2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog

Title IV Refund Policy

Students "earn" Title IV funds by remaining enrolled for the payment period for which they have been paid federal student aid. Students who begin attendance but, before the end of the payment period, withdraw (either by officially completing the school's withdrawal process or by unofficially dropping out) may lose some of the Title IV funds they received or were scheduled to receive. Depending on circumstances, the school and/or the student may be responsible for reimbursing Title IV programs. The formula that determines the amount of aid a student has earned is outlined in law. It is separate from and independent of any institutional refund policy.

Lesley University has a Financial Aid Refund Policy for students receiving financial aid who withdraw completely from an academic term/semester or stop attending all of their semester classes and who have been awarded federal financial aid. These students may have an adjustment/reduction in their term or semester federal financial aid award according to calculations mandated by federal regulations and policy. Students considering withdrawing from an academic semester should meet with a representative of the Financial Aid Office to discuss how the decision will impact your finances and to discuss the completion of the Exit Interview process.

Calculation: Students who cease attendance during an academic term or semester and who have been awarded federal financial aid may have their financial aid awards adjusted according to calculations mandated by federal and state regulations and policy. The Federal Return of Funds regulations requires that the Financial Aid Office calculate the amount of financial aid that must be returned to the federal government and other agencies and the amount that can be retained to pay Lesley University billable charges.  Title IV aid and all other aid is earned during the time a student is attending Lesley University. The percentage of aid earned is determined by dividing the number of days a student was enrolled by the number of days in the semester, up to the 60% point. If the student withdraws from all courses after the 60% point in the semester, Title IV aid is viewed as 100% earned. However, if a student completely withdraws prior to or on that 60% point, the student may owe back part of their financial aid if the Financial Aid Office determines the student has received an amount larger than the earned amount.  The term “Title IV Funds” includes the following programs: Federal Pell Grant Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Plus Loan (Parent or Graduate), Federal TEACH Grant. In accordance with federal regulations, financial aid funds are returned and allocated in the following order: Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Federal Direct Plus Loan (Parent or Graduate), Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Program, other Title IV programs (i.e., Federal TEACH Grant, Iran and Afghanistan Service Grant), other state, private, and institutional aid. Lesley University will also return any funds necessary to Title IV programs upon completing the calculation. The student’s responsibilities with regard to the return of Title IV funds include repaying to the Title IV or state programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and which the student was determined to be ineligible for via the Return of Title IV Funds Calculation.

However, effective July 1, 2021 if a student is enrolled exclusively in courses that do not span the entire semester, that student is considered to be enrolled in modular courses. Students who are enrolled in modular courses are not considered to have withdrawn if they successfully complete one module that includes 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period; or a combination of modules that when combined contain 49% or more of the number of days in the payment period. Scheduled breaks of five or more consecutive days and all days between modules are excluded from the number of days in the payment period used to calculate whether the modules(s) completed by the student comprise 49% of the payment period.

If a student drops courses, we will need written confirmation of future attendance. A student must indicate a date in which they will resume attendance within 45 days. If we obtain written confirmation from the student, no adjustments will be made to their federal aid. If the student withdrawals or never attends the future course, their federal aid could be subjected to R2T4 review/recalculations.

Regarding consortium agreements entered into by Lesley University, the form ensures that the disbursement of Title IV funds will be returned, if required, in the event that the Host Institution reports that the student withdrew before completing the payment period.

Attendance: Lesley University is not required to take attendance. The academic calendar defines for each semester and term the beginning and end dates that will be used in the Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation. The calculation of the return of Title IV Funds is determined by the date that the student withdraws, which is:

  • The date the student began Lesley University’s withdrawal process;  
  • The date the student officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw;  
  • The midpoint of the enrollment period for a student who leaves without notifying the institution (an unofficial withdrawal);  
  • The student’s last date of attendance at a documented academically related activity.
  • For students who unofficially withdraw, Lesley University uses the midpoint of the payment period as the withdrawal date unless documentation is received to demonstrate attendance in an academically-related activity as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. The unofficial withdrawal date will be determined within thirty (30) days of the end of the payment period.  

Non-Attendance: Students who never begin attendance in a payment period are marked as "never attended" by the faculty member and will have all federal Title IV funds cancelled. No Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation will be performed.  

Failing Grades: Title IV financial aid recipients who receive all failing grades for a semester will be identified by the Financial Aid Office and, it will be determined if the student "unofficially withdrew." The Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation will determine if the student received unearned Title IV aid, either in a refund or as a payment for tuition, fees, room and board, etc. The student will be notified in writing of their revised financial aid award based upon the calculation performed.

Unearned Aid: Lesley University returns its share of unearned aid no later than forty-five (45) days from the date of determination that the student withdrew. 

Post-Withdrawal Disbursements: If the amount of earned aid calculated under the return of Title IV funds formula is greater than the amount of aid already disbursed to the student, the funds will be treated as a post-withdrawal disbursement. The post-withdrawal disbursement will be taken from Title IV grant funds before Title IV loan funds. A letter and email will be sent to the student (or the parent) within thirty (30) days of the date of Lesley University's determination that the student withdrew. The letter and email will request the student confirm they still want the type and amount of the funds. Within forty-five (45) days after determining the student's withdrawal, any amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement of Title IV loan funds not credited to the student's account will be cancelled. 

Title IV Credit Balances: The Financial Aid Office will notify the Student Accounts Office to hold any Title IV credit balances until after it has performed the return of Title IV funds calculation prior to the institutional refund policy. The procedures and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions about this policy.