Losing Aid

There are several rules that govern a student's eligibility for financial aid funds. Listed below are some of the reasons a student would lose financial aid.

  1. Enroll in ineligible courses/programs. Not all courses qualify for financial assistance. Cosmetology Teacher, Real Estate, and non-credit course are examples of courses that do not qualify for financial aid.
  2. Fail to attend class. Attendance is required. Aid cannot be paid for courses the student does not attend. Students are responsible for tuition and fees for the course(s) even if they fail to attend.
  3. Audit Classes. Courses taken as audit do not qualify for financial aid.
  4. Do not complete course(s) successfully. If the student does not maintain the minimum required GPA, or fails or withdraws from courses, they could jeopardize the opportunity to receive financial aid. (See Satisfactory Academic Progress.)
  5. Students who withdraw from all courses prior to the eleventh week of the semester, or do not complete any courses successfully for the semester may be required to repay a portion of the financial aid funds received for that semester known as Return of Title IV.  Students can avoid repayment if they remain in attendance in at least one course through the eleventh week of the semester.   The last date to attend is posted on campus.

Return of Title IV (Federal) Aid Policy

The federal government has established a Return of Title IV Funds policy. Financial aid is awarded contingent upon attending classes for the term and successful completion of the semester. If student fails to do this, they may be responsible for repaying part or all of financial aid.

A student receiving federal financial aid (Title IV Funds) may have financial aid adjusted based on the date of official or unofficial withdraw. Title IV Funds consists of Federal Family Education Loans (Federal Direct Loans), Federal PELL Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

If a Title IV recipient withdraws from Sandburg after beginning attendance, the Financial Aid Office must calculate the amount of aid the student can keep using the federal refund formula.  Based on this calculation, all or a portion of funds received may be returned.  The funds are returned to the appropriate federal student aid programs as specified in federal regulations.

Official and Unofficial Withdrawals

A student is considered to have withdrawn if they do not complete all of the days scheduled to complete within the semester. If a student does not complete at least one course that goes through the latest end date of the courses on their schedule, they will be considered to have withdrawn and a return calculation will be performed.

There are two types of withdrawals: official withdrawals OR unofficial withdrawals.

A student is considered to have officially withdrawn when they follow the college’s defined process to withdraw from classes. A complete withdrawal is defined as dropping all classes for a given semester.


A student’s official withdrawal date is defined as:


A.     The date the student signs and turns into the registration office a drop form OR


B.     The date the registration office receives a written letter, fax or email from the student requesting to be                              withdrawn from all classes OR


C.     The date a student phones the registration office requesting to be withdrawn from all classes.


A student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn when:


A.     The student does not complete the official withdrawal process AND


B.     All of the student’s instructors report that the student is no longer attending classes. Students who stop                         attending will be given a grade of F and the last date of student activity is reported. 

Consequences for Withdrawal and Financial Aid 

A student, who officially withdraws, earns aid based on the number of calendar days they attended. Earned aid is calculated from the beginning for the semester until the official withdrawal date, up to the point that 60% of the semester has passed. (Scheduled breaks that are at least five days long are excluded from determining the percentage of the term completed.) After the 60% point, all aid is considered earned.

The Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed according to federal regulations by taking the “9th” calendar day of the term that the student officially withdraws divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester.

The time-frame for the 60% point of the semester may differ for students enrolled in shortened sessions and/or summer school.

For unofficial withdrawals, the Return of Title IV Funds calculation will be performed according to federal regulations by using the mid-point of the semester (50% point) unless the financial aid office is able to document attendance beyond the midpoint of the semester (excluding breaks of 5 days or longer).


Procedure for Repaying

Students will be notified of the amount owed by the Business Office.  Students must return unearned grant aid owed to the USDOE within 45 days of notification.  Failure by the student to return or arrange to return unearned grant aid to the college within 45 days will result in the student being reported to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The student will be considered in an overpayment status, and will not be eligible for additional aid at any post-secondary institution participating in Title IV Aid programs.  Students who owe an overpayment to the institution, may not receive further financial aid disbursements, may not enroll for future terms, may lose some or all of the aid that has already been disbursed to their account and may be responsible for repayment of unpaid charges.