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Return of Title IV Calculation

Withdrawing, Failing, Not Attending, and Repeating Courses

Federal regulations require schools to determine the earned and unearned portions of federal aid as of the date the student ceased attendance. Attendance is based on the amount of time student has attended classes during each semester.

Up through the 60% point in each semester, a pro-rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Federal aid the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the semester, a student has earned 100% of the federal aid awarded.

For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there is no unearned aid. However, a school must still determine the student’s eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement. Georgia Southwestern ‘GSW’ must comply with refund policies required by a state or other outside agencies. If a federal financial aid recipient of grant or loan funds withdraws (officially – 100% withdrawn or unofficially 100% failure), from a school after beginning attendance, the amount of federal aid (grant or loan) earned by the student must be determined. This is applicable if the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned or if the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, and he or she is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid.

Although an institutional, state, or agency refund policy will determine the charges a student will owe after withdrawing, those policies will not affect the amount of federal aid the student has earned.

Federal aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire semester for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible.

GSW has a procedure for determining whether a federal recipient began attendance. If a student earns a passing grade in one or more of his or her classes in a semester GSW presumes that the student completed the course and thus completed the semester.

If a student begins attendance, does not officially withdraw, but fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course offered over an entire semester, GSW for federal financial aid purposes must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. In such case, GSW may rely on the instructors reported last date of attendance during the specific semester. If one instructor reports that the student attended past the 60% point of the semester, then the student is not a withdrawal. If the school has confirmation at the time of withdrawal that the student will attend a future part of term in the same payment period the student is not a withdrawal.

If a ‘Return of Title IV’ calculation is required GSW will use the institution’s reported last date of attendance when returning federal financial aid on the student’s behalf. The student who is reported as not attending class, will require a financial aid adjustment, and the student is then liable for any balance.

Repeating Classes: Students may retake a course already passed, only once (and receive federal financial aid). Federal financial aid will not pay for any course taken more than twice.  This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for the earlier enrollment in the course and regardless of the minimum grade. Since a ‘D’ is a passing grade in the academic catalog, it is considered passing for federal financial aid purposes.

Tuition and Fee Refund Policy

Students who formally withdraw from the University prior to passing the 60% point in time during the term are eligible for a partial refund of fees. Refunds are made only when a student completely withdraws from the University, and no refunds are made when a student of his or her own volition reduces the course load after the add/drop period. Students may receive a refund resulting from a reduction of their course load during the add/drop period. No refunds for withdrawals will be made after passing the 60% point in time during the semester. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially in accordance with University regulations. Forms for withdrawal from the University are available in the First Year Advocates Office located in the Academic Resource Center. A refund of tuition and fees, in accordance with federal, state, and institutional policies, will be issued within 30 days of receipt of completed withdrawal forms by the Business Office. Students who formally withdraw from the institution on or before the first day of class are entitled to a refund of 100% of the tuition and fees paid for that period of enrollment. (First day of class is defined as "classes begin" date published in the GSW Bulletin.) Students who formally withdraw from the institution after the first day of class but before the 60% point in time during the term are subject to guidelines established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. This policy states: The refund amount for students withdrawing from the institution shall be based on a pro rata percentage determined by dividing the number of calendar days in the semester that the student completed by the total calendar days in the semester. The total calendar days in a semester includes weekends, but excludes scheduled breaks of five or more days and days that a student was on an approved leave of absence. The unearned portion shall be refunded up to the point in time that the amount equals 60%. Students that withdraw from the institution when the calculated percentage of completion is greater than 60%, are not entitled to a refund of any portion of institutional charges. A refund of all matriculation fees, and other mandatory fees shall be made in the event of the death of a student at any time during the academic session. (BR Minutes, 1979-80, p.61; 1986-87 pp. 24-25; 1995, p.246)


The University is required to determine how much student financial aid was earned by students who withdraw during the term. If students have “unearned aid” because they were disbursed more than they earned, it may be necessary for the unearned portion to be returned to the appropriate student financial aid fund. If the students have 'earned aid' that they have not received, they may be eligible to receive those funds.

This policy excludes classes offered through E-campus (eCore and eMajor).

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