Return of Title IV Funds

Return of Title IV funds requirements apply to a Title IV grant and/or loan recipient or eligible recipient who withdraws or ceases attendance from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) before completing the payment period.

The payment period is the academic period established for which financial aid is awarded and disbursed. It is not always aligned with the registration and billing period for a program. Students are encourage to learn and understand their program’s payment period definition.

  • SNHU will perform a Return to Title IV calculation and notify the student of any Federal Student Aid (FSA) fund return within 30 days of the date of withdrawal or the last date of attendance.
  • SNHU has 45 days from the date of determination that the student withdrew to return all unearned FSA funds for which we are responsible for.

SNHU divides the number of days attended by the number of days in the period, excluding breaks of five days or more, and days on an approved leave of absence (applicable to College for America only). The result is the percent of earned aid, except that 100% is earned if greater than 60% of the payment period has been completed.
The percent earned multiplied by the total FSA for the payment period is the amount the student earned based upon his or her withdrawal date or last date of attendance. If this amount is greater than what was actually disbursed, then SNHU will offer the student a post-withdrawal disbursement, provided the funds meet the conditions for a late disbursement. If the amount that was actually disbursed is greater than the amount earned, the excess is considered unearned FSA.
SNHU will return a portion of any unearned FSA based upon the student’s institutional charges for the payment period. Institutional charges may include tuition, book vouchers, and institutional housing and meal plans. The total amount of institutional charges is multiplied by the percent earned (100% minus the percent earned) to determine the unearned amount of institutional charges. SNHU will return the lesser of the unearned institutional charges or the total amount unearned.

Return of Funds
SNHU will return FSA to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant *
  5. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)*
  6. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant*
  7. Federal Work Studies (FWS) funds are not included in the calculation.

*There is a 50% grant protection allowance for the student built in to the Return to Title IV calculation. Students are also not required to return unearned funds of $50 or less for Title IV grant programs. 

Students are responsible for immediate payment on account balances that are a result of a Return to Title IV calculation.

Within the Return to Title IV calculation, there is also an amount of unearned Title IV aid due from the student.

  • Title IV grant funds are typically repaid by SNHU and the student is responsible for payment to the University. However, SNHU can report a grant amount due from the student as an overpayment to the Department of Education. SNHU will waive any grant repayment and will not report an overpayment for any affected individual covered by the HEROES Act.
  • Direct Loan are to be repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the student’s signed Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement
As a result of the required Return to Title IV calculation, there may be instances where students have undisbursed earned aid, and must decide if they want the post withdrawal disbursement of aid applied to their account. Any earned grant funds will be automatically applied to the student account. However, any earned Direct Loan funds require student authorization. Student Financial Services will notify students in writing of the availability of any Direct Loan post-withdrawal disbursement eligibility. Students must sign and return the authorization letter within fourteen days of the date of the notice to benefit from a post-withdrawal Direct Loan disbursement. Direct Loans are to be repaid in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the student’s signed Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Programs Offered in Modules
A program is ‘offered in modules’ if a course or courses do not span the entire length of the payment period.  For all programs offered in modules, a student is considered to have withdrawn for Title IV purposes if the student ceases attendance at any point prior to completing the payment period.

SNHU will ‘undo’ a Return to Title IV calculation for a student who ceased attendance or graduated during a payment period and returns during the same payment period. The ‘undo’ process restores the FSA funds to the amounts the student was originally scheduled to receive. This is applicable to programs offered by the University where students have the ability to cease attendance or graduate during a payment period.

Return to Title IV Calculation Example
A term start date is September 7 and the end date is December 23. There is a 5 day break for Thanksgiving. The total days for the term is 103 days. The student withdraws on October 2 which is day 26 of the term. The percentage of earned aid would be 25.2% (26 days/103 days) and the unearned aid percentage is 74.8%.

  • If the student received $5,500 in Title IV aid, then the student earned $1,386 in Title IV aid and $4,114 is the unearned amount.
  • If institutional charges are $6,000, then the amount of earned charges would be $1,512 and the unearned charges would be $4,488.
  • SNHU is responsible for returning the lesser of the unearned institutional charges or the total amount of unearned Title IV aid, so SNHU would return $4,114 in this example. The student is responsible for immediate payment of this account balance.

Return of Title IV funds requirements do apply to a student who:

  • Officially withdraws during a payment period; or
  • Unofficially withdraws during a payment period (student stops attending without providing notification to the university); or
  • Ceases attendance during a payment period; or
  • Graduates during a payment period.

Return of Title IV funds requirements do not apply to a student who:

  • Withdraws from some classes but remains enrolled in other courses during the same payment period at Southern New Hampshire University; or
  • Never attended any classes, or for whom SNHU cannot document attendance in at least one class for the payment period or period of enrollment.  If the student never attended any classes or SNHU cannot document the student’s attendance in at least one class, the student did not establish eligibility for Title IV aid for the period and all funds must be returned.

Updated: 7 April 2017 CM