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Return to Title IV Funds and Withdrawal Policy

Pace University is required by the Higher Education Act to recalculate the eligibility for Federal Title IV financial aid for students who cease to be enrolled (100% withdrawal) prior to the end of a period of enrollment; whether they officially withdraw, drop out, stop attending, are dismissed, or take a leave of absence or a medical leave of absence.

  • These requirements do not apply to a student who does not begin attendance or when a student has a change in enrollment (drops from 12 credits to 9 credits).

Federal regulations specify how Pace University must calculate the amount of Title IV program assistance (loans and grants) that a students has earned as of the date they withdrew from Pace University. A medical leave of absence to not exclude a student from this calculation.

When a student withdraws during the semester, the amount of Title IV program assistance that a student has earned up to the point of withdrawal is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if a student completes 30% of the period of enrollment, the student will earn 30% of the assistance that they were originally scheduled to receive. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the period of enrollment, the student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds they were scheduled to receive during the period.

The Title IV programs covered by this law and are available at Pace University are listed below in the order in which the law specifies they must be returned:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans (other than Direct PLUS loans)
  • Direct Subsidized Stafford loans
  • Direct PLUS loans (parent or graduate)
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant for which a return is required.
  • FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) for which a return of funds is required.
  • If all the funds the student earned were not yet disbursed to the student's account before the student withdrew, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement.

    Grant Funds: If your disbursement includes grant funds, the Financial Aid Office will use them to cover any remaining tuition, fees, and room and board charges at the University.

    Loan Funds: If your disbursement includes loan funds, the Financial Aid Office will notify you (and your parent for a PLUS loan). You then have 14 days to complete any outstanding requirements and must provide written confirmation that you accept or decline the loan funds.

    • If you respond and give permission within 14 days, the Financial Aid Office will disburse the loan funds to cover outstanding charges.
    • If you decline or approve only part of the loan, the eligible funds will be canceled or reduced accordingly.

    If you don't respond promptly or complete outstanding requirements, the loan funds will be canceled.

  • A student’s withdrawal date depended on the type of withdrawal – official or unofficial. An official withdrawal is the date the student began the institution’s withdrawal process. In order to officially withdraw from classes, a student must withdraw via their Pace portal, or file for withdrawal with the Registrar's Office. For a student who leaves without notifying the institution (unofficial withdrawal), the withdrawal date will be determined by the midpoint of the period or the student´s last date of attendance of academic engagement. Academic engagement would include:

    • Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
    • Submitting an academic assignment;
    • Taking an assessment or an exam;
    • Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
    • Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution; or
    • Interacting with an instructor about academic matters.

    Academically related activities do NOT include activities where a student may be present but not academically engaged, such as:

    Living in institutional housing, participating in the school’s meal plan, logging into an online class or tutorial without any further participation, or participating in academic counseling or advisement.

There are some Title IV funds that a student may be scheduled to receive that must be canceled once the student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, the 2nd disbursement of a loan may not be disbursed after the student withdraws below half-time (6 credits).

If the excess Title IV funds were disbursed to the student's account and must be returned according to the required Return to Title IV Funds calculation required by law, the Financial Aid office must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  • The student’s institutional charges (tuition, fees, room and board) multiplied by the unearned percentage of the funds, or
  • The entire amount of excess funds.

The Financial Aid office must return this amount even if the student (or parent) received a refund of some or all of these funds before the student withdrew.

If the University is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student (or parent for PLUS loans) is required to return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that must be returned, may be repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. This means that the student (or parent) would not have to do anything special except ensure that required loan payments are made on time. Any amount of unearned grant funds that must be returned would be called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student would have to repay is half of the grant funds the received or was scheduled to receive; but only if the overpayment is more than $50. Students who owe overpayments will be informed by the Financial Aid office.

  • Students may withdraw from classes via the Pace Portal or by visiting, calling or writing to the Office of the Registrar. The withdrawal date is the date Pace University determines the student either began the withdrawal process, or the date the student provided official notification to Pace University, in writing or orally, of their intent to withdraw.

    If a student does not officially drop or withdraw from a course, but stops attending the course prior to completing the coursework, that student is considered to have Unofficially Withdrawn from that course. Students who unofficially withdraw from all courses in a semester will be assumed to have withdrawn as of the student's last date of attendance at an academically-related activity that is documented by Pace University or at the midpoint (50%). This date will be used when the Financial Aid office performs the Return to Title VI Funds calculation.

    Students should note that all four Summer terms (May, Summer 1, Summer 2 and August) are treated as one Summer semester for financial aid purposes. Students who enroll in multiple Summer terms and who withdraw from or fail to begin attendance in a Summer term may be considered to be Withdrawn from the Summer even if the student remains registered for a later summer term. Students in this situation who do intend to attend the later summer term must confirm their intent to attend in writing to the Financial Aid office.

Students should note that the requirements for the treatment of Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from the University’s Refund Policy and from policies that apply to institutional and New York state financial aid programs. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. In addition, reductions in Title IV aid on the student’s account that are required by the Return to Title IV Funds calculation may have to be repaid to the University.

Learn more about Pace University’s Tuition Cancellation and Refund & Repayment Policy (covering other types of financial aid and partial withdrawals).

Financial Aid recipients who are considering withdrawing from a semester are strongly encouraged to discuss their situation with their advisor to ensure that they are making the best decision for themselves academically. Such students are also encouraged to discuss their plans with a Financial Aid counselor to ensure that they understand the impact of withdrawing on their financial aid. Students who are considering withdrawing and who have borrowed federal Stafford and/or PLUS loans are encouraged to review Federal Student Aid Exit Counseling.