Title IV Student Withdrawal Policy: Graduate Students

Objective
The Title IV Student Withdrawal Policy is designed to ensure the accurate and timely determination of:

  1. The date of the institution's determination that a student withdrew
  2. The student's withdrawal date
  3. The student's last date of attendance

The policy maintains the proper disposition of Title IV funds, in accordance with 34 CFR 668.22 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Reference: 2020–2021 Student Financial Aid Handbook, Vol. 5, Ch. 1, pp. 3–44

Background
When a recipient of Title IV grant(s) and/or loan(s) withdraws from New York Institute of Technology during a payment period in which they began attendance, the college must determine the amount of the grant and/or loan assistance earned by the student as of their withdrawal date. This policy establishes steps that the university must take to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

Policy
New York Institute of Technology must always return any unearned Title IV funds that it is responsible for within 45 days of the date the university determined the student withdrew. New York Institute of Technology must offer any post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds within 30 days of that date.

Note: On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. As a result of the national emergency due to COVID-19, New York Tech moved students from ground-based instruction to distance learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Based on guidance provided by ED Electronic Announcement dated May 15, 2020, and updated on June 16, 2020, all withdrawals for the spring 2020 semester may be considered to be due to COVID-19-related circumstances. An R2T4 calculation is required for all Title IV recipients who withdraw from an enrollment period. However, for students who attended in the spring 2020 semester and subsequently withdrew from the spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19-related circumstances, Title IV funds will not be returned.

For the summer 2020 semester and later (while the national emergency is still in place), a student must submit a written attestation explaining why the withdrawal was the result of the COVID-19 emergency in order to be eligible to retain all federal Title IV funds. Title IV funds will be returned as determined by the required R2T4 calculation for students who withdraw during these semesters; unless the student indicates, in writing, that the withdrawal is a result of COVID-19-related circumstances.

Reference: 2020–2021 Student Financial Aid Handbook, Vol. 5, Ch. 1, pp. 3–44

Withdrawal Date
A student's withdrawal date varies depending on the type of withdrawal. Reference: Determining a student's withdrawal date at a school that is not required to take attendance in the 2020–2021 Student Financial Aid Handbook, Vol. 5, Ch. 1, p. 28.

Official Notification Provided
In a case when the student provides official notification of their intent to withdraw, New York Institute of Technology will use the date of notification as follows:

  • In the event that a student begins New York Institute of Technology's withdrawal process,* the date the student begins the process is the date of withdrawal.
  • In the event that a student sends written notification of intent to withdraw, the date New York Institute of Technology receives the written notice is the date of withdrawal.
  • In the event that a student makes an oral notification to the Office of the Registrar, which is the university's designated office for beginning the withdrawal process, the date will be documented by this office. The date of withdrawal will be recorded as of the date of oral notification, unless there is subsequent written notification, in which case the date that New York Institute of Technology receives the written notification may be the withdrawal date.

*To begin the withdrawal process, the student contacts the Office of the Registrar to obtain the appropriate withdrawal form. If the student both begins the withdrawal process and provides a notification to New York Institute of Technology, the earlier of the two dates will be used as the withdrawal date.

Official Notification Not Provided
In a case when the student does not provide official notification of their intent to withdraw, New York Institute of Technology may use the midpoint of the payment period as the date of withdrawal, with the following exception:

  • When an official notification was not provided by the student because of circumstances beyond their control (i.e., illness, accident, grievous personal loss, or other circumstances), the date of the onset of such circumstances will serve as the withdrawal date as determined by the Office of the Registrar.

Last Date of Attendance
New York Institute of Technology may always use the withdrawal date as the student's last date of attendance at an academic activity reported by a faculty member on a course enrollment roster or final grade sheet. Examples of academic activities are exams, tutorials, computer-assisted instruction, academic counseling, turning in class assignments, or attending a study group assigned by the college. The faculty member will maintain documentation of the last date of attendance.

Date of Official Notification Not Provided
This is the date that New York Institute of Technology learns the student has ceased attendance. The university will perform the return to Title IV funds calculation and return any unearned funds no later than 45 days after the end of the payment period. For a student who withdraws without providing notification to New York Institute of Technology, the college must determine the withdrawal date no later than 30 days after the end of the earliest:

  1. Payment period or period of enrollment (as appropriate)
  2. Academic year
  3. Educational program

Reference: 2020–2021 Student Financial Aid Handbook, Vol. 5, Ch. 2, pp. 59–60

Rescission of Withdrawal
New York Institute of Technology may allow a student to rescind an official notification to withdraw by having them file a written statement that the student is continuing to participate in academic activities and intends to complete the enrollment period. If the student subsequently ceases to attend the institution prior to the end of the payment period, the rescission is negated, and the withdrawal date will be the last date of attendance at an academic activity. If the student subsequently withdraws (without ever returning to college) after rescinding an intent to withdraw, the rescission is negated, and the withdrawal date will revert back to the date of the first official notification.

Calculation of Earned Title IV Assistance
U.S. Department of Education software will be used to perform all refund calculations. A copy of the completed calculation worksheet will be kept in the student's file in the Office of Financial Aid. The amount of Title IV assistance earned by the student is calculated by determining the percentage of grant and/or loan assistance earned by the student, and applying that percentage to the total amount of grant and/or loan assistance disbursed to the student or on the student's behalf for the payment period, as of their withdrawal date. The percentage of Title IV assistance earned will be equal to the percentage of the payment period completed by the student, when said percentage is 60 percent or less. If the student's withdrawal date occurs after the completion of 60 percent of the payment period, the percentage earned is 100 percent.

Withdrawal from Cycle Classes
A Cycle Class is defined as a course in a program that does not span the entire length of the payment period or the period of enrollment. A student who registers for a Cycle Class and then ceases to attend or fails to begin attendance is considered withdrawn, if the student is not attending any other classes and is not registered for a Cycle Class to begin at a later date within the enrollment period. A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the college obtains written confirmation at the time of withdrawal that the student will attend a Cycle Class to begin later in the same period of enrollment. This confirmation must be obtained at the time of withdrawal, even if the student has already registered for subsequent courses. If the student fails to return for the subsequent cycle, the date of withdrawal reverts back to the original withdrawal date in the earlier cycle.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements
If the total amount of the Title IV grant and/or loan assistance earned by the student is more than the amount that was disbursed to the student as of the withdrawal date, the difference between the two amounts will be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. In the event of outstanding charges on the student's account, New York Institute of Technology will credit their account for all or part of the amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement, up to the amount of allowable charges.

If Direct Loan funds are used to credit the student's account, New York Institute of Technology will notify the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan) and provide the student (or parent) with the opportunity to cancel all or a portion of the loan(s).

Any amount of a post-withdrawal disbursement that consists of loan funds and has not been credited to a student's account will be offered to the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan) within 30 days of the date the college determines the student's withdrawal. Any earned grant funds that the student is eligible to receive due to a post-withdrawal disbursement will be provided within 45 days of the date of determination. Students will be notified of such disbursements in writing. The notification will include:

  • Identification of the type and amount of the Title IV funds that make up the post-withdrawal disbursement (not to include any amounts that have been applied to the student's account)
  • Explanation that the student (or parent for a PLUS loan) may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement (that which has not been applied to the student's account)
  • Advisement that New York Institute of Technology is not required to make a post-withdrawal disbursement if the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan) does not respond within 14 days of the date that the university sent the notification

Upon receipt of a timely response from the student or parent, New York Institute of Technology will disburse funds in the manner specified in the response. Distribution will occur within 180 days of the date of determination of the student's withdrawal date. If no response is received from the student or parent, New York Institute of Technology will not disburse any of the funds. The university maintains the right to decide whether to make a post-withdrawal disbursement in the event that the student (or parent for a PLUS Loan) responds after 14 days of the date that notification was sent to them. If New York Institute of Technology decides not to make this post-withdrawal disbursement, it will inform the student (or parent) in writing. In the case of a post-withdrawal disbursement, grant funds will be disbursed prior to loan funds.

Refund of Unearned Funds to Title IV
If the total amount of Title IV grant and/or loan assistance that was earned by the student is less than the amount that was disbursed to the student as of the withdrawal date, the difference between the two amounts will be returned to Title IV programs and no further disbursements will be made. Funds will be returned as follows:

Refunds by the College
In the event that New York Institute of Technology is responsible for returning funds to Title IV programs, the funds will be returned in the order prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education (listed below) within 45 days of the date of determination of a student's withdrawal.

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Other assistance under Title IV for which a return of funds is required

Refunds by the Student
In the event that the student is responsible for returning grant funds to Title IV programs, New York Institute of Technology will notify the student within 45 days of the date of determination of their withdrawal. The student will be advised of making arrangements for repayment.

Payment Period or Enrollment Period
Withdrawals and the return of Title IV funds will be based on a payment period for all standard term programs. Non-term program payments will be based on an enrollment period.

For a payment period or period of enrollment in which courses in the program are offered in modules:

  • A student is not considered to have withdrawn if the institution obtains written confirmation at the time of withdrawal of an anticipated return date to a module to begin later in the same payment period or period of enrollment.
  • A student may change the date of return to a module that begins later in the same payment period or period of enrollment, provided that the student does so in writing prior to the previously confirmed return date.
  • If an institution obtains written confirmation of future attendance, but the student does not return as scheduled, the student is considered to have withdrawn from the payment period or period of enrollment.
  • A student's withdrawal date and the total number of calendar days in the payment period or period of enrollment will be treated as if the student had not provided written confirmation of a future date of attendance (original withdrawal date).
  • If a student withdraws from a program offered in modules during a payment period or period of enrollment and re-enters the same program prior to the end of the period, the student is eligible to receive Title IV, HEA program funds for which that student was eligible prior to withdrawal. This includes funds returned by the institution or student, provided the student's enrollment status continues to support the full amount of those funds.

Documentation
New York Institute of Technology must document a student's withdrawal date and the date of determination that the student withdrew. The documents will be kept in the student's academic file in the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Financial Aid in the case of an Official Withdrawal. Unofficial withdrawal dates are monitored within the Office of the Registrar. The return to Title IV funds calculation and other accompanying documentation will be secured in the Office of Financial Aid.