Withdrawal Policy and Return of Title IV Aid (R2T4)

Title IV funds are offered to students under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is received. When a student drops or withdraws from courses or the term, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

Students should also refer to the official academic withdrawal policy described in the current course catalog.

Undergraduate Catalog      Graduate Catalog

Separate from the Return of Title IV funds (hereafter referred to as R2T4) policy, Cal Lutheran has a Tuition Withdrawal Policy  Please contact the Student Accounts Office to determine the amount that the student will be charged for the time they were enrolled. Students will be charged for any amounts that must be returned due to the R2T4 calculation and these balances must be paid by the student to Cal Lutheran. The percentage used to calculate the return of unearned institutional aid dollars will correspond to the percentage of the Cal Lutheran Tuition Withdrawal Policy.

If the Registrar’s Office receives documentation and reduces the percentage charged for tuition, the percentage used to calculate the return of institutional aid dollars will be adjusted to correspond with the reduced percentage charged for tuition.

If the contracted charges (i.e. tuition, fees, and/or housing and meals) are adjusted downward by the Registrar or Residence Life Office after the withdrawal was finalized, any credit balance will go toward outstanding charges on the student's account or be refunded directly to the student.

When a federal financial aid recipient is considered withdrawn, institutions are required to determine the percentage of Title IV financial aid “earned” by the student and return the unearned portion to the appropriate aid program.

The Cal Lutheran Financial Aid Office performs the Return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculation and coordinates with the Student Accounts Office the return of unearned Title IV funds.

Students are considered to be recipients of Federal Title IV aid if they are eligible to receive or have received funds from one or more of the following programs for the academic term:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Plus Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal TEACH Grant

If a student ceases attendance (drops or withdraws; including medical withdrawals) from all Title IV eligible courses in a term, the student must be considered a withdrawal for Title IV purposes. Cal Lutheran has up to 45 days from the last date of attendance to return any unearned Title IV funds.

Cal Lutheran is not required to take attendance. If a student never actually began attendance for the term, R2T4 regulations do not apply. If a student began attendance but was not and could not have been disbursed Title IV aid prior to withdrawal, the student is not considered to have been a Title IV recipient and the R2T4 regulations do not apply. In these cases, Title IV funds would be handled in accordance with regulations for returning funds for students who do not register or fail to begin attendance.

Federal regulations require that if a recipient of Title IV grant or loan funds withdraws from Cal Lutheran after beginning attendance, the Office of Financial Aid must complete a Return of Title IV fund (R2T4) calculation to determine the amount of Title IV assistance earned. Federal aid is earned on a pro-rata basis determined by the amount of time the student was enrolled in their courses for a given academic period.

For students who receive federal aid and withdraw from all courses before attending at least 60 percent of the academic period, Cal Lutheran is required by federal regulations to calculate the amount of federal aid the student earned and the amount of aid that must be returned. The amount of the federal aid 'earned' and ‘unearned’ is determined by the withdrawal date (last date of academic related activity).

  • If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, the unearned portion must be returned to the federal program.
  • If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned and for which the student is otherwise eligible, the student is eligible to receive a post-withdrawal disbursement of the earned aid that was not received.

If the amount earned produces a credit to the students account (when the amount of aid earned is greater than the amount that has disbursed to the student's account) any grant funds will be applied to the account without notification. However, please note that if earned Direct Loan or PLUS Loan funds are eligible to disburse under these conditions the borrower will be notified via their Cal Lutheran student email of their eligibility and the borrower must confirm in writing that they want the loan to be disbursed. If no confirmation is received from the borrower within 14 business days, the loan will be cancelled.

The unearned portion of federal aid will be returned to the federal government. Return of Title IV financial aid programs must be made in the following order: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Plus Loan, Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal TEACH Grant.

Cal Lutheran is required to return all unearned Title IV funds for which it is responsible as soon as possible but no later than 45 days from the determination of a student’s withdrawal. The return of unearned federal funds may result in a balance due to the university. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid must notify the student or parent of any post-withdrawal disbursement available to them within 30 days from the determination of a student’s withdrawal.