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Return of Title IV Financial Aid Policy

Students who receive need-based aid, and do not complete any coursework because of all “F”, “W” “I” grades, or combination of these grades, may be required to pay back a percentage of their Title IV financial aid.

 Title IV funds at Fort Lewis College include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG),
  • Federal Perkins Loan,
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan,
  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  • Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan

No-Show Policy

Students who do not attend classes are ineligible for financial aid. Any financial aid they received must be repaid. Students who do not attend, but fail to officially withdraw from classes prior to the published drop or census date will be held responsible for tuition, fees and/or book charges, and repayment of all financial aid for the term, according to the college refund policy.

Dropping Classes in Fall and Spring Terms

If a student drops a class prior to the end of the add/drop period, it may or may not affect the student’s financial aid. Students should consult their financial aid counselor prior to dropping one or more classes.

Dropping Classes (Modules) in Summer Term

During the summer term, Fort Lewis College offers courses that may have different starting and ending dates. These courses are known as “modules”. A student’s aid for summer is calculated on their summer enrollment form, which outlines the modules they are enrolled in. 

A student who drops future modules between modules that he or she was scheduled to attend is considered to have withdrawn because: (1) the student has not completed all the days in the payment period that he or she was scheduled to complete; and (2) his or her Title IV aid was based on attendance in all the modules he or she was originally scheduled to attend, UNLESS the student is also enrolled in a course(s) that spans the entire summer term they are completing.

Unless a student provides written confirmation of future attendance in a module(s) within the summer term, a student who drops all the future modules during the time he or she is between modules that he or she was scheduled to attend is considered to have withdrawn, and a Return of Title IV Funds calculation is required. If the student provides written confirmation for future attendance within the summer term, and does not return, they will be subject to the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.


What happens if a student officially or unofficially withdraws from their courses, is dismissed, or receives all “F” “W” “I” grades, or combination of these grades?

  •  The institution is required to calculate a Return of Federal Student Aid Funds for students who received federal aid, but withdrew (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60 percent attendance point in the semester.
  • The calculation 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.
  • Until the 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, unless the student receives all “F” grades. In this case, it would be up to the student to prove that they earned their “F” grades by showing that they continued to go to class,  and/or took final exams to avoid being subject to the Return of Title IV Funds.  
  • Students enrolled in a summer course that spans the entire term, in addition to being enrolled in modules, who receive all “F” grades,  will have to prove that they earned their “F” grades by showing that they continued to go to class and/or took their final exam, to avoid being subject to the return of Title IV aid.  If a student is not taking a course that spans the entire summer term, but instead is enrolled in individual modules, and receives an “F” grade in any individual module, he or she could be subject to the Return of Title IV aid, unless the student can demonstrate that he or she earned the “F” grade.   
  • The Federal “Return of Title IV Funds” formula dictates the amount of Federal Title IV aid that must be returned to the federal government by the school and/or the student.
  • The unearned portion of federal student aid funds will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). The funds are returned in the following order:
    • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan
    • Federal Perkins Loan
    • Federal PLUS Loan
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal SEOG Grant
  • If, due to the withdrawal calculation, the student owes the federal government a portion of the loans or grants received at the beginning of the semester, the college will automatically pay this to the government on the student’s behalf. If it results in an account balance, these charges will then appear on the bill the student will receive from the Accounting Office.
  • Students who stop attending all classes without officially withdrawing will be processed as an unofficial withdrawal from the college for that semester. The return of federal student aid calculation will be performed based on the withdrawal date/last date of attendance as determined by the college. If a date cannot be determined the calculation will be based on 50%.
  • Students will be informed by the Office of Financial Aid how much aid and the type of aid that has been returned.
  • Students will be informed of any balance due and the deadline for repayment by the Fort Lewis College Accounting Office.
  • The college’s refund policy and Return of Title IV Funds procedures are independent of one another. The link listed below outlines the percentage that will be used to calculate the student’s tuition and fees based on the date the student withdrawals from school. The Return of Title IV Funds calculation uses the charges assessed to the student by the college.

Please note: A student must repay these funds if the amount owed by the student is at least $25. Failure to repay requires the college to report the student to the U. S. Department of Education causing ineligibility for future Title IV funds at any educational institution.

How to determine whether a student in a program offered in modules has withdrawn

The Office of Financial Aid can determine whether a student enrolled in a series of modules is a withdrawal by asking the following questions.

1) After beginning attendance in the payment period or period of enrollment, did the student cease to attend or fail to begin attendance in a course he or she was scheduled to attend? If the answer is no, this is not a withdrawal. If the answer is yes, go to question 2.

2) When the student ceased to attend or failed to begin attendance in a course he or she was scheduled to at­tend, was the student still attending any other courses? If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal; however, other regulatory provisions concerning recalculation may apply. If the answer is no, go to question 3.

3) Did the student confirm attendance in a course in a module beginning later in the period (for non-term and nonstandard term programs, this must be no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module the student ceased attending)? If the answer is yes, this is not a withdrawal, unless the student does not return. If the answer is no, this is a withdrawal and the Return of Title IV Funds require­ments apply.

 How do I remain eligible for federal student aid during the semester?

  • To remain eligible for federal student aid during the semester, the student must be attending classes, taking exams, and completing required course work.

 How are a student’s tuition and fees assessed if they officially withdrawal?
The tuition and fees refund policy set by Fort Lewis College is separate from the federal regulation to repay unearned aid. Whether or not you received a tuition/fee refund has no bearing on the amount you must repay to the federal aid programs.

The tuition and fee refund rates, for official withdrawals, can be viewed in the Fort Lewis College refund policy.

* The Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College reserves the right to change any fee at any time without formal notice whenever conditions warrant such a change. To be eligible to receive the reduction in tuition and fees according to this schedule, the official withdrawal must be completed using WEBOPUS prior to midnight on the Sunday of the week indicated, with the exception of Census Date deadlines.