Returning of Title IV Funds

You may be required to return Title IV Fund after withdrawing from CMC during a semester

Returning Title IV Funds

The law specifies how a school must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that a student has earned if s/he withdraws from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans, PLUS Direct Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs).

When you withdraw during your payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you receive (or your school or parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by the school and/or you.

The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a prorated basis. For example, if you completed 30 percent of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn 30 percent of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.

If you did not receive all the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, CMC must get your permission before disbursing them.

You may choose to decline some or all loan funds to avoid incurring additional debt. Colorado Mountain College can automatically use all or a portion of your post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and room and board charges (if contracted with the school). CMC needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give permission, you will be offered the funds. It may, however, be in your best interest to allow Colorado Mountain College to use those funds to reduce any debt remaining on your student account.

Once you withdraw from all classes, there are some Title IV funds that cannot be disbursed because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time borrower and have not completed the first 30 days of your program before withdrawal, you will not receive any Direct loan funds you would otherwise have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.

If you receive (or your school or parent receives on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, your school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:

  1. Your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
  2. The entire amount of excess funds.

The amount calculated as “owed by the school” must be returned. This may create a balance due on the student account which will become a debt owed to Colorado Mountain College.

The formula also determines if a student must repay federal grant funds. If so, you have 45 days to repay the required amount or make satisfactory arrangements to repay. Any student who does not meet this requirement will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education and will become ineligible for federal student aid at any school in the country.

Any loan funds (including parent PLUS loans) owed by the student as the result of withdrawal are repaid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make the scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time. Once you withdraw, your 6 month grace period (if applicable) begins and you will be required to commence repayment on the debt after the grace period has expired.

Any amount of unearned grant funds that you must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that you must repay is half of federal grant funds received or were scheduled to receive. You must make arrangements with your school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds within 45 days as noted above.


Withdrawal Date

For an official withdrawal, the effective withdrawal date is the first date of notification by the student to Academic Records and Registration.

If a student that does not follow the official withdrawal procedure and subsequently it is determined that the student is an unofficial withdrawal (due to the student failing and/or failing and withdrawing from all classes), the effective withdrawal date must be determined on a case by case basis.

CMC may use a last date of attendance at an academically related activity for the effective withdrawal date if the last date a student attended class or submitted coursework is verified by an employee at CMC who has sufficient knowledge of a student’s academic participation, or if there is an emergency situation (death, incapacitation, etc.) and there is third party documentation that verifies a student has not academically participated. In the case of unofficial withdrawals, CMC does not accept a student’s self-reported last date of attendance.

Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines a student’s withdrawal and to process the actual return of funds within 45 days of the student’s withdrawal.


Title IV Fund Repayment Order

A school must return Title IV funds to the programs from which the student received aid during the payment period or period of enrollment if applicable, in the following order, up to the net amount disbursed from each source.

  1. Unsubsidized Direct loans (other than PLUS loans)
  2. Subsidized Direct loans
  3. Direct PLUS loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)


The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from the Colorado Mountain College refund policy. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges.

You can find the CMC refund policy at: Administrative Withdrawal/CMC Catalog.

Requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from Colorado Mountain College can be found here in the Online Catalog.

If you have questions about your Title IV program funds, visit Student Aid on the Web at