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Withdrawal & Return of Title IV Funds

Impact of Withdrawal

Treatment of Financial Aid for Total Withdrawal

The federal policy for the return of Title IV funds maintains that a student retains only that portion of federal aid that the student has earned based on time in attendance before the withdrawal. The percentage of time that the student attended an academic term determines the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal government. This federally mandated policy is independent of Marshall University’s institutional refund policy due to withdrawal.

A student is considered withdrawn under federal regulation when they cease enrollment during a semester.  This can occur by student request to drop all classes or by administrative removal from courses (suspension, lack of participation, or overdue account balances are examples of an administrative withdraw). Additionally, a student who fully withdraws from the university as a whole is considered withdrawn. Students who cease attendance in courses without requesting to withdraw can also be considered as withdrawn for the semester.

Institution Responsibilities

Marshall’s responsibilities in regards to Title IV funds includes:

  • Providing students’ with policy information;
  • Identifying students who are affected by this policy and completing the return of Title IV funds calculation for those students;
  • Returning any Title IV funds due to the correct Title IV programs.

Student Responsibilities

  • Return, to the Title IV programs, any funds that were disbursed to the student in which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the R2T4 calculation.
  • Any notification of withdraw should be submitted to the appropriate institutional official.
  • Submit all notifications to rescind an intent to withdraw in writing to the Registrar’s Office or the Academic Advising office in a timely manner.
  • Complete Loan Exit Counseling.

Return to Title IV Questions
If you have questions regarding Title IV funds after visiting with the Student Financial Assistance Office, you may call the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll free at 1-800-4-FED-AID. Information is also available on the Federal Student Aid website.

How Aid Is Earned

FEDERAL AID: When students withdraw from all courses on or before the 60% point in time of an academic term, the Office of Student Financial Assistance is required to review your financial aid awards to determine whether financial aid funds must be adjusted in accordance with federal and state regulations.  Title IV aid is earned in a prorated manner on a per diem basis (calendar days) up to the 60% point in the semester. Title IV aid is viewed as 100% earned after that point in time. The institution will perform a return of funds calculation to determine the amount of earned aid up through the 60% point in each payment period or period of enrollment. The institution will use the Department of Education’s prorate schedule to determine the amount of R2T4 funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. All unearned funds will be returned to the Title IV program within 45 days. State aid is also included in this calculation if the student is a Title IV aid recipient. Pell Grant funds are subject to a downward adjustment prior to inclusion within the R2T4 calculation if the student failed to begin attendance in all courses for which the Pell Grant funds were awarded.

INSTITTUTIONAL/STATE AID: If a student received various types of financial aid, more than one policy may apply when determining revised financial aid eligibility. If the student is receiving federal aid, the state and institutional aid will be returned based upon the amount of aid earned as determined from the return of funds calculation. For example, if the student earned 40% and had a $1000 foundation scholarship paid, $600 would be returned to the foundation.

If the student is a recipient of institutional and/or state aid but is not receiving federal student aid, adjustments to the aid follow the Marshall University Refund Policy. For those students that are not federal aid recipients, the chart below describes how institutional, state, and external financial aid is treated whenever a student withdraws:

Period of Withdrawal During a Semester Percentage of Aid Returned to Program
Before Class Start 100%
Weeks 1 & 2 90%
Weeks 3 & 4 75%
Weeks 5 & 6 50%

If a withdrawal results in a credit to the student’s account resulting solely from institutional aid, the credit will not be refunded to the student but will be recouped by the school.

For example, if a student withdraws during the 5th week of the semester, the student would have 50% of his/her tuition charge reversed. Simultaneously, if a student received an institutional scholarship for the semester in the amount of $2,000, 50% or $1,000 of this scholarship would be returned to the respective financial aid program.

Official Withdrawals

A student is considered to be “Officially” withdrawn on the date the student notifies a designated campus office or official (acting in his/her official capacity) of his or her intent to withdraw.  The institution reserves the right to use the student’s last day of participation in an academically related activity for the purposes of the return of funds calculation if this date more accurately reflects the student’s withdraw date than the date the student began the school’s official withdraw process.

Unofficial Withdrawal

When a student that has begun attendance fails to earn a passing grade (has a zero GPA) at the end of the semester, Marshall University will determine if the student has unofficially withdrawn or dropped out. Marshall University has an official grading policy that provides instructors with the ability to differentiate between those students who complete the course but failed to achieve the course objectives and those students who did not complete the course. The instructor is required to notify the Director of Student Financial Assistance in the case of the latter.

If the student has unofficially withdrawn (shows zero earned hours at the end of the semester), 50% of the student’s federal student aid for the term is considered unearned and may result in a reduction of federal aid. However, when Marshall University can document attendance or participation beyond the 60% point in the semester, the student may be able to retain 100% of his/her federal student aid under these circumstances.


The financial aid office must consider the following exemptions below when determining if a student must go through the Return to Title IV calculation.  If none are met, then the student must go through the Return to Title IV calculation.

  1. The student totally withdrew but completed all requirements for graduation.
  2. The student successfully completed Title IV-eligible coursework in one module or combination of modules that equals 49% or more of the number of countable days in the payment period or period of enrollment.  Successful completion means the student earned a passing grade D or higher.  A module is a course that does not span the entire length of the payment period.  For example, our 1st 8 weeks and 2nd 8-week courses are considered modules.
  3. The student successfully completed Title IV-eligible coursework equal to or greater than what the school considers to be half-time enrollment for the payment period or period of enrollment.

Treatment of Title IV (Federal) Aid for Total Withdrawal

When the student ceases to be enrolled prior to completing 60% of the semester or financial aid payment period, the Office of Student Financial Assistance applies the Federal Return of Title IV funds formula to determine whether any federal and state financial aid must be returned.

Refund Calculation

The Federal Return of Title IV formula is calculated as follows:

Total # of Days Student Completes Until Withdrawal ÷ Total # of Days in the Semester/Term=% of completed days

This formula determines the percentage of the semester completed, which is the same percentage of earned financial aid.

Example:  25 (days completed) ÷ 100 (days in semester) = 25% (% of days completed)

25% (earned) x $5,500 (aid paid to student) = $1375 (amount of aid earned)

If the percentage is greater than 60%, the student earns 100% of the disbursed Title IV funds or aid that could have been disbursed. If this percentage is less than 60%, then the percentage earned is equal to the calculated value. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution would be required to return a portion of the funds and the student may be required to return a portion of the funds. All Title IV funds that the institution must return will be made no later than 45 calendar days after the date the school determines that the student withdrew.

Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula:

(100% of the Aid That Could be Disbursed – % of Earned Aid) X Total Amount of Aid That Could Have Been Disbursed

Order of Return of Title IV

If a student earned less financial aid than was disbursed, Marshall University is required to return the unearned portion of the financial aid to the respective federal student aid programs.

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan received on behalf of the student
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  6. Federal SEOG Grant
  7. Federal TEACH Grant

Outstanding Balance Created

In some cases, the withdrawn student may be required to return all or a portion of the federal funds disbursed even when the funds are refunded to the student. This results in liability due to the university. The Bursar’s Office will send a notification to the student notifying them of this liability. They will then need to contact the Bursar’s Office to arrange payment to take care of the liability. The  Bursar’s Office can be reached at bursar@marshall.edu or 304-696-6620. Further information about this office is located at www.marshall.edu/bursar

If the student (or parent in the case of PLUS Loan) is required to return a portion or all of the loan proceeds, the calculated amount would not have to be returned through this calculation but would be repaid according to the loan’s terms.  Contact your loan servicer for repayment options. 

Title IV Credit Balance

If a student has earned more Title IV funds than their balance to the university, this is a Title IV Credit Balance. Marshall University is required to pay the balance directly to the student or parent as soon as possible but no later than 14 days after the balance occurred if the credit balance occurred after the first day of class of that payment period; or 14 days after the first day of class of a payment period if the credit balance occurred on or before the first days of class of that payment period.

Post Withdrawal Disbursements

If you did not receive all of the funds that you have earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Student Financial Aid Assistance Office will notify the student or parent that they have 14 calendar days from the date of the notification to accept a post withdrawal disbursement. The institution may use a portion or all of your post- withdrawal disbursement funds for tuition and fees. For all other school charges, Marshall University needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal disbursement. If you do not give permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school. If a response is not received from the student or parent within the allowed time frame or the student declines the funds, we will return any earned funds that the school is holding to the appropriate Title IV program. Post-withdrawal disbursements will occur within 90 days of the date that the student withdrew.


In some cases, a student may owe back an overpayment on their aid. Marshall University’s Financial Aid Office will reach out by paper notification to the student’s permanent mailing address. Students have 45 days to resolve the overpayment with the school. If not resolved, this overpayment is then reported to the Department of Education. Resolution of this now requires the student to contact the Department of Education at the following:

U.S. Department of Education-Collections
P.O. Box 5609
Greenville, TX 75403-5609
1 (800) 621-3115

Loan Exit Counseling

Exit counseling is required for all student federal loan borrowers who have withdrawn, are graduating, or have dropped below half-time status.  It will take about 30 minutes to complete.  Click here to complete.

Students are encouraged to consult with a Financial Aid Counselor to receive information about the full implications of withdrawing from the University.