Financial Aid

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

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Overview and Applicability

Title IV funds (Federal Student Aid) are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period (term) for which the assistance is awarded. A student must begin attendance in his or her classes to establish eligibility for those awarded funds. When a student withdraws or stops attending classes, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds he or she was originally scheduled to receive.

U.S Federal Regulations determine how Title IV funds are handled when a recipient of those funds completely withdraws from or ceases attendance at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo) prior to the end of an enrollment period. As a result of the complete withdrawal, a Return to Title IV (R2T4) Funds calculation will be completed. This calculation is based on a pro-rated schedule which determines the amount of Title IV funding the student earned before he or she either stopped attending or completely withdrew from classes. If the student completely withdraws or stops attending prior to completing at least 60% of the term, he or she will be required to return the unearned portion of their Title IV funding.

There are situations where a R2T4 calculation is not required. When a student:

  • Continues to attend at least one Title IV eligible course
  • Did not receive, and is not eligible to receive an Title IV aid
  • Has only received, or is eligible to receive only Federal Work-Study funds
  • Is determined to have never began attendance in any Title IV eligible classes

Types of Withdrawals

There are two types of withdrawals. Both types are treated the same for R2T4 calculation purposes.

  • Official Withdrawal: A student who completes the process of withdrawing from all classes online or via the UH Hilo Complete Withdrawal Form (PDF) is considered to have ‘officially withdrawn’.
  • Unofficial Withdrawal: A student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn if he or she ceases attendance prior to the end of the term and does not earn any passing grades (fails all classes). Grades of F, W, I, NC, and NG are considered non-passing. will be reviewed to determine if the failure was due to not attending class.

Definition of Attendance

Attendance is defined as participation in any academically related activity. Academically related activities include but are not limited to: submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or quiz; completing an interactive tutorial or participation in computer assisted instruction; attending a study group; participating in an online discussion about academic matters; initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Last Date of Attendance (LDA)

The last date of attendance in each class is provided by the instructor (based on the definition above) and indicates the student’s last documented participation. For Official Withdrawals, the instructor is asked to verify (1) if the student began attendance in the class and (2) when was the last date of attendance or participation. For Unofficial Withdrawals, the LDA is provided when the instructor submits the non-passing grade. The latest date provided is used as the ‘LDA’ in the R2T4 calculation.

The R2T4 Process

Based on the last date of attendance and the number of days in the term, the following equation is used to calculate the percentage of the term the student completed:

Number of Days Attended / Number of Days in the Term = Percentage of Term Completed

The calculated percentage, along with the student’s institutional charges (e.g. tuition, fees, on-campus housing, meal plans, etc.) are used in the R2T4 calculation to determine how much unearned aid needs to be returned to appropriate Title IV programs. Aid programs that are included in the calculation are as follows:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
  • Direct Grad PLUS
  • Direct Parent PLUS
  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Unearned aid is returned and the student is sent a notification to inform them that the calculation was completed. Students are instructed to login to their MyUH Services account to view the outstanding balance (if any) that the return of unearned funds resulted in.