Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy

The Return of Aid Policy is employed when a student withdraws from Arizona Christian University. Any student who is officially withdrawn from ACU will have his or her aid package reviewed for the percentage of funding earned based on the rules and regulations set for by the Department of Education. A student can initiate a withdrawal from ACU by contacting his or her Enrollment Management Specialist (EMS) via a phone call, electronic submission, in-person meeting, or someone else authorized to act on the student’s behalf. Upon completion, the Office of Financial Aid has 45 days to complete the review of all federal aid and submit any unearned funding to the student’s lender. Students are required to meet with their assigned Enrollment Management Specialist (EMS) to discuss any outstanding financial obligations.

Federal Return to Title IV Policy: A percentage of Federal aid must be returned to the Title IV program(s) if a student withdraws on or before completing 60% of the semester and/or payment period. The percentage of Title IV aid to be returned is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester/payment period divided by the number of calendar days attended by the student in the semester/payment period. Scheduled breaks of more than five consecutive days are excluded.

Withdrawal (official or unofficial) within a term containing modules (i.e., coursework taken within a term where no courses taken span the entire length of the term) will be subject to modular refund policy.

The calculation of the return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to ACU and/or the Department of Education. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from all classes. If the student completes 60.01% or more, the student earns 100% of aid.

Students who are no longer attending at least six credit hours at the time loan funds are scheduled to be disbursed, are not eligible to receive those funds. The loan will be canceled, and all loan funds returned to the Department of Education.

In accordance with Federal Regulations, when Title IV, HEA financial aid is involved, the calculated amount of the R2T4 funds is returned in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program
  • Federal Direct Parent Loan Program (PLUS)
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
  • Federal TEACH Grants

* Note: If prior to withdrawing, funds were released to a student because of a credit balance on the student’s account, the student may be required to pay a balance to the university upon withdrawal.

Post Withdrawal Disbursements:
If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him or her, the institution would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student’s withdrawal.


Withdrawal Date Determination

Official Withdrawal

  • If a student expresses intent to withdraw from the university, the withdrawal date is the date the student provided notification to the Enrollment Management Specialist.

Unofficial Withdrawal

  • Students who do not notify the university to withdraw are considered unofficial withdrawals. The withdrawal date will be the student’s last day of academic related activity. If a last day of academic related activity can’t be identified, the withdrawal date will be the mid-point of the semester (or payment period).

Withdrawal and Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) Policy

The Return of Title IV policy is to establish the processes for returning federal funds for students who completely withdraw from the institution and/or withdraw from all courses in a given period of enrollment. As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, these students must have a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation performed to determine the percentage of aid earned based on the amount of time the student was enrolled at the Institution.

Federal Financial Aid (Title IV aid) is awarded under the assumption that a student will complete attendance for the entire period of enrollment for which aid was awarded. When a student withdraws from all courses, regardless of the reason, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the federal financial aid originally awarded.  Instead, the student will only be eligible to keep the “earned” portion of the federal financial aid the student received for that term (semester).

Therefore, students who receive federal financial aid and who do not remain in attendance through the end of the term could be responsible for repaying a portion of the financial aid originally received. Federal regulations require a recalculation of financial aid eligibility if a student:

  • Completely withdraws from all classes.
  • Stops attending before the term’s end.
  • Does not complete all parts of the term (modules) in which the student enrolled as of the start date of the period of enrollment/payment period.

Note: ACU’s institution refund policy is separate from the federal R2T4 regulation to return unearned aid.


Online or Module Courses

R2T4 Exemptions

There are three (3) exemptions enacted by the Department of Education that exempt a student from the Return of Title IV calculation process. The September 2, 2020, final rule amended the R2T4 regulations in 34 CFR §668.22 in several areas.

A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the student:

  • Completed the program of study (applies to ALL students).

A student who completes all the requirements for graduation for his or her program before completing the scheduled days in the period is not considered to have withdrawn.

  • Completed half-time enrollment (applies to students in modules ONLY).

The student must successfully complete Title IV-eligible coursework equal to or greater than what the school considers to be half-time enrollment.

  • Completed modules spanning 49% of countable days (applies to students in modules ONLY).

A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the student successfully completes one module or a combination of modules that include 49% or more of the number of countable days in the payment period, excluding scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules.

If a student meets any of the R2T4 exemptions, the student is considered a “completer” and is not considered withdrawn for Title IV purposes.

R2T4 Calculation

Students who receive federal financial aid must remain in their registered classes to “earn” the aid they originally received. The amount of federal aid earned is based on a prorated formula. Students who withdraw, or do not complete all classes in which they were enrolled, may be required to return some of the aid originally awarded to the student. Institutions, in accordance with 34 CFR §668.22, are required to determine the percentage of federal aid “earned” and return the “unearned” portion to the appropriate federal aid programs.

The following explains the formula used to determine the percentage of unearned aid to be returned to the federal government:

  • Number of days completed up to the withdrawal date / the total number of calendar days in the semester/payment period. (Scheduled breaks of five (5) days or more are not included in the total days in the period of enrollment).

The calculation must be performed within 30 days of the date the institution determines that a student has completely withdrawn.

The institution must return the unearned funds within 45 days of the calculation.

When calculating the percentage the student completed in the period of enrollment, if a student attended more than 60% of the period of enrollment, the student is considered to have earned 100% of the Title IV funds.

Students Enrolled in Parts of Term (Modules)

For students that may be enrolled in multiple parts of terms, ACU combines all courses to form a payment period. The R2T4 is calculated based on the parts of terms within the payment period. A student is considered withdrawn if the student does not complete all the days in the payment period that the student was scheduled to complete.

For example, if a student is enrolled in a Fall I course (6 credits) and a Fall II course (6 credits), the student’s payment period is from the date Fall I started to the last date of Fall II. If the student completes Fall I and does not attend the Fall II course, the student will be considered a complete withdrawal. ACU will track enrollment in each part of the term to determine if the student began enrollment in all scheduled courses.

If a student withdraws from a course in a later part of the term while still attending a current part of term, the student is not considered as withdrawn based on not attending the later part of term. However, a recalculation of aid based on the change in enrollment status may be required.

Students who provide written confirmation to the Office of Financial Aid at the time of ceasing attendance in a part of the term, but who plan to attend another course later in the same payment period, are not considered to have withdrawn from the term.

NOTE: Written confirmation of a later class is required; registration alone does not meet the requirement. If the student does not provide written confirmation of plans to return to the university later in the payment period or term, ACU considers the student to have withdrawn and begins the R2T4 process. However, if the student does return in the same term, even if he or she did not provide written confirmation of plans to do so, the student is not considered to have withdrawn and is eligible to receive the Title IV funds for which the student was eligible before ceasing attendance.

Order of Return to Federal Aid Programs

ACU must return Title IV funds to the financial aid programs from which the student received aid during the payment period/semester, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  7. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Loan Repayment Information

The loan grace period begins on the withdrawal date from the institution or when a student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. If the student does not re-enroll as a half-time student within six (6) months of withdrawal, or enrolls at less than half-time, the loan(s) enters repayment. The promissory note signed by the borrower outlines the repayment obligations. The student should contact his or her loan servicer to make repayment arrangements.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD)

A Post-Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD) may be required if the total amount of the Title IV aid earned as of the withdrawal date is more than the amount that was disbursed to the student (e.g., in the case where a student withdraws prior to the first disbursement date of the term).

To be eligible to receive a PWD, a student must have a complete financial aid file (verification completed and all tracking requirements satisfied) and meet all eligibility requirements.

  • Grants from a PWD may be credited to the student’s school account without obtaining student permission; however, it may only be credited for tuition, fees, and room and board (if the student contracts with the school) or disbursed directly to the student. ACU must obtain the student’s authorization to credit a student’s school account for charges other than current charges.
  • The university must obtain confirmation from the student, or from a parent, for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, before making any disbursement of loan funds. Also, for a Direct Loan, the institution must have originated the loan prior to the withdrawal. All terms of repayment apply as outlined in the master promissory note.

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Contact the Office of Admissions at (602) 489-5300