Earned vs Unearned Aid

Earned vs Unearned Aid 2016-10-18T18:29:00+00:00

How the earned financial aid is calculated

Students who receive federal financial aid must “earn” the aid they receive by staying enrolled in classes. The amount of federal financial aid assistance the student earns is on a pro-rated basis. Students who withdraw or do not complete all registered classes during the semester may be required to return some of the financial aid they were awarded.

Institutions are required to determine the percentage of Title IV aid “earned” by the student and to return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid programs. Regulations require schools to perform calculations within 30 days from the date the school determines a student’s complete withdrawal. The school must return the funds within 45 days of the calculation. The R2T4 calculation process and return of funds is completed by the CCC Business Office.

For example, if a student completes 30 percent of the payment period, they earn 30 percent of the aid they were originally scheduled to receive. This means that 70 percent of the scheduled awards remain “unearned” and must be returned to the federal government. Once 60% of the semester is completed, a student is considered to have earned all of his/her financial aid and will not be required to return any federal funds.

The following formula is used to determine the percentage of unearned aid that has to be returned to the federal government:

  • The percent earned is equal to the number of calendar days completed up to the withdrawal date, divided by the total calendar days in the payment period (less any scheduled breaks that are at least 5 days long).
  • The payment period is the entire semester.
  • The percent unearned is equal to 100 percent minus the percent earned.

Repayment calculation of unearned aid as a result of a withdrawal

As a result of a withdrawal, students who received federal funds will be required to repay “unearned” aid. The repayment calculation is performed utilizing the federal government’s repayment worksheet: “Treatment of Title IV Funds When a Student Withdraws from a Credit-Hour Program.”

The amount of the assistance earned is determined on a pro-rated basis. For example, if a student completed 30% of the term, they have earned 30% of the assistance they were originally scheduled to receive. Once a student has completed more than 60% of the term, the student earns all the assistance they were scheduled to receive for the term.

Withdrawing prior to completing 60 percent of a term

Unless a student completes 60 percent of the term in which federal aid was disbursed, the student will be required to return all or part of the financial aid disbursed in the term. This applies to students who have officially (including medical), or unofficially withdrawn.

Term

Period

60% of Term

Fall 2014 8/20/14 – 12/11/14 10/24/14
Spring 2015 01/14/15 – 05/7/15 3/26/15