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Return of Financial Aid When A Student Withdraws

If a student totally withdraws from GCC or quits attending classes before 60% of the semester enrollment period has passed, the student will need to pay a portion of financial aid back to GCC and/or the federal financial aid programs. If a student fails to begin attendance in any class, the class will not be counted in the student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes and may result in the student paying a portion of financial aid back to the financial aid program. Repayment can occur at any time during the academic year depending on the receipt of this information by the GCC Financial Aid Office.

The law specifies how GCC must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance the student earns if the student withdraws from school. The Title IV Programs administered by GCC covered by this law include: Federal Pell grants, Federal Direct loans, Federal PLUS loans and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants. The students are made aware of this policy by E-mail at the beginning of each semester.

When a student withdraws during a payment period, the amount of Title IV program assistance earned is determined by a specific formula. Upon request, the formula will be provided to the student. If the student received more assistance than what was earned, the excess funds must be returned by the student and/or GCC. The amount of the student's financial aid may need to be returned to the programs along with the amount the student may owe the school. This amount will be calculated by the GCC Financial Aid Office using the software provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the student will be notified by mail of any repayment obligations. The software automatically determines the percentage of the payment period completed. The Director of Financial Aid calculates the total number of days in the payment period after reviewing the academic calendar provided by the Dean of Faculty.

If a student withdraws before 60% of the payment period has passed, GCC must always return a portion of the aid received for tuition/fees and books. The student also has a financial obligation to repay a portion of financial aid back to the various federal programs for any educational costs in which financial aid was received. The amount the student owes to GCC for returning of the federal funds will be 50% of the total federal funds returned by GCC or the amount of the student's expense check, whichever is larger. The Dean of Students will hear any appeals the student may have regarding the amount of money they owe the college.

Student loan funds received are paid in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. The student would make the scheduled payment to the servicer of the loan over a period of time. There are cases where the school returns a portion of the loan funds. The student may be billed for loan funds the school was required to return, thus owing less to the lender, but accruing a debt to GCC. The student is notified in writing of the amount GCC returned to the lender whether it was due to a refund or the return of program funds.

GCC returns funds in the following order: Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Federal Subsidized Direct Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, Federal Pell Grant and SEOG Grant. The funds are returned as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the determination of the student's withdrawal. The funds are returned to the department electronically by the Director of Financial Aid updates to COD and the Dean of Business updates through G5.

The amount of assistance the student has earned is determined on a prorated basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period, the student would earn 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to be received. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period, the student earns all of the assistance they were scheduled to receive and no repayment is necessary.

If the student did not receive all of the funds earned, the student may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, GCC must receive the student's permission before GCC can disburse the loan funds to the student. The student may choose to decline all or some of the loan funds so additional loan debt is not incurred. GCC will automatically use the student's post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for outstanding tuition/fee and room charges. GCC needs the student's permission to use the post-withdrawal loan disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the best interest of the student to allow GCC to keep the funds to reduce the debt at the school.

There are some Title IV funds the student may have been scheduled to receive, but GCC cannot disburse the funds once the student withdraws because of other eligibility requirements. For example, if the student is a first-time, first-year student and has not completed the first 30 days of the term before withdrawal, Federal loan funds cannot be disbursed.

The requirements for Title IV program funds when a student withdraws are separate from GCC's refund policy. Therefore the student may owe funds to GCC to cover unpaid institutional charges. GCC also charges students for Title IV program funds GCC was required to return.

GCC reserves the right to withhold services, including the issuing of academic transcripts, from a student who has not satisfied financial obligations.

Students are required to register for all classes prior to the first Friday of the semester. If the student registers for classes after this date, the classes would not be included in the student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes. If the student withdraws from a modular class beginning later in the semester and never begins attendance in the class, the student's financial aid will be adjusted to reflect the new enrollment status. This situation normally places the student in a repayment status and the student will be required to repay any overpayment of financial aid received for the course(s) withdrawn from.

If a student completes a modular class, never begins attendance in other modular classes and does not provide written confirmation of nonattendance prior to the start of the modular classes, the student is considered a withdrawal. The student would not be considered a withdrawal if the student was still enrolled in a semester long course.

The withdrawal date is the date the student began the withdrawal process or officially notifies GCC in writing or verbally of the intent to withdraw. If a student does not provide official notification of the intent to withdraw because of illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other such circumstances, the withdrawal date will be determined in relation to the circumstance. The midpoint of the period may also be used as the withdrawal date for unofficial withdrawals. GCC may always, at its option, use the student's last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity in lieu of any other withdrawal date.

The following procedure is used in determining the withdrawal date:

  • The Financial Aid Office may receive an official withdrawal form directly from the student or from the Dean of Students Office. The student may verbally inform the Financial Aid Office of their intent to withdraw or a faculty member may indicate the student's absence from class which would require follow-up with the student and/or the Dean of Students Office.

GCC does not have a formal leave of absence policy.

Return of Financial Aid :: Financial Aid :: Gogebic Community College
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