The law specifies how SCC must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that you earn if you withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, Stafford Loans, and PLUS Loans.
When you withdraw during your payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that you have earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned by SCC and/or you. If you received (or SCC or your parent received on your behalf) less assistance than the amount that you earned, you may be able to receive those additional funds.
For credit hour programs, the percentage of the period that you remained enrolled is determined by dividing the number of days you attended by the number of days in the entire semester. Calendar days are used in the determination of percentages and breaks of 5 consecutive days or longer are excluded in the calculations. For clock-hour programs, the hours you were scheduled to complete in the days attended are used in determination of percentages. They are divided by total number of clock hours in the payment period.
The amount of assistance that you have earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if you completed only 30% of your payment period or period of enrollment, you earn only 30% of the assistance you were originally scheduled to receive. Once you have completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, you earn all the assistance that you were scheduled to receive for that period.
If the amount of Title IV funds disbursed is greater than the amount of Title IV funds you earned, a return of Title IV funds is necessary. Both SCC and you may be responsible for returning a percentage of the unearned aid. Any percentage of unearned aid returned by SCC resulting from your withdrawal from all courses will be reflected on your account as a debt owed to SCC. You must pay all debt owed to the College in order to return in subsequent terms. The College will begin North Carolina Community College System collection procedures immediately.
If you wish to withdraw from a course, you may do so by contacting your faculty advisor. If you do not complete the official withdrawal process but stop attending all classes, you are considered to have unofficially withdrawn, and you will receive a grade that is punitive to your GPA. The Financial Aid Office will then determine if your withdrawal, official or unofficial, results in any unearned aid resulting in an overpayment. If you owe an overpayment to either SCC or the U.S. Department of Education, you must pay all debts owed. While arrangements may be established that permit you to receive financial aid in a subsequent term for those debts owed directly to the U.S. Department of Education (outlined below), debts owed to SCC must be paid before you will be able to enroll at SCC in subsequent terms. If you owe SCC, you should contact the SCC Business Office located in the Balsam building on the Jackson Campus or call 828.339.4290.
If you receive (or SCC or your parent receives on your behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, SCC must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- your institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of your funds, or
- the entire amount of excess funds.
SCC must return this amount even if it didn’t keep this amount of your Title IV program funds. If SCC is not required to return all of the excess funds, you must return the remaining amount.
Any loan funds that you must return, you (or your parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, you make scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
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 the grant funds you received or were scheduled to receive. You do not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. You must make arrangements with SCC or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
If you owe an overpayment to the U.S. Department of Education, as a result of a complete withdrawal, you will initially retain eligibility for Title IV funds for a maximum of 45 days from the earlier of:
- the date the school sends you the notice of the overpayment, or
- the date the school was required to notify you of the overpayment.
There are two positive actions you can take to extend your eligibility for Title IV funds beyond 45 days.
- You may repay the overpayment in full to the school.
- You may sign a repayment agreement with the Department of Education
If you take no positive action during the 45-day period, SCC will report the overpayment to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) and U.S. Department of Education Borrower Services immediately after the 45-day period has elapsed.
Borrower Services is unable to respond to a student initiated request to negotiate a repayment arrangement until a school has referred the student’s account for collection. In addition, Borrower Services uses the information about the student in the NSLDS while conversing with a student. In order to ensure a student overpayment has been reported and referred to the Dept. of Education, when the school is communicating with a student about making repayment arrangements with the Dept. of Education, SCC will make it clear that the student should contact the school before contacting the Department of Education. Repayment agreements with the Department of Education will include terms that permit students to repay overpayments while maintaining their eligibility for Title IV funds.
There are exceptions to the recommendation that a school wait the full 45 days before reporting a student overpayment through NSLDS. If during the 45-day period a student indicates that he or she cannot repay his or her debt in full and wishes to negotiate a repayment agreement with the Department of Education, SCC will immediately report the overpayment to NSLDS and refer the overpayment to Borrower Services. Likewise, if a student contacts SCC and indicates that he or she cannot pay the overpayment within the 45 days, the school will immediately report the overpayment to NSLDS and refer the overpayment to Borrower Services. So that Borrower Services will have time to receive and record an overpayment before a student contacts Borrower Services, SCC will tell a student to wait ten days before contacting Borrower Services.
After a school has reported and referred a student’s overpayment, SCC will provide the student with the phone number and postal address for Borrower Services. A student can contact Borrower Services by calling 800-621-3115 or by writing Borrower Services at the following address:
Student Loan Processing Center – Overpayments
P.O. Box 4157
Greenville, Texas 75403
If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If your Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, SCC must get your permission before it can disburse them. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don’t incur additional debt. SCC may automatically use all or a portion of your Post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees, and book charges. SCC needs your permission to use the Post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If you do not give your permission, you will be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce your debt at the school.
There are some Title IV funds that you were scheduled to receive that cannot be disbursed to you once you withdraw because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a first-time, first-year undergraduate student and you have not completed the first 30 days of your program before you withdraw, you will not receive any Direct Loan funds that you would have received had you remained enrolled past the 30th day.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when you withdraw are separate from any refund policy that SCC may have. Therefore, you may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. SCC is allowed to and will also charge you for any Title IV program funds that SCC was required to return. If you don’t already know what SCC’s refund policy is, you can refer to the SCC Catalog for a copy. The SCC Registrar’s Office or their website can also provide you with the requirements and procedures for officially withdrawing from school.
If you have questions about this topic, please call the SCC Financial Aid Office at 828.339.4438. In addition you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FEDAID (1.800.433.3243). TTY users may call 1.800.730.8913. Information is also available on Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov.