Return of Title IV Funds
This policy applies to students who complete 60% or less of the enrollment period (i.e., Fall, Spring or Summer session) for which they received Federal Title IV aid. A student who drops a class but still completes one or more classes does not qualify for the Return of Title IV Funds policy. The term “Title IV aid” refers to the following Federal financial aid programs: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal PLUS (Parent) loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant).
To conform with the policy, Columbia College must determine the student’s withdrawal date. The withdrawal date is based on the earlier of the two:
- The last date of attendance at an academically-related activity by a student, or
- the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified Columbia College of their intent to withdraw.
The calculation required determines a student’s earned and unearned Title IV aid based on the percentage of the enrollment period completed by the student. The percentage of the period that the student remained enrolled is derived by dividing the number of days the student attended by the number of days in the period. Calendar days (including weekends) are used, but breaks of at least 5 days are excluded from both the numerator and denominator.
The Return of Title IV Funds Calculator can estimate the amount you will be required to pay back to Columbia College.
Until a student has passed the 60% point of an enrollment period, only a portion of the student’s aid has been earned. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point is considered to have earned all awarded aid for the enrollment period.
Earned aid is not related in any way to institutional charges. In addition, the College’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. A student who withdraws from a course may be required to return unearned aid and still owe the college for the course. For more information on the Columbia College withdrawal and institutional charges’ policies, please consult the Columbia College catalog.
The responsibility to repay unearned Title IV aid is shared by Columbia College and the student. For example, the calculation may require Columbia College to return a portion of Federal funds to the Federal Title IV programs. In addition, the student may also be required to return funds based on the calculation. A student returns funds to the Federal Stafford loan programs based on the terms and conditions of the promissory note of the loan. A student who receives a Federal Pell Grant may be required to repay 50% of the funds received. The return of Federal aid is in the following order: Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loans, Federal PLUS (Parent) loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant).
How to Handle an Overpayment
Students who owe funds to a grant program are required to make payment of those funds within 45 days of being notified that they owe this overpayment. During the 45 day period students will remain eligible for Title IV funds. If no positive action is taken by the student within 45 days of being notified, Columbia College will notify the U.S. Department of Education of the student’s overpayment situation. The student will no longer be eligible for Title IV funds until they enter into a satisfactory repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
During the 45-day period, the student can make full payment to Columbia College of the overpayment. The college will forward the payment to the U.S. Department of Education and the student will remain eligible for Title IV funds. Please make check payable to Columbia College, Attn: Director of Accounting. Our mailing address is Columbia College, 1001 Rogers Street, Columbia, MO 65216
If a student is unable to pay their overpayment in full, they can set up a repayment plan with the U.S. Department of Education. Before doing this please contact the Columbia College Home Financial Aid Office. You will need to make sure we have referred your situation to the U.S. Department of Education before any repayment plan can be set up.
If you want to contact the U.S. Department of Education, their address is listed below.
U.S. Department of Education
Student Financial Assistance Programs
P.O. Box 4222
Iowa City, IA 52245
For examples of the Return of Title IV Funds calculations or questions regarding the overpayment policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office.