Return of Federal Student Aid

How the Return of Federal Student Aid is Calculated

Federal student aid is provided to students on a term-by-term basis to make progress towards a degree or eligible certificate program. Students have the responsibility of attending and being academically engaged in their courses in order to earn all of their aid.

Federal regulations mandate that all institutions return certain amounts of unearned aid to the Department of Education. If a student never attends classes, stops attending classes, or officially withdraws from all classes during the term, the College calculates the amount of unearned aid and returns it to the appropriate program, i.e. Pell, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, etc.

For example: a student enrolls full time for fall semester and receives $2500 of federal student aid.

Fall semester has 112 calendar days. The student officially withdraws from all classes on the 56th calendar day of the term. The student earns 50% of the $2500 ($1250). The other 50% has to be returned to the aid program.

This may create an outstanding balance owed to Terra State Community College. Students are responsible for repaying this liability to the College Cashier’s Office. Please note that students cannot appeal any charges related to the return of federal aid as withdrawing is a decision made by the student and returning unearned aid is required law.

It is recommended that federal student aid recipients consult with a financial aid advisor prior to withdrawing from classes. Students should contact their instructors to discuss current progress and possible solutions to academic challenges. Students are also encouraged to visit the Academic Service Center to seek out free services for help in developing proficiencies in weak academic areas.