TITLE: TREATMENT OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID WHEN A STUDENT WITHDRAWS
POLICY NO: 1-36 EFFECTIVE DATE: 11/29/2004
VCCS POLICY NO: 4.3.2, 5.6.8 REVISED DATE: 12/03/2020

I. Purpose:

To clarify the responsibilities related to the treatment of federal financial aid when a student withdraws from all classes or receives all unsuccessful grades for the term; to maintain compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 34 Part 668.22 for the proper management of federal student financial aid funds.

II. Definitions:

The definitions below are applicable to the policies and procedures for the return of Title IV financial aid funds to the U. S. Department of Education (USDE) and the student lenders under the provisions of CFR Title 34 Part 668.22.

Attendance certification form: forms for instructors to certify attendance, specifically JSRCC Form No. 11-0031, Attendance Certification, to certify attendance and report never-attended students, and JSRCC Form No. 11-0032, Attendance Certification, to certify attendance and report unofficially-withdrawn students.

Drop: occurs when a student cancels their enrollment in a course during the institution's established add/drop period. When a student drops a course, the course does not remain a part of the student's academic record and therefore is not included in determining a student's financial aid eligibility. See "Last day to drop with a refund" in Definitions (Part II).

Federal financial aid: funds known as Title IV grant or loan assistance and which include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and, for purposes of compliance to CFR Title 34 Part 668.22, certain state grant aid.

Financial aid overpayment notice: a notification (letter and message via SIS Message Center) from the Financial Aid Office to inform the student about their financial obligation due to the student's official or unofficial withdrawal from all of their classes, and which explains the resulting return of Title IV funds requirements and amounts owed to the USDOE, lenders, and/or the college.

Last date of attendance: the last date documented by the instructor of an academically-related activity such as attendance in class or completion and submission of a class assignment, exam, tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction. This date is used to perform the Return of Title IV calculations for unofficial withdrawals.

Last day to drop with a refund: the fifteen percent (15%) point in the semester or session. The specific dates are published in the respective Registration Information Booklet for a given semester. See "Drop" in Definitions (Part II).

Never-attended student: a student who enrolls in a class and does not attend at least one (1) class or participate at least once in a distance education class within the first fifteen percent (15%) of the course.

NV_ENROLL_REQUEST_SEARCH: query generated from the Student Information System that specifies enrollment action reason and date (i.e. dropped due to never attending, etc.).

Official withdrawal: when a student informs the college of his/her withdrawal from classes. The college's policy for official withdrawals can be found in Reynolds Policy No. 1-10, Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course(s). Students provide notice of their withdrawal by completing JSRCC Form No. 11-0004, Request to Withdraw from Class(es), and submitting it to the Registrar's Office on or before the published last day to withdraw. Any student receiving financial aid should consult with the Office of Financial Aid before withdrawing from any course.

Return of Title IV funds: the process in which the college and/or the student must return a calculated amount of federal financial aid (and state VSFAP funds) when the student receiving aid withdraws (officially or unofficially) from all classes prior to attending over sixty percent (60%) of the semester.

Student obligation invoice: an invoice created by the college Business Office and mailed to the student, a record of which is maintained on the Student Obligation Accounts Receivable Ledger. The student is responsible for paying the balance of the obligation to the college.

Unofficial withdrawal: a withdrawal that is initiated by the college when a student has stopped attending classes, or stopped participating in class assignments or class/online activities for twenty percent (20%) of the course between the last date to drop with a refund and the last day to withdraw from the course.

VCCS R2T4 report (SQR Report ID: VFAR131F.SQR): the report pulled out of the Student Information System (SIS) daily that identifies all students who have withdrawn from their classes, identifies official and unofficial withdrawals and those students who receive any combination of failing grades (Fs), unsatisfactory developmental grades (Us or Rs), or withdrawal indicators (Ws).

Withdraw: when a student initiates the request to drop from a class after the fifteen percent (15%) point in the term or session. The college's policy for official withdrawals can be found in Reynolds Policy No. 1-10, Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course(s). Students provide notice of their withdrawal by completing JSRCC Form No. 11-0004, Request to Withdraw from Class(es), and submitting it to Advising Services or to the Registrar's Office on or before the published last day to withdraw. The student may withdraw from one course or all classes. The student is not subject to Return of Title IV unless he officially or unofficially withdraws from all classes.

Withdrawal date for official withdrawals: the date for calculating the return of Title IV funds portion of earned financial aid, and which is the date Advising Services or the Registrar's Office receives JSRCC Form No. 11-0004, Request to Withdraw from Class(es). The staff will date stamp the Withdrawal Request documentation for reporting purposes.

Withdrawal date for unofficial withdrawals: the date for calculating the return of Title IV funds portion of earned financial aid, and which is the last date of attendance.

Withdrawn student query: the query used by the Office of Financial Aid to identify financial aid students who have withdrawn from all their classes, which picks up official and unofficial withdrawals or those students who receive any combination of all failing grades (Fs), unsatisfactory developmental grades (U's), or withdrawal indicators (Ws).

III. Policy:

A. In compliance with CFR Title 34 Part 668.2, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (Reynolds) monitors the attendance of all student financial aid recipients.

B. Students who receive federal financial aid (Title IV) grant or loan assistance, who officially or unofficially cease enrollment, or stop attending class(es) before the end of the semester must have their financial aid award recalculated based on a formula determined by the U. S. Department of Education (USDOE).

C. As a result of officially or unofficially ending enrollment in the semester or course, students may be subject to returning a portion of their financial aid directly to the USDOE.

D. In addition to returning a portion of their financial aid to the USDOE, students shall be required to reimburse the college for their unpaid tuition, fees, and book charges that arise when a student's financial aid funds are returned due to their official or unofficial withdrawal from all classes.

E. The withdrawal date for official withdrawals shall be the date the approved college staff (Office of the Registrar, Advising Services, and "The 105") receives JSRCC Form No. 11-0004, Request to Withdraw from Class(es) from the student. The staff will date stamp the Withdrawal Request documentation for reporting purposes.

F. The withdrawal date for unofficial withdrawals, reported by instructors, is deemed to be the last date of attendance in the class for which the student is enrolled.

G. All faculty must report attendance of students at both the fifteen percent (15%) point and the sixty percent (60%) point in the semester/course using up-to-date class rosters. Reporting shall be done within three (3) days of the last day to drop with a refund or withdrawal deadline. Students who have not attended class within the first fifteen percent (15%) of the course shall be dropped and classified as "never attended". Students who have stopped attending classes beyond the last day to drop with a refund-or fifteen percent (15%) point-but before the withdrawal deadline, shall be withdrawn from classes. Exceptions to this may occur if the students have contacted their instructor(s) and provided a valid (documented) reason for their extended absence.

H. Academic deans shall monitor and attest to the completeness of the attendance certifications submitted to the Registrar's Office by their instructors.

I. It is ultimately the student's responsibility to ensure that the appropriate drop or withdrawal transaction is completed.

IV. Procedures:

A. Procedures can be found in Addendum - Attendance Certification Procedures.

B. Challenge to grade and aid eligibility

Any student who believes his or her financial aid status has been negatively affected by a "W" grade due to this policy must provide a letter of appeal to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar, or designee, will research the grade and/or last date of attendance and verify what is on record and communicate this information to the student in writing within ten (10) business days. If the student disagrees with the grade and/or date determined by the Office of the Registrar, the student may challenge the determination by following Reynolds Policy 1-12, Student Appeal of Academic and/or Administrative Decisions, appealing to the instructor of record.

V. Other Information:

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 34 Part 668.22, Treatment of title IV funds when a student withdraws

Addendum - Attendance Certification Procedures

Reynolds Policy No. 1-2, Tuition Refunds

Reynolds Policy No. 1-3, Student Attendance

Reynolds Policy No. 1-6, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Students

Reynolds Policy No. 1-10, Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course(s)

Reynolds Policy No. 1-12, Student Appeal of Academic and/or Administrative Decisions

JSRCC Form No. 11-0004, Request to Withdraw from Class(es)

JSRCC Form No. 11-0031, Attendance Certification (never attended)

JSRCC Form No. 11-0032, Attendance Certification (stopped attending)