Return of Title IV Funds Policy (R2T4)

Refund Policy for Title IV Funds

In addition to the institutional refund policy, federal regulation requires that students who withdraw from all courses may only keep the federal financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. If a student received any financial aid under federal Title IV programs (FSEOG, Pell Grant), a portion of these funds may need to be returned under the guidance of the federal formula, except the Federal Work Study Program.

Withdrawal Date

The date of withdrawal is determined as follows (as determined by SCC):

Official Withdrawal

Unofficial Withdrawal

If a student does not begin the school’s official withdrawal process or notify the school of the intent to withdraw, the students last date of documented academic attendance will be used as the date of withdraw as part of an administrative withdrawal process. According to SCC’s attendance policy, a student who fails to attend two consecutive weeks worth of class is in violation of the college’s attendance policy and will be dropped or withdrawn from the course.

Percent of Title IV Aid Earned

Federal funds shall be returned in accordance with federal policies at the time of withdrawal. The percentage of the period of enrollment or payment period for which federal aid was awarded is determined by dividing the total number of calendar days within the period of enrollment or payment period (excluding scheduled breaks of 5 days or more) into the number of calendar days completed as of the day of the student withdrew.

The percentage of aid earned during this period is equal to the percentage of the term completed. The percentage of unearned aid is determined by subtracting earned aid from 100%. The school is required to return the lesser of the unearned aid percentage applied to the institutional charges and the unearned percentage applied to the total federal aid received.

Once a student completes 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, a student is considered to have earned all their financial aid and will not be required to return any funds.

Students withdrawing prior to completion of 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment may owe additional funds to the institution due to the loss of federal aid. Students are urged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to consider this factor prior to making the decision to withdraw from school.

If the calculation indicates that funds should be returned, a specific order of refund has been established by the federal government (as applicable):            

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  3. Federal TEACH Grant
  4. Other Title IV assistance (as applicable)

SCC must return the amount of Title IV funds, for which it is responsible, as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and for which the student is otherwise eligible, the student is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.

SCC will automatically use all or a portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of grant (Pell Grant and SEOG) funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). SCC needs the student’s permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give their permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student’s best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce any debt at the school. For any grant funds owed a student, the school must make the disbursement as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew.

If a student receives (or SCC or parent receive on the student’s behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned based upon the calculation described above, SCC must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. The student’s institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of their funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess

Excess Funds

SCC must return this amount even if it did not keep this amount of the student’s Title IV program funds. If SCC is not required to return all the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that a student must repay is half of the grant funds they received or were scheduled to receive. A student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with SCC or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from any refund policy that SCC may have. Therefore, a student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. SCC may also charge a student for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return.

For additional information on refunds to Title IV sources, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 910-695-3743 or For additional questions regarding Title IV program funds, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID (1-800-433-3243). TTY users may call 1-800-730-8913.

Information is also available on Student Aid on the Web at