The US Department of Education’s regulations require the University of East Anglia (hereafter referred to as the ‘University’) to complete the Return of Title IV Funds for any Title IV Students (hereafter referred to as ‘Students’) that withdraw from studies at the University whilst in receipt of US Federal Student Aid funds.
For Students that withdraw, interrupt their studies for more than 180 consecutive days or drop below half time attendance, the University is responsible for:
- Determining the amount of Title IV Funds the Student has earned as of their withdrawal date within the given payment period
- Returning any unearned Title IV Funds, that the University is responsible for, to the US Department of Education
- Notifying the Student if they are required to return any Title IV Funds directly to the US Department of Education themselves
Loan programmes governed by these regulations are:
- Direct (Stafford) Subsidised Loan
- Direct (Stafford) Unsubsidised Loan
- Direct PLUS (Parent/Graduate) Loans
The amount of Title IV funds due for return by the University, as a result of a Student withdrawal, will be different for each Student. Following the interruption, or withdrawal of a Student from their programme, the University’s US Financial Aid Office will calculate any return of funds required, in line with tuition and accommodation fee liability charged by the University.
2.0 Withdrawal and the Calculation of the Return of Title IV Funds
Students are required to contact their Academic Adviser/Supervisor in the first instance to discuss withdrawal, or interruption, from their University programme.
Students who wish to withdraw, interrupt or request a leave of absence from their course will be expected to follow the University's Interrupting your Study or Withdrawal process as well as its Fee Liability Cut-off Dates for Withdrawals and Interruptions policy.
On interruption or withdrawal, Students are required to notify the University’s US Financial Aid Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The US Financial Aid Office will process a calculation of the Student’s Title IV funds. The calculation process and method are as set out in 2.4. of this document. The Student will be notified by the University about any repayment of earned or unearned amounts of funds, as outlined in 3.2. of this document.
2.2 Withdrawal Date
A Student will be considered to have withdrawn from their programme when:
- A new actual End Date is entered in the University’s Student Records System for the Student, which differs from the Expected End Date of the course at the time of the Student’s enrolment; or
- The last date of attendance, as documented by academically related activity, if the Student leaves without notifying the University.
2.3 Non-Standard Withdrawal
Any Student who has a period of intercalation exceeding 180 consecutive days will be withdrawn from the loan programme.
Any Student who has an approved leave of absence that extends beyond 180 consecutive days will be required to intercalate and will be withdrawn from the loan programme.
Where a Student ceases to attend but has not officially notified the University, the Return of Title IV Funds will be implemented when the student is withdrawn on the University’s Student Records System.
Where a Student is suspended from studies at the University, the Return of Title IV Funds will be implemented when the student’s status changes on the University’s Student Records System.
Where a Student has a Student visa (formally Tier 4 (General)) and is deemed to be in breach of the conditions of that visa at any point this could affect their right to study in the UK and the University will withdraw the Student and implement the Return of Title IV Funds where necessary.
2.4 Calculation of Title IV entitlement
Federal regulations specify how the University must calculate funding entitlement earned up to the point a Student withdraws from the University. The University sets out Payment Periods for each programme type, in line with Federal regulations and these are used in the Return of Title IV calculation. When a Student withdraws during a Payment Period, they have received money for the whole period, but only earned the proportion for the time they were enrolled on the programme of study.
When a Student withdraws from the University a Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be undertaken by the US Financial Aid Office using the ‘Treatment of Title IV Funds when a Student Withdraws from a Credit-Hour Program’ official R2T4 Form.
Based on the Student’s last date of attendance within the Payment Period, a date of Withdrawal will be used to calculate how many calendar study days have been completed on the course, compared to how many calendar study days were expected to be completed, based on the scheduled Payment Period end date. The University will calculate, as a percentage, how much of the Title IV Funds the Student has earned.
Where the Student has completed 60% or less of the relevant term based Payment Period they are deemed to have not earned all of their US Financial Aid. The US Financial Aid Office will calculate the amounts of unearned aid required to be returned to the US Department of Education, by the University or the Student.
Where a Student completes more than 60% of the relevant term based Payment Period, Federal Regulations consider that their US Financial Aid has been 100% earned for the Period and no refund is required.
For example, if a student started their course on 26 September 2022 but withdrew on 9 November 2022, they completed 45 days out of 82 study days in their first Payment Period (26 September 2022 - 16 December 2022) and have earned 55% of their first US Financial Aid Disbursement so we need to proceed with returning the unearned Title IV Funds. If the student did not withdraw until 14 November 2022, they would then have completed 50 days of the relevant 82 days Payment Period and earned 61% of their US Financial Aid. As this exceeds 60% no Title IV refund would be required.
For the purpose of calculating US Financial Aid entitlements, a Study Day will be considered to be any calendar day in the relevant Payment Period that is available for study, regardless of whether any teaching is scheduled. Scheduled breaks of 5 days or more, and days that the student was on an approved leave of absence, are excluded from both attendance counted and payment period (refer to Step 2, Section H of R2T4 Form).
The University’s US Financial Aid Office retain records of any calculations and official R2T4 Form on the Student’s file. The R2T4 tool within the Common Origination and Disbursement System (COD) is also used for checking calculation accuracy.
3.0 Returning unearned Title IV Funds
3.1 University’s Responsibility
The University will retain the earned percentage of Title IV Funds for any tuition and accommodation charges for the period enrolled and is required to return any unearned percentage of Title IV Funds directly to the US Department of Education within 30 days of the date of withdrawal.
Funds returned to the US Department of Education to repay the current year’s loans are processed in the following order: Direct Unsubsidised Loan net value, Direct Subsidised Loan net value, PLUS Loan net value.
The University will make loan adjustments within G5 and the COD System at this point, along with informing the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) of the withdrawal which will trigger loans going into repayment.
Where funds are returned for a Student, based on a specified withdrawal date, those funds cannot be reinstated if the withdrawal date is later changed for a concessionary or any other reason.
3.2 Student’s Responsibility
The Student will be responsible for repaying the earned (time enrolled) and unearned (period after withdrawal) amount of Title IV Funds they have received, that the University is not responsible for repaying, as set out on the completed R2T4 Form. This should be repaid in the normal way, back to the US Department of Education under the terms of the borrower’s promissory note.
If the Return of Title IV Funds calculation creates a balance due on the student’s University account, the student will be responsible to pay the full balance on their account the University’s Accounts Receivable team will invoice for this.
Full details of the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4 Form) outcomes and requirements will be given to the Student in writing by the US Financial Aid Office.
4.0 Further Information
Further details of the Title IV Refund process at the University, together with example calculations, can be obtained through:
US Financial Aid Office
Sciences Building, SCI 3.09
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591701
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis by the University’s US Financial Aid Office. Updates of the policy will be released at the beginning of a new academic year or as required by changes in US Federal Regulations and via the UEA hyperlink: Return of Title IV Funds Policy - US Financial Aid
Updated September 2023