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Student Financial Aid Refund Policy

Any student withdrawing, or planning to withdraw, or who stops attending class must consult with the Financial Aid Office on any charges that are to be repaid or refunded. (Students must attend beyond the 60% point of each term to be exempt from repayments).

A student is considered a total withdrawal if the student ceases attendance in all courses at any point prior to completing the module, unless the student submits written confirmation to the school at the time of the withdrawal that he/she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment.

The last date of attendance is used in the refund calculation. This date is determined by the method of withdrawal. If the student officially withdraws, the last date of attendance is the date the student notified the school of their withdrawal. If a student stops attending without notification (unofficial withdrawal) the student’s instructor will notify the school of the student’s withdrawal by completing a withdrawal form and indicating the student’s last date of attendance or by indicating the last date of attendance when final grades are turned in. If a student is expelled, the last date of attendance is the date of expulsion.

In order for a student to officially withdraw themselves from school, he/she must complete a Student Withdrawal Form. This form can be found online at www.clevelandcc.edu or in Student Services and must be returned to the Student Services Department before the deadline.

CCC enforces a fair and equitable refund policy that follows mandated federal, state, and institutional requirements. The refund policy for Financial Aid students is different than the College’s "Curriculum Tuition Refund" Policy as stated in the "Financial Information" section of the Academic Bulletin & Student Handbook.

Financial Aid Federal Refund Calculation

  • Drops before first day of the term equals 100% refund
  • Withdraws on or before the 60% point of the semester, student may owe an overpayment to CCC and/or the Department of Education.
  • Withdraws after the 60% point of the semester, student has earned 100% of financial assistance and does not owe any overpayment.

There are five steps that need to be followed in determining a refund or overpayment:

  1. Determine the percentage of the semester the student attended before withdrawing.
  2. Determine the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student based on the percentage of time of enrollment.
  3. Compare the amount earned by the student to the amount disbursed or could have been disbursed to the student. If less aid was disbursed than was earned, the student may receive a post-withdrawal disbursement for the difference. If more aid was disbursed than was earned, determine the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned to the Department of Education.
  4. Allocate the responsibility for returning the unearned aid between the school (CCC) and the student.
  5. Distribute the unearned aid back to the Title IV programs either by the institution or the student.

The amount of assistance a student earns is calculated on a pro-rata basis. For example, if a student completed 40% of the semester, the student would have earned 40% of the financial assistance they were scheduled to receive.

Program funds included in the federal refund calculation are:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Funds are returned in the above order.

Each student who owes an overpayment to the Department of Education will be notified by mail within 30 days of the determination of withdrawal date. Students have 45 days after the student last attended to repay the funds to the institution or Department of Education. If payment is not received within 45 days, the overpayment will be referred to the Department of Education for collection. The school will return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of determination.

If a student has an overpayment (monies that must be paid back) and fails to repay that amount to the institution and/or Department of Education, the student loses eligibility for all Title IV program funds. The only way to regain eligibility is to make satisfactory arrangements with the institution and/or Department of Education.

All institutional charges will be subject to the refund policy. These charges include tuition, fees, equipment, books, or supplies issued to the student. The only excludable cost of institutional charges are the documented cost of un-returnable equipment, and documented cost of returnable equipment if not returned in good condition within 20 days of the students’ withdrawal. That is to say, students who purchased equipment/books/supplies from financial aid sources must return the items in good condition to the Financial Aid Office within 20 days of withdrawal.

In addition to receiving a notification from the Financial Aid Office concerning an overpayment to the Department of Education, a student may also receive notification from the Business Office at CCC concerning payments owed to the College. Students may owe the College additional funds if financial assistance was used in paying for tuition, fees, equipment, books, or supplies during the semester the student withdrew from all classes.

Financial Aid State Refund Calculation

  • Withdraws (Drops) before first day of the term equals 100% refund.
  • Withdraws on or before the 35% point of the semester, student may owe an overpayment to CCC and/or the State of North Carolina.
  • Withdraws after the 35% point of the semester, student has earned 100% of financial assistance and does not owe any overpayment.

The steps to determining a refund or overpayment is the same as the Federal Refund Calculation.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements

If a student has received less aid than they earned, he/she may be eligible for a Post-Withdrawal Disbursement. If a student is eligible for this disbursement, the school will notify the student in writing of the amount they are eligible. The student will have 14 days to accept or decline the disbursement. If an acceptance is not received within this timeframe, the institution will not make the Post-Withdrawal Disbursement to the student. The disbursement will be made within 45 days.

Any student withdrawing or anticipating withdrawal should consult with the Financial Aid Department for information on any charges that are to be refunded or repaid.

Examples:

Example 1: A student is scheduled to complete four courses which span over the entire payment period. The student begins attendance in all courses, but ceases to attend all courses one at a time. The student ceased attending all courses by the fourth week of the payment period. The student is a withdrawal because he/she ceased to attend all courses he/she was scheduled to attend before the 60 percent point of the term.

Example 2: A student is scheduled to complete two courses in each of the first two of three modules within a payment period. The student begins attendance in both courses in the first module, but ceases to attend both courses after just a few days and does not confirm that he/she will return to any courses in modules two or three. The student is a withdrawal because he/she ceased to attend courses he/she was scheduled to attend before the 60 percent point of the term.

Example 3: A student is scheduled to complete three courses which span over the entire payment period. The student begins attendance in all courses, but ceases to attend all courses two weeks before the payment period ended. The student is a withdrawal because he/she ceased to attend all he/she was scheduled to attend, but will not be responsible for returning Title IV funds because he/she ceased attending after the 60 percent point of the term.