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The federal government mandates that if you withdraw from all of your classes, you only keep the financial aid you have “earned” up to the time of withdrawal. If you drop your classes before they are 60% completed, you may be required to repay a portion of your federal aid. If Title IV funds were disbursed in excess of the earned amount, they must be returned by Motlow State or by you to the federal government. This situation could result in you owing federal aid funds to Motlow State, the government, or both.

When you withdraw from all classes, Motlow will determine the actual amount of federal aid you earned while attending your classes. Motlow divides the number of calendar days you attended classes by the total number of calendar days in your semester (less scheduled breaks of 5 days or more). The result determines the amount of aid you have earned up to the time of withdrawal.

The resulting percentage is multiplied by the total federal funds disbursed to you for the semester. The calculation determines the amount of aid you earned, which you may keep. The unearned amount (total aid disbursed less the earned amount) must be returned to the federal government by Motlow or by you. Motlow will notify you in your student email account if you are required to repay any of your federal funds. 

Federal funds that may be affected by 100% withdrawal:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal student loans (Motlow State does not participate in loans)
  • Federal SEOG grant. Financial aid returned (by Motlow State and/or by you)

The funds are allocated in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Student Loan (Motlow does not participate)
  2. Federal Subsidized Student Loan (Motlow does not participate)
  3. Federal PLUS (Parent) Loan (Motlow does not participate)
  4. Federal Pell Grant
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  6. any other applicable programs

Any refunds calculated for students who received financial assistance from sources other than Federal Title IV funds will be refunded according to each source’s policy.

If you withdraw before your federal aid is paid, you may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. If that is the case, the Financial Aid Office will be notified of your withdrawal. It will determine if you are subject to a Post Withdrawal Disbursement (PWD). The Business Office will issue a check or EFT to you if a credit balance results from a PWD.

Timeframe for the return of title IV funds.

Motlow State must return the amount of title IV funds for which it is responsible as a result of the Return to Title IV calculation as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew officially.

Since Motlow State is not required to take attendance, it must determine the withdrawal date for a student who withdraws without providing notification to the institution no later than 30 days after the end of the earlier of the:

  1. Payment period or period of enrollment, as appropriate;
  2. Academic year in which the student withdrew; or
  3. Educational program from which the student withdrew.


Courses offered in mini-terms within a semester are treated as modules. All modules must be completed without an official or unofficial withdrawal to maintain eligibility for financial aid awards for the semester. Dropping or withdrawing from mini-terms may result in financial aid funds having to be returned by the student for the entire semester.

Students who stop attending any or all classes before the end of the term are considered withdrawn unofficially and will be assigned a withdrawal date based on their documented last date of engagement in the class(es).

Students who drop or withdraw from one or more of their classes may fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP), resulting in ineligibility for financial aid in the future.

Return to Title IV (R2T4) Calculation Examples:

Example # 1:

A student withdraws on the 30th day of the term, which is 120 days in length. The student has completed 25% of the term and thus is only eligible for 25% of the federal financial aid awarded for that term. Therefore, Motlow must return 75% of the federal aid originally retained by the College to satisfy the student’s institutional fees. As a result, the student will receive a billing statement from the Motlow Business Office for that portion of the fees no longer covered by federal financial aid. Students are not required to make repayments of fifty dollars or less.

In addition, the student is required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid received for personal and living expenses for the term. The initial amount to be returned in this example is based on a 75% calculation; however, to ease the repayment burden on the student, the following guidelines apply:

The student is required to repay only 50% of the portion of the initial repayment amount that is attributable to Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant funds disbursed directly to the student. The student will be billed for the required amount and must make repayment arrangements with Motlow. Failure to make repayment within thirty days of notification may result in the matter being referred to a debt collection service.

Example # 2 – Modules:

For programs offered in modules/mini-terms (ex. Adult College Express [ACE] program), Federal Title IV regulations require Motlow to recalculate the federal financial aid eligibility for each student who withdraws from the institution if all scheduled modules within a term are not completed.

Within a semester, there are three modules (A, B, C) that span the entire term and are five weeks each, offered consecutively. In the fall semester, the student enrolls in modules A, B, and C. Student completes courses in module A. Student begins Module B and withdraws. At this point, the student is a Title IV withdrawal and a R2T4 calculation must be done. The student’s registration for module C is not enough to override the R2T4 requirement. However, if the school collects written confirmation from the student at the time of the withdrawal from module B that they intend to return for Module C, a R2T4 is not required. If the student returns for Module C and completes the module, no R2T4 is required. If the student does not return for Module C, a R2T4 is done using the withdrawal date from Module B. If the student returns for Module C and then withdraws, a R2T4 is done using the withdrawal date from Module C.

Note that because we are looking at completed days, if the above student was also enrolled in a course that spanned the entire term and completed that course, the withdrawal from the modular courses would not result in a withdrawal for the term. By completing the fifteen-week course, the student has completed all days for which he/she enrolled.

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