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Title IV Withdrawal Policy & Financial Aid Return to Title IV (R2T4) Requirements

Federal Title IV financial aid funds are awarded under the assumption that a student will remain in attendance and successfully complete the entire semester for which the funds were awarded. These funds include, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Direct Loans.  

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) & Santa Ana College (SAC) are schools that are not required to take attendance therefore; students who cannot continue in a course have an obligation to withdraw officially. Students are encouraged to consult with instructors concerning class withdrawals. Students may officially withdraw on the web through the last day of the 12th week of instruction or 75 percent of the class meetings, whichever is less, and receive a transcript grade of “W".

A student who withdraws from classes after receiving Title IV Aid may owe back some of the funds regardless if they are a partial withdrawal or a full withdrawal. 

​The Santiago Canyon College Financial Aid Office (SCC FAO) has set a “census date" to establish a time frame to add or drop courses to determine a student's enrollment status for Title IV Awarding.  (See disbursement schedule for these dates by term.)

​​Partial Withdrawals

Students who partially withdraw from classes after receiving a Pell Grant or FSEOG, prior to the set census date, may owe back some of the funds.  This is considered an overpayment.  Failure to pay back the funds directly to Rancho Santiago Community College District within 45 days will  result in the overpayment being reported to the Department of Education for collections. It is crucial that students contact our office before dropping any classes to determine how it may affect them.  ​

​Full Withdrawals

The calculation for the R2T4 federal financial aid funds is based on whether a full withdrawal is classified as official or unofficial.

Official withdrawal is initiated by the student and is determined by the student's withdrawal date.  Also, the last date of an academically related activity that the student participated in may be used as the student's withdrawal date.  This withdrawal is not considered a “W" due to excessive absence. Therefore, the withdrawal date is based on the date that the college becomes aware that the student has ceased attendance.

Unofficial withdrawal occurs when there is no notification or official withdrawal by the student; or a student receives all “F" Grades or a combination of “F" Grades, “NP", and “W"s due to excessive absences.  If the student does not officially drop classes and receives a combination of “W"s, “NP", and “F"s for all courses in a term, it will be considered an unofficial withdrawal, even if the student was enrolled in the course for the entire term. Therefore, the withdrawal date is considered 50% of the enrollment period and half of the student's Title IV Aid for the term.  Because SCC & SAC are not required to take attendance, a student who does not officially withdraw may receive an “F" grade.  It is the student's responsibility to notify and prove to the SCC FAO when they completed a class and earned the “F" grade no later than 14 days after the grade has posted.  

On-Line/Distance Learning Students who enrolled only in online/distant learning courses and then become full drops are subject to a financial aid calculation. The Financial Aid Office will contact the instructor(s) to determine the last academically related activity date, which serves as the “Official Withdrawal" date. If no response is provided to the Financial Aid Office within a 14 day period, the 50% Mid-Point Rule will serve as the “Unofficial Withdrawal" date.

​Examples of acceptable academically related activities:

  • Student submission of an academic assignment 
    Student submission of an exam
  • Student submission of an exam
  • Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
  • A posting by the student showing the student's participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution
  • A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student's participation in an online discussion about academic matters
  • An e-mail from the student or other documentation showings that the student-initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course

​​Calculation of R2T4 & Formula

When a student officially or unofficially withdraws from all courses, regardless of any reason, he/she may no longer be eligible for the entire amount of Title IV aid originally awarded. The return of funds to the Federal Government is based on the premise that a student earns financial aid in proportion to the length of time during which he/she remains enrolled.  

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is required to perform this calculation within 30 days of the date the school learns that a student has completely withdrawn. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the date of determination.  R2T4 calculations are completed by the Financial Aid Office on a regular basis.

In accordance with the Return of Title IV guidelines as mandated by the U.S. Department of Education the R2T4 calculation process will calculate the prorated amount of financial aid a student has earned based on the percentage of time he/she remained enrolled in a class.

  • For official withdrawals, the amount of earned Title IV Aid will be prorated based on the withdrawal date prior to 60% of the semester.  Once the 60% point of the semester has occurred, a student is considered to have earned all of the financial aid originally awarded and will not be required to repay any funds as a result of withdrawal.
  • For unofficial withdrawals the withdrawal date is the midpoint (50%) of the payment period or semester. A student may have to repay a portion of the funds they received.

As part of the R2T4 calculations, institutional charges will be included.  Institutional charges generally are defined as the charges for tuition and fees and other educational expenses that are paid to the school directly.  The R2T4 calculation formula is as follows:

  • ​The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of calendar days in the payment period excluding scheduled breaks that are longer than five days.
  • ​The percent of unearned funds is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.