus and Online Courses:
Semester dates for students taking all off-campus and online courses are determined on a case-by-case basis that considers the first day of the first class and the last day of the last class that each student is enrolled in and attended. Students taking only off-campus and online courses do not have extended break periods mid-semester, so these are not considered when calculating the percentage of the semester completed. For example, if there are two modules - such as Spring I and Spring II - available and a student is only registered in Spring I, only the dates of that module are taken into consideration when performing Return of Title IV funds calculations. If a student is registered in both Spring I and Spring II, the first day of the Spring I course through the last day of the Spring II course make up that student's semester.
*An introductory posting in an online class is not considered an academically-related activity per federal definition and cannot be counted as attendance. Graded assignments and course-related discussion postings are both considered attendance in an online format.
Post Withdrawal Disbursements:
In cases where a student withdrew from Central Michigan University prior to receiving the full amount of financial aid they were eligible for, they may be eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement. The amount of aid a student is eligible to receive as a post-withdrawal disbursement is determined by the Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation.
To receive a post-withdrawal disbursement, students must meet the conditions for late disbursement (34 CFR 668.164(j)). Additionally, a post-withdrawal disbursement cannot be made under the following conditions:
- Second or subsequent Direct Loan disbursement to, or on behalf of, a student who did not graduate or successfully complete the loan period.
- Direct Loan or Perkins Loan disbursement to a borrower who has not signed their promissory note.
- TIV Funds disbursements for students that do not have a valid ISIR or SAR with the University by deadline published by the Department of Education (34 CFR 668.164(j)).
Post Withdrawal Disbursements – Grants
In accordance with Federal regulations, post-withdrawal disbursements will be made from available grant funds before available loan funds (34 CRF 668.22 (a)(6)). Central Michigan University may disburse post-withdrawal disbursements of grant funds directly to student accounts, without obtaining confirmation from the student.
Post Withdrawal Disbursements – Loans
In accordance with Federal regulations, post-withdrawal disbursements from loan funds will only be disbursed to students or parents (in the case of PLUS loans) after obtaining confirmation from the borrower that they wish to receive the loan (34 CRF 668.22 (a)(6)).
If a student or parent is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, a letter will be mailed to them within 30 days of their withdrawal, providing the borrower the opportunity to accept all or part of a post-withdrawal disbursement of their loan funds.
Timeframe for Return to Title IV Adjustments:
Central Michigan University must return any unearned TIV funds the university is responsible for within 45-days of determining the student withdrew (34 CFR 668.22 (j)).
Post withdrawal disbursements of loan funds (If applicable) must be made as soon as possible but no later than 180 days after the date school determined student withdrew, in accordance with required for disbursing Title IV funds (34 CFR 668.164 (j)). Post withdrawal disbursements of grant funds (If applicable) must be made as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date school determined student withdrew, in accordance with required for disbursing Title IV funds (34 CFR 668.164 (j)).
Order of Return:
In accordance with Federal regulations outlined in 34 CFR 668.22(i), R2T4 funds are returned in the following order:
1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
3. Federal Direct PLUS (Grad)
4. Federal Direct (PLUS) Parent Loan Program
6. Academic Competitive Grant
Satisfactory Academic Progress:
Your withdrawal - whether official or unofficial - may impact your satisfactory academic progress.
Federal regulations (HEA Sec 484(c)) require that Central Michigan University monitor the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) of all students regardless of whether they have received financial aid in previous semesters. These financial aid requirements are separate from students' academic requirements. To maintain eligibility for federal student aid, as well as most state and institutional aid programs, there are three distinct criteria that must be monitored and met.
SAP is measured utilizing the following criteria every semester (including summer):
- Quantitative Standard: Students must complete 67% of all CMU credits attempted each semester of enrollment.
- Qualitative Standard: Students must maintain a 2.00 cumulative GPA as an undergraduate student and a 3.00 cumulative GPA as a graduate student.
- Maximum Time Frame Standard: The number of attempted credits in which a student is expected to finish a program cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program.