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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 15, 2014

Title 34: Education
PART 668—STUDENT ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROVISIONS
Subpart B—Standards for Participation in Title IV, HEA Programs


§668.22   Treatment of title IV funds when a student withdraws.

(a) General. (1) When a recipient of title IV grant or loan assistance withdraws from an institution during a payment period or period of enrollment in which the recipient began attendance, the institution must determine the amount of title IV grant or loan assistance that the student earned as of the student's withdrawal date in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.

(2)(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) and (a)(2)(iii) of this section, a student is considered to have withdrawn from a payment period or period of enrollment if—

(A) In the case of a program that is measured in credit hours, the student does not complete all the days in the payment period or period of enrollment that the student was scheduled to complete;

(B) In the case of a program that is measured in clock hours, the student does not complete all of the clock hours and weeks of instructional time in the payment period or period of enrollment that the student was scheduled to complete; or

(C) For a student in a nonterm or nonstandard-term program, the student is not scheduled to begin another course within a payment period or period of enrollment for more than 45 calendar days after the end of the module the student ceased attending, unless the student is on an approved leave of absence, as defined in paragraph (d) of this section.

(ii)(A) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) and (a)(2)(i)(B) of this section, for a payment period or period of enrollment in which courses in the program are offered in modules—

(1) A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the institution obtains written confirmation from the student at the time that would have been a withdrawal of the date that he or she will attend a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment; and

(2) For nonterm and nonstandard-term programs, that module begins no later than 45 calendar days after the end of the module the student ceased attending.

(B) If an institution has obtained the written confirmation of future attendance in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of this section—

(1) A student may change the date of return to a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment, provided that the student does so in writing prior to the return date that he or she had previously confirmed; and

(2) For nonterm and nonstandard-term programs, the later module that he or she will attend begins no later than 45 calendar days after the end of module the student ceased attending.

(C) If an institution obtains written confirmation of future attendance in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) and, if applicable, (a)(2)(ii)(B) of this section, but the student does not return as scheduled—

(1) The student is considered to have withdrawn from the payment period or period of enrollment; and

(2) The student's withdrawal date and the total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment would be the withdrawal date and total number of calendar days that would have applied if the student had not provided written confirmation of a future date of attendance in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A) of this section.

(iii)(A) If a student withdraws from a term-based credit-hour program offered in modules during a payment period or period of enrollment and reenters the same program prior to the end of the period, subject to conditions established by the Secretary, the student is eligible to receive any title IV, HEA program funds for which he or she was eligible prior to withdrawal, including funds that were returned by the institution or student under the provisions of this section, provided the student's enrollment status continues to support the full amount of those funds.

(B) In accordance with §668.4(f), if a student withdraws from a clock-hour or nonterm credit hour program during a payment period or period of enrollment and then reenters the same program within 180 calendar days, the student remains in that same period when he or she returns and, subject to conditions established by the Secretary, is eligible to receive any title IV, HEA program funds for which he or she was eligible prior to withdrawal, including funds that were returned by the institution or student under the provisions of this section.

(3) For purposes of this section, “title IV grant or loan assistance” includes only assistance from the Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, FFEL, Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, National SMART Grant, TEACH Grant, and FSEOG programs, not including the non-Federal share of FSEOG awards if an institution meets its FSEOG matching share by the individual recipient method or the aggregate method.

(4) If the total amount of title IV grant or loan assistance, or both, that the student earned as calculated under paragraph (e)(1) of this section is less than the amount of title IV grant or loan assistance that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a PLUS loan, as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew—

(i) The difference between these amounts must be returned to the title IV programs in accordance with paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section in the order specified in paragraph (i) of this section; and

(ii) No additional disbursements may be made to the student for the payment period or period of enrollment.

(5) If the total amount of title IV grant or loan assistance, or both, that the student earned as calculated under paragraph (e)(1) of this section is greater than the total amount of title IV grant or loan assistance, or both, that was disbursed to the student or on behalf of the student in the case of a PLUS loan, as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, the difference between these amounts must be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement in accordance with paragraph (a)(6) of this section and §668.164(g).

(6)(i) A post-withdrawal disbursement must be made from available grant funds before available loan funds.

(ii)(A) If outstanding charges exist on the student's account, the institution may credit the student's account up to the amount of outstanding charges with all or a portion of any—

(1) Grant funds that make up the post-withdrawal disbursement in accordance with §668.164(d)(1) and (d)(2); and

(2) Loan funds that make up the post-withdrawal disbursement in accordance with §668.164(d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) only after obtaining confirmation from the student or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, that they still wish to have the loan funds disbursed in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this section.

(B)(1) The institution must disburse directly to a student any amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds that is not credited to the student's account. The institution must make the disbursement as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section.

(2) The institution must offer to disburse directly to a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, any amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds that is not credited to the student's account, in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this section.

(3) The institution must make a direct disbursement of any loan funds that make up the post-withdrawal disbursement only after obtaining the student's, or parent's in the case of a parent PLUS loan, confirmation that the student or parent still wishes to have the loan funds disbursed in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this section.

(iii)(A) The institution must provide within 30 days of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section, a written notification to the student, or parent in the case of parent PLUS loan, that—

(1) Requests confirmation of any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds that the institution wishes to credit to the student's account in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(ii)(A)(2) of this section, identifying the type and amount of those loan funds and explaining that a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, may accept or decline some or all of those funds;

(2) Requests confirmation of any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds that the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, can receive as a direct disbursement, identifying the type and amount of these title IV funds and explaining that the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, may accept or decline some or all of those funds;

(3) Explains that a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, who does not confirm that a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds may be credited to the student's account may not receive any of those loan funds as a direct disbursement unless the institution concurs;

(4) Explains the obligation of the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, to repay any loan funds he or she chooses to have disbursed; and

(5) Advises the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, that no post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds will be made, unless the institution chooses to make a post-withdrawal disbursement based on a late response in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(iii)(C) of this section, if the student or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, does not respond within 14 days of the date that the institution sent the notification, or a later deadline set by the institution.

(B) The deadline for a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, to accept a post-withdrawal disbursement under paragraph (a)(6)(iii)(A) of this section must be the same for both a confirmation of a direct disbursement of the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds and a confirmation of a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds to be credited to the student's account.

(C) If the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, submits a timely response that confirms that they wish to receive all or a portion of a direct disbursement of the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, or confirms that a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds may be credited to the student's account, the institution must disburse the funds in the manner specified by the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, as soon as possible, but no later than 180 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section.

(D) If a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, submits a late response to the institution's notice requesting confirmation, the institution may make the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds as instructed by the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan (provided the institution disburses all the funds accepted by the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan), or decline to do so.

(E) If a student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, submits a late response to the institution and the institution does not choose to make the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds, the institution must inform the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, in writing of the outcome of the post-withdrawal disbursement request.

(F) If the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, does not respond to the institution's notice, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds that the institution wishes to credit to the student's account, nor any portion of loan funds that would be disbursed directly to the student, or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan, may be disbursed.

(iv) An institution must document in the student's file the result of any notification made in accordance with paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this section of the student's right to cancel all or a portion of loan funds or of the student's right to accept or decline loan funds, and the final determination made concerning the disbursement.

(b) Withdrawal date for a student who withdraws from an institution that is required to take attendance. (1) For purposes of this section, for a student who ceases attendance at an institution that is required to take attendance, including a student who does not return from an approved leave of absence, as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, or a student who takes a leave of absence that does not meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, the student's withdrawal date is the last date of academic attendance as determined by the institution from its attendance records.

(2) An institution must document a student's withdrawal date determined in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section and maintain the documentation as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section.

(3)(i) An institution is required to take attendance if—

(A) An outside entity (such as the institution's accrediting agency or a State agency) has a requirement that the institution take attendance;

(B) The institution itself has a requirement that its instructors take attendance; or

(C) The institution or an outside entity has a requirement that can only be met by taking attendance or a comparable process, including, but not limited to, requiring that students in a program demonstrate attendance in the classes of that program, or a portion of that program.

(ii) If, in accordance with paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, an institution is required to take attendance or requires that attendance be taken for only some students, the institution must use its attendance records to determine a withdrawal date in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section for those students.

(iii)(A) If, in accordance with paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, an institution is required to take attendance, or requires that attendance be taken, for a limited period, the institution must use its attendance records to determine a withdrawal date in accordance with paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section for that limited period.

(B) A student in attendance the last time attendance is required to be taken during the limited period identified in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A) of this section who subsequently stops attending during the payment period will be treated as a student for whom the institution was not required to take attendance.

(iv) If an institution is required to take attendance or requires that attendance be taken, on only one specified day to meet a census reporting requirement, the institution is not considered to take attendance.

(c) Withdrawal date for a student who withdraws from an institution that is not required to take attendance. (1) For purposes of this section, for a student who ceases attendance at an institution that is not required to take attendance, the student's withdrawal date is—

(i) The date, as determined by the institution, that the student began the withdrawal process prescribed by the institution;

(ii) The date, as determined by the institution, that the student otherwise provided official notification to the institution, in writing or orally, of his or her intent to withdraw;

(iii) If the student ceases attendance without providing official notification to the institution of his or her withdrawal in accordance with paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (c)(1)(ii) of this section, the mid-point of the payment period (or period of enrollment, if applicable);

(iv) If the institution determines that a student did not begin the institution's withdrawal process or otherwise provide official notification (including notice from an individual acting on the student's behalf) to the institution of his or her intent to withdraw because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other such circumstances beyond the student's control, the date that the institution determines is related to that circumstance;

(v) If a student does not return from an approved leave of absence as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, the date that the institution determines the student began the leave of absence; or

(vi) If a student takes a leave of absence that does not meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, the date that the student began the leave of absence.

(2)(i)(A) An institution may allow a student to rescind his or her official notification to withdraw under paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section by filing a written statement that he or she is continuing to participate in academically-related activities and intends to complete the payment period or period of enrollment.

(B) If the student subsequently ceases to attend the institution prior to the end of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student's rescission is negated and the withdrawal date is the student's original date under paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section, unless a later date is determined under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) If a student both begins the withdrawal process prescribed by the institution and otherwise provides official notification of his or her intent to withdraw in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(1)(ii) of this section respectively, the student's withdrawal date is the earlier date unless a later date is determined under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, an institution that is not required to take attendance may use as the student's withdrawal date a student's last date of attendance at an academically-related activity provided that the institution documents that the activity is academically related and documents the student's attendance at the activity.

(4) An institution must document a student's withdrawal date determined in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1), (2), and (3) of this section and maintain the documentation as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section.

(5)(i) “Official notification to the institution” is a notice of intent to withdraw that a student provides to an office designated by the institution.

(ii) An institution must designate one or more offices at the institution that a student may readily contact to provide official notification of withdrawal.

(d) Approved leave of absence. (1) For purposes of this section (and, for a title IV, HEA program loan borrower, for purposes of terminating the student's in-school status), an institution does not have to treat a leave of absence as a withdrawal if it is an approved leave of absence. A leave of absence is an approved leave of absence if—

(i) The institution has a formal policy regarding leaves of absence;

(ii) The student followed the institution's policy in requesting the leave of absence;

(iii) The institution determines that there is a reasonable expectation that the student will return to the school;

(iv) The institution approved the student's request in accordance with the institution's policy;

(v) The leave of absence does not involve additional charges by the institution;

(vi) The number of days in the approved leave of absence, when added to the number of days in all other approved leaves of absence, does not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period;

(vii) Except for a clock hour or nonterm credit hour program, upon the student's return from the leave of absence, the student is permitted to complete the coursework he or she began prior to the leave of absence; and

(viii) If the student is a title IV, HEA program loan recipient, the institution explains to the student, prior to granting the leave of absence, the effects that the student's failure to return from a leave of absence may have on the student's loan repayment terms, including the exhaustion of some or all of the student's grace period.

(2) If a student does not resume attendance at the institution at or before the end of a leave of absence that meets the requirements of this section, the institution must treat the student as a withdrawal in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(3) For purposes of this paragraph—

(i) The number of days in a leave of absence is counted beginning with the first day of the student's initial leave of absence in a 12-month period.

(ii) A “12-month period” begins on the first day of the student's initial leave of absence.

(iii) An institution's leave of absence policy is a “formal policy” if the policy—

(A) Is in writing and publicized to students; and

(B) Requires students to provide a written, signed, and dated request, that includes the reason for the request, for a leave of absence prior to the leave of absence. However, if unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from providing a prior written request, the institution may grant the student's request for a leave of absence, if the institution documents its decision and collects the written request at a later date.

(e) Calculation of the amount of title IV assistance earned by the student—(1) General. The amount of title IV grant or loan assistance that is earned by the student is calculated by—

(i) Determining the percentage of title IV grant or loan assistance that has been earned by the student, as described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section; and

(ii) Applying this percentage to the total amount of title IV grant or loan assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed, as defined in paragraph (l)(1) of this section) to the student, or on the student's behalf, for the payment period or period of enrollment as of the student's withdrawal date.

(2) Percentage earned. The percentage of title IV grant or loan assistance that has been earned by the student is—

(i) Equal to the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment that the student completed (as determined in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section) as of the student's withdrawal date, if this date occurs on or before—

(A) Completion of 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment for a program that is measured in credit hours; or

(B) Sixty percent of the clock hours scheduled to be completed for the payment period or period of enrollment for a program that is measured in clock hours; or

(ii) 100 percent, if the student's withdrawal date occurs after—

(A) Completion of 60 percent of the payment period or period of enrollment for a program that is measured in credit hours; or

(B) Sixty percent of the clock hours scheduled to be completed for the payment period or period of enrollment for a program measured in clock hours.

(3) Percentage unearned. The percentage of title IV grant or loan assistance that has not been earned by the student is calculated by determining the complement of the percentage of title IV grant or loan assistance earned by the student as described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(4) Total amount of unearned title IV assistance to be returned. The unearned amount of title IV assistance to be returned is calculated by subtracting the amount of title IV assistance earned by the student as calculated under paragraph (e)(1) of this section from the amount of title IV aid that was disbursed to the student as of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew.

(5) Use of payment period or period of enrollment. (i) The treatment of title IV grant or loan funds if a student withdraws must be determined on a payment period basis for a student who attended a standard term-based (semester, trimester, or quarter) educational program.

(ii)(A) The treatment of title IV grant or loan funds if a student withdraws may be determined on either a payment period basis or a period of enrollment basis for a student who attended a non-term based educational program or a nonstandard term-based educational program.

(B) An institution must consistently use either a payment period or period of enrollment for all purposes of this section for each of the following categories of students who withdraw from the same non-term based or nonstandard term-based educational program:

(1) Students who have attended an educational program at the institution from the beginning of the payment period or period of enrollment.

(2) Students who re-enter the institution during a payment period or period of enrollment.

(3) Students who transfer into the institution during a payment period or period of enrollment.

(iii) For a program that measures progress in credit hours and uses nonstandard terms that are not substantially equal in length, if the institution uses the payment period to determine the treatment of title IV grant or loan funds for a category of students found in paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(B) of this section, the institution must—

(A)(1) For students in the category who are disbursed or could have been disbursed aid using both the payment period definition in §668.4(b)(1) and the payment period definition in §668.4(b)(2), use the payment period during which the student withdrew that ends later; and

(2) If in the payment period that ends later there are funds that have been or could have been disbursed from overlapping payment periods, the institution must include in the return calculation any funds that can be attributed to the payment period that ends later; and

(B) For students in the category who are disbursed or could have been disbursed aid using only the payment period definition in §668.4(b)(1) or the payment period definition in §668.4(b)(2), use the payment period definition for which title IV, HEA program funds were disbursed for a student's calculation under this section.

(f) Percentage of payment period or period of enrollment completed. (1) For purposes of paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section, the percentage of the payment period or period of enrollment completed is determined—

(i) In the case of a program that is measured in credit hours, by dividing the total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment into the number of calendar days completed in that period as of the student's withdrawal date; and

(ii)(A) In the case of a program that is measured in clock hours, by dividing the total number of clock hours in the payment period or period of enrollment into the number of clock hours scheduled to be completed as of the student's withdrawal date.

(B) The scheduled clock hours used must be those established by the institution prior to the student's beginning class date for the payment period or period of enrollment and must be consistent with the published materials describing the institution's programs, unless the schedule was modified prior to the student's withdrawal.

(C) The schedule must have been established in accordance with requirements of the accrediting agency and the State licensing agency, if such standards exist.

(2)(i) The total number of calendar days in a payment period or period of enrollment includes all days within the period that the student was scheduled to complete, except that scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days are excluded from the total number of calendar days in a payment period or period of enrollment and the number of calendar days completed in that period.

(ii) The total number of calendar days in a payment period or period of enrollment does not include—

(A) Days in which the student was on an approved leave of absence; or

(B) For a payment period or period of enrollment in which any courses in the program are offered in modules, any scheduled breaks of at least five consecutive days when the student is not scheduled to attend a module or other course offered during that period of time.

(g) Return of unearned aid, responsibility of the institution. (1) The institution must return, in the order specified in paragraph (i) of this section, the lesser of—

(i) The total amount of unearned title IV assistance to be returned as calculated under paragraph (e)(4) of this section; or

(ii) An amount equal to the total institutional charges incurred by the student for the payment period or period of enrollment multiplied by the percentage of title IV grant or loan assistance that has not been earned by the student, as described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(2) For purposes of this section, “institutional charges” are tuition, fees, room and board (if the student contracts with the institution for the room and board) and other educationally-related expenses assessed by the institution.

(3) If, for a non-term program an institution chooses to calculate the treatment of title IV assistance on a payment period basis, but the institution charges for a period that is longer than the payment period, “total institutional charges incurred by the student for the payment period” is the greater of—

(i) The prorated amount of institutional charges for the longer period; or

(ii) The amount of title IV assistance retained for institutional charges as of the student's withdrawal date.

(h) Return of unearned aid, responsibility of the student. (1) After the institution has allocated the unearned funds for which it is responsible in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section, the student must return assistance for which the student is responsible in the order specified in paragraph (i) of this section.

(2) The amount of assistance that the student is responsible for returning is calculated by subtracting the amount of unearned aid that the institution is required to return under paragraph (g) of this section from the total amount of unearned title IV assistance to be returned under paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

(3) The student (or parent in the case of funds due to a parent PLUS Loan) must return or repay, as appropriate, the amount determined under paragraph (h)(1) of this section to—

(i) Any title IV loan program in accordance with the terms of the loan; and

(ii) Any title IV grant program as an overpayment of the grant; however, a student is not required to return the following—

(A) The portion of a grant overpayment amount that is equal to or less than 50 percent of the total grant assistance that was disbursed (and that could have been disbursed, as defined in paragraph (l)(1) of this section) to the student for the payment period or period of enrollment.

(B) With respect to any grant program, a grant overpayment amount, as determined after application of paragraph (h)(3)(ii)(A) of this section, of 50 dollars or less that is not a remaining balance.

(4)(i) A student who owes an overpayment under this section remains eligible for title IV, HEA program funds through and beyond the earlier of 45 days from the date the institution sends a notification to the student of the overpayment, or 45 days from the date the institution was required to notify the student of the overpayment if, during those 45 days the student—

(A) Repays the overpayment in full to the institution;

(B) Enters into a repayment agreement with the institution in accordance with repayment arrangements satisfactory to the institution; or

(C) Signs a repayment agreement with the Secretary, which will include terms that permit a student to repay the overpayment while maintaining his or her eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds.

(ii) Within 30 days of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, an institution must send a notice to any student who owes a title IV, HEA grant overpayment as a result of the student's withdrawal from the institution in order to recover the overpayment in accordance with paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section.

(iii) If an institution chooses to enter into a repayment agreement in accordance with paragraph (h)(4)(i)(B) of this section with a student who owes an overpayment of title IV, HEA grant funds, it must—

(A) Provide the student with terms that permit the student to repay the overpayment while maintaining his or her eligibility for title IV, HEA program funds; and

(B) Require repayment of the full amount of the overpayment within two years of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew.

(iv) An institution must refer to the Secretary, in accordance with procedures required by the Secretary, an overpayment of title IV, HEA grant funds owed by a student as a result of the student's withdrawal from the institution if—

(A) The student does not repay the overpayment in full to the institution, or enter a repayment agreement with the institution or the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section within the earlier of 45 days from the date the institution sends a notification to the student of the overpayment, or 45 days from the date the institution was required to notify the student of the overpayment;

(B) At any time the student fails to meet the terms of the repayment agreement with the institution entered into in accordance with paragraph (h)(4)(i)(B) of this section; or

(C) The student chooses to enter into a repayment agreement with the Secretary.

(v) A student who owes an overpayment is ineligible for title IV, HEA program funds—

(A) If the student does not meet the requirements in paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section, on the day following the 45-day period in that paragraph; or

(B) As of the date the student fails to meet the terms of the repayment agreement with the institution or the Secretary entered into in accordance with paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section.

(vi) A student who is ineligible under paragaraph (h)(4)(v) of this section regains eligibility if the student and the Secretary enter into a repayment agreement.

(5) The Secretary may waive grant overpayment amounts that students are required to return under this section if the withdrawals on which the returns are based are withdrawals by students—

(i) Who were residing in, employed in, or attending an institution of higher education that is located in an area in which the President has declared that a major disaster exists, in accordance with section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170);

(ii) Whose attendance was interrupted because of the impact of the disaster on the student or institution; and

(iii) Whose withdrawal occurred within the award year during which the designation occurred or during the next succeeding award year.

(i) Order of return of title IV funds—(1) Loans. Unearned funds returned by the institution or the student, as appropriate, in accordance with paragraph (g) or (h) of this section respectively, must be credited to outstanding balances on title IV loans made to the student or on behalf of the student for the payment period or period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required. Those funds must be credited to outstanding balances for the payment period or period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required in the following order:

(i) Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.

(ii) Subsidized Federal Stafford loans.

(iii) Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans.

(iv) Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans.

(v) Federal Perkins loans.

(vi) Federal PLUS loans received on behalf of the student.

(vii) Federal Direct PLUS received on behalf of the student.

(2) Remaining funds. If unearned funds remain to be returned after repayment of all outstanding loan amounts, the remaining excess must be credited to any amount awarded for the payment period or period of enrollment for which a return of funds is required in the following order:

(i) Federal Pell Grants.

(ii) Academic Competitiveness Grants.

(iii) National SMART Grants.

(iv) FSEOG Program aid.

(v) TEACH Grants.

(j) Timeframe for the return of title IV funds. (1) An institution must return the amount of title IV funds for which it is responsible under paragraph (g) of this section as soon as possible but no later than 45 days after the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew as defined in paragraph (l)(3) of this section. The timeframe for returning funds is further described in §668.173(b).

(2) For an institution that is not required to take attendance, an institution 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—

(i) Payment period or period of enrollment, as appropriate, in accordance with paragraph (e)(5) of this section;

(ii) Academic year in which the student withdrew; or

(iii) Educational program from which the student withdrew.

(k) Consumer information. An institution must provide students with information about the requirements of this section in accordance with §668.43.

(l) Definitions. For purposes of this section—

(1) Title IV grant or loan funds that “could have been disbursed” are determined in accordance with the late disbursement provisions in §668.164(g).

(2) A “period of enrollment” is the academic period established by the institution for which institutional charges are generally assessed (i.e. length of the student's program or academic year).

(3) The “date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew”for an institution that is not required to take attendance is—

(i) For a student who provides notification to the institution of his or her withdrawal, the student's withdrawal date as determined under paragraph (c) of this section or the date of notification of withdrawal, whichever is later;

(ii) For a student who did not provide notification of his of her withdrawal to the institution, the date that the institution becomes aware that the student ceased attendance;

(iii) For a student who does not return from an approved leave of absence, the earlier of the date of the end of the leave of absence or the date the student notifies the institution that he or she will not be returning to the institution; or

(iv) For a student whose rescission is negated under paragraph (c)(2)(i)(B) of this section, the date the institution becomes aware that the student did not, or will not, complete the payment period or period of enrollment.

(v) For a student who takes a leave of absence that is not approved in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, the date that the student begins the leave of absence.

(4) A “recipient of title IV grant or loan assistance” is a student for whom the requirements of §668.164(g)(2) have been met.

(5) Terms are “substantially equal in length” if no term in the program is more than two weeks of instructional time longer than any other term in that program.

(6) A program is “offered in modules” if a course or courses in the program do not span the entire length of the payment period or period of enrollment.

(7)(i) “Academic attendance” and “attendance at an academically-related activity”—

(A) Include, but are not limited to—

(1) Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;

(2) Submitting an academic assignment;

(3) Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;

(4) Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution;

(5) Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; and

(6) Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course; and

(B) Do not include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as—

(1) Living in institutional housing;

(2) Participating in the institution's meal plan;

(3) Logging into an online class without active participation; or

(4) Participating in academic counseling or advisement.

(ii) A determination of “academic attendance” or “attendance at an academically-related activity” must be made by the institution; a student's certification of attendance that is not supported by institutional documentation is not acceptable.

(8) A program is a nonstandard-term program if the program is a term-based program that does not qualify under 34 CFR 690.63(a)(1) or (a)(2) to calculate Federal Pell Grant payments under 34 CFR 690.63(b) or (c).

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0022)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070g, 1091b)

[64 FR 59038, Nov. 1, 1999, as amended at 67 FR 67073, Nov. 1, 2002; 71 FR 45694, Aug. 9, 2006; 71 FR 64397, Nov. 1, 2006; 72 FR 62027, Nov. 1, 2007; 73 FR 35493, June 23, 2008; 75 FR 66951, Oct. 29, 2010]



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