Financial Aid Return Policy

Refunds and the Return of Federal Title IV Funds

A change of enrollment status (e.g., full-time to part-time, withdrawal from university) impacts the eligibility for some forms of student aid which may result in a refund or balance due. The term “Title IV Funds” refers to the Federal Financial Aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Federal Direct Education Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized, PLUS loans), Federal PELL Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Title IV aid is earned on a prorated manner, on a per day basis, up to and including the 60% point in a semester or period of enrollment. Title IV aid and all other aid is considered to be 100% earned after that point in time. The percentage of Title IV aid earned at any point in a semester is calculated as follows:

Number of days completed by student % of semester completed/Title IV aid earned = Total number of days in semester*

*The total number of calendar days in a semester shall exclude any scheduled breaks of more than five days. The percentage of Title IV aid unearned (i.e., to be returned to the appropriate aid program) shall be 100% minus the percentage earned.

Unearned aid is first returned from the student’s account based on the following calculation: 

Total institutional charges multiplied by the number of unearned aid = Amount returned to programs

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 changed the formula for calculating the amount of aid a student and university can retain when the student totally withdraws from all courses. Students who withdraw from all classes prior to completing more than 60% of an enrollment term will have their eligibility for aid recalculated based on the percent of the semester or enrollment period completed.

For example, a student who withdraws completing only 30% of the semester will have “earned” only 30% of any Title IV aid received. The university and/or the student must return the remaining 70% to the proper aid program. The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to carefully consider the financial implications of withdrawing from the university. Students considering withdrawal from all classes before completing 60% of the semester, payment period, or enrollment period, should contact the Office Financial Aid to see how their financial aid award will be affected. The policy applies to all students who withdraw, drop out or are dismissed from OCU, and receive financial aid from Title IV funds. Title IV refunds are based on a student’s withdrawal date. A student’s withdrawal date may be:

  • The date when official notification is provided by the student and a withdrawal form has been signed to a designated office, 2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog
  • The last date of attendance of a student’s currently enrolled class, or
  • Students last day of attendance at a documented academically related activity.

If a student receives a refund, due to his or her aid exceeding institutional charges at the time of the refund, the student is subject to repay all or a portion of the refunded money. This will be based on the Title IV Return of Funds Formula. Refunds on institutional charges, including tuition and fees, will be calculated using the refund policy published in the appropriate section of this catalog.

Refunds and the Return of Indiana State Grant Funds

State financial aid awards are awarded to eligible students based on the assumption that they will attend college full-time for the entire semester or payment period. If a student drops below fulltime status or withdraws, the state award can be reduced or taken away, even after OCU has credited the funds to the ledger. If a student drops classes resulting in less than full-time enrollment or withdraws completely before the end of the state financial aid refund period, the student cannot receive any state grant listed on the award notification.

If a student has received a refund due to exceeding direct cost, the student is subject to repay all or a portion of the refunded funds to the university.

For more information about the refund period and policy, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Return of Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is earned on a prorated manner, on a per day basis, up to and including the 60% point in a semester or period of enrollment. The percentage of TA earned at any point in a semester or payment period is calculated as follows:

Term Based – Traditional Semester

Before Week 1                  100% returned to TA

During 1st & 2nd Week      90% returned to TA

During 3rd & 4th Week       80% returned to TA

During 5th Week                 70% returned to TA

During 6th & 7th Week     60% returned to TA

During 8th Week                 50% returned to TA

During 9th Week                 40% returned to TA

 

Non-Term Based – Non-Traditional Courses

8-week Course Withdraw submitted

Before week 1                   100% returned to TA

During week 1 & 2             75% returned to TA

During week 3 & 4             50% returned to TA

During week 5                      40% returned to TA (60% of course completed at 4.8 weeks)

During weeks 6-8                   0% returned to TA

 

5-week Course Withdraw submitted

Before week 1                   100% returned to TA

During week 1                     75% returned to TA

During week 2 & 3             50% returned to TA (60% of course completed at 3 weeks)

After week 3                           0% returned to TA

Refunds and the Return of Institutional Funds

When a student drops below full-time status or withdraws from the university, institutional funds are prorated per the university’s refund policy, which mirrors federal financial aid return policy as described above. If a student has received a refund, due to exceeding direct cost, he or she is subject to repay all or a portion of the refunded funds to the university.

Appeals for Return of Funds

If a student believes he or she has special circumstances that warrant a change in the way the financial aid funds are refunded, he or she must submit the appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid.